- What’s the definition of workplace strategy?
- What’s the definition of workspace strategy?
- What are the core components of workspace strategy?
- What are the different types?
- What are the pros and cons?
- Real-world examples of implementing workspace strategies
- How to develop an effective workspace strategy
- How Hubble can help
Here’s a question for you. Do you know the difference between a ‘workplace’ and ‘workspace’ strategy?
If you can’t quite put your finger on it, we don’t blame you. Before the seismic shift to remote and flexible working, the two terms were often used interchangeably but had different meanings.
Back then, the ‘workplace’ was where you went to work — the centralised office space where employees were expected to be physically present five days a week. Whereas the ‘workspace’ was where you completed your work: the desk, the meeting room or even a shared workspace.
Fast-forward to the world of hybrid working, and these definitions have taken on new meanings — and decision-makers will need to bring themselves up to speed if they want to make a success of both.
But what are the key differences? What do workspace and workplace strategies involve? How important are they? And what does the development process look like?
At Hubble, we’re here to reveal all in this comprehensive article! 👇
What’s the definition of ‘workplace strategy’?
First things first, let’s briefly unpack the definition of ‘workplace strategy’.
In short, a company’s workplace strategy is a holistic approach to creating a productive and engaging place for employees to work — whether that’s digital or in-person.
Without it, a company won’t have a clear mission, goals to work towards or any incentives to stop employees from looking for a job at another workplace. So, it’s pretty important!
What’s the definition of ‘workspace strategy’?
Now, let’s look at workspace strategy. What does it mean?
Simply put, a company’s ‘workspace strategy’ refers to how decision-makers arrange, manage and utilise the physical work environment(s). These can include:
- The company HQ, such a spacious office space in London
- Employees’ homes, and
- Flexible workspaces such as private day offices, coworking spaces and hourly meeting rooms
Each of these workspaces will help serve a specific purpose, depending on which workspace strategy you opt for. But more on that later.
Next, what are the core components of workspace strategy?
What are the core components of workspace strategy?
So, what decisions should you be thinking about when creating an effective workspace strategy? These tend to include:
- The location(s)
- The number of desks
- The specific amenities, such as gyms or on-site parking
- Digital equipment, such as monitors
You may also consider additional ‘third spaces’, such as on-demand workspace to support flexible working, as well as digital equipment for employees’ home setups.
What are the different types of workspace strategies?
In this hybrid working era, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to workspace. This means there are plenty of strategies available for decision-makers to customise to suit their unique workplace needs.
Whether you’re a budding startup or a flexible enterprise, plenty of businesses are keen to choose their own adventures, reshaping and moulding their workspace strategies however they see fit. These can include:
A remote/digital work strategy empowers employees to work from different places around the world instead of just one office space in London, for example.
These locations can include flexible workspaces that are bookable on demand — such as hourly meeting rooms or private day offices — their homes, or wherever suits them best.
This decision is based entirely on their personal needs and preferences at any specific moment, like if they need a private space for deep work or a coworking space where their relative resides.
A time-based hybrid workspace strategy lets employees work from home or at the office.
The main difference is that they must be in the office for a set number of days each week — but they can choose which days they want to be there. So there’s still flexibility!
A set-day hybrid workspace strategy is where employees have designated days for office and remote work.
With this type of hybrid working, employees follow a consistent and fixed schedule set by the employer for working both in the office and remotely.
A fully office-based workspace strategy means that a company expects its employees to be at the centralised office space, their main headquarters, for the entirety of a standard workweek.
That’s five days a week, during regular business hours.
What are the pros and cons of each workspace strategy?
Each workspace strategy will have its own unique set of pros and cons. To make life easier, we’ve listed them all in one place so you can compare the options with ease.
But for now, here’s a snapshot of the pros and cons you might see manifest in the workplace with each strategy:
Office rent is the second-highest fixed cost for most businesses. Remote working eliminates the need for a full-time office, allowing you to make significant savings.
|Poor Cultural Visibility |
Without regular face-to-face interactions, building a strong team culture can be challenging. It can result in a lack of cultural visibility, leading to confusion.
Preference-based hybrid working
By trusting employees to work from anywhere, you’re able to maximise work-life balance and job satisfaction. This hybrid strategy also cultivates accountability and ownership over where and how they work.
|Decrease in Office Utilisation|
Since employees have the choice to come into the office, it can lead to wasted trips. This is where individuals commute into the office only to find themselves being the only team members there — wasting time and money.
Time-based hybrid working
|Boost in Productivity|
The presence of team members in the office on the same day will help boost productivity, creating an environment conducive to spontaneous and fruitful interactions for collaboration, bonding and learning.
|Overcrowded Office Days|
This hybrid work strategy can sometimes run the risk of the office feeling overcrowded on certain days. This can impact employee comfort, workspace availability and overall productivity levels.
Set-day hybrid working
|Predictable Desk Utilisation Rates|
Setting specific office days allows employees to make the most out of their desks, resources and the facilities the workspace offers. This helps effective planning and collaboration amongst teams while ensuring you’re getting your money’s worth.
|Decrease in Employee Flexibility|
You may run the risk of limiting employee flexibility by requiring them to adhere to specific office days. This can result in lower job satisfaction rates and increase the chances of employees looking for work at another workplace.
|Solid Desk Utilisation Rates|
Since employees are expected to work primarily in the office, the chances of desks going unoccupied are significantly reduced. With this strategy, there’s no risk of wasting money on unused desks.
|Drop in Employee Flexibility |
With this workplace strategy, there’s an increased risk of being seen as inflexible and unsupportive of employees’ autonomy, freedom and preferences.
Real-world examples of implementing effective workspace strategy
We’ve helped plenty of businesses configure a workspace strategy that suits the needs of their business — whether they’re a remote/digital workplace, hybrid or fully office-based.
From Olio to Taskrabbit, our flexible workspace platform has helped thousands of businesses with their workspace strategies. Whether it’s giving teams access to flexible workspace or mandating set days for employees to come into the office, Hubble is here to help.
How Nurole more than halved its office costs
Nurole, like many businesses, experimented with workspace strategies after lockdown. However, they struggled to balance providing a place to work for their team and not overspending on an underused office.
Nurole tried having set office days from Monday to Thursday, but Fridays were ‘flexible days’ and usually went unused — and it became clear that a traditional full-time office was not for them.
The only solution was having one workspace big enough for all of us for just the three days a week we wanted to use it. When we explained what we were looking for, Hubble found a suitable office immediately. It could hardly have been easier or had a better outcome.”Lee Bartmanis, Head of Operations at Nurole
After speaking with Hubble, Nurole realised that a Part-Time Office — a private office you rent for two or three days per week — was the best workspace solution.
Nurole is saving a whopping £162k per year, having switched to a Part-Time Office with Hubble — a 55% decrease in what they were paying before.
How Taskrabbit’s keeping company culture alive
In 2021, Taskrabbit made a pretty bold call. They decided to shut all of its offices and have everyone work remotely.
However, they never lost sight of the importance of having a dedicated space for teams to meet and work if needed. So, they decided to keep an office space for that very reason.
But they soon ran into a few problems. The space wasn’t often at full capacity and, therefore, lots of money was being wasted — so they knew having a single, permanent space wasn’t suitable.
Taskrabbit wanted to empower their employees to make their own decisions about how and where to work. That’s why they decided to opt for the Hubble Pass — a flexible workspace membership giving teams access to thousands of office spaces in London and beyond!
By not taking a full-time office for the whole team and, instead, opting for an agile remote work strategy, Taskrabbit has saved an estimated 87%!
Olio’s journey to remote-first success
Similarly, the Hubble Pass helped Olio save an estimated 95% compared to the cost of having a full-time office for all its staff. Check out their full remote work story below!
How to develop an effective workspace strategy
Developing a workspace strategy isn’t always easy. But rest assured, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. We’ve developed a step-by-step guide to optimising your workspace strategy.
But for now, here’s a quick snapshot into how you can make your chosen workspace strategy a success:
Step One: Decide how often you want your team in the office
Ask yourself: How ‘office-based’ will your business be? This is the primary location where teams will collaborate and work under the same roof. You could fall into any of these camps:
- I’d like employees to work remotely from multiple locations, such as flexible workspaces, instead of a company HQ. They can access these workspaces whenever and wherever they want.
- I’d like employees to split their time working from the office and remotely. They can decide the schedule amongst themselves, or their managers can, or the days can be mandated.
- I’d like employees to be physically present in the office five days a week during regular business hours.
Step Two: Establish how distributed you are and where you want to hire from
Ask yourself: Where are employees located? Where do you hire from? This refers to the geographical makeup of your current and future business. For example:
- My business has a global reach, with employees in multiple cities such as London and Paris.
- I have employees in multiple locations within the same country, bringing diverse perspectives.
- Most of my employees are concentrated in one location, like London, creating a centralised talent hub.
Step Three: Decide how cost-sensitive you are as a business
Ask yourself: How much will ‘costs’ influence your decision? This refers to your approach to office-related expenses and how much you balance cost with quality. You could fall into a range of attitudes, such as:
- To me, money matters, but it’s not a huge concern. I’ll invest without hesitation if the right flexible workspace matches my vision.
- I’m conscious of costs, but it’s not always the first priority. I want to focus on finding the right office, even if it means occasional empty desks or less flexibility for my employees.
- I prioritise costs heavily. I want to cut expenses and avoid unnecessary spending, even if it potentially compromises workspace quality, amenities, or location.
Step Four: Decide how important it is for you to easily adapt in the future
Ask yourself: How confident are you in predicting the future? This refers to the level of flexibility and agility you need for your future business plans. For example:
- I have strong certainty of where we’ll be in the future. I have a clear vision for my employees’ preferred workspace options, so flexibility is less of a priority.
- I have moderate certainty about where we’ll be in the future. But I prefer flexibility as a safety net, even if I do have a good idea of my employees’ future work preferences.
- I’m unsure of where we’ll be in the future. But, I know that flexibility is essential for exploring different work styles and new possibilities while we navigate the business’s evolving needs.
How Hubble can help
At Hubble, we help businesses give their teams great places to work.
Whether it’s a longer-term office or on-demand access to workspace, our flexible workspace platform offers solutions that flex with your workspace needs — helping you to reduce wasted office spend and keep employees happy and productive. Here’s a lowdown:
A dedicated property advisor will assist you in your search and negotiate the best possible rate on your behalf. Plus, it’s absolutely free for you to use Hubble, so you can save money while finding your ideal office space!
For those looking to significantly save on office rent, Hubble offers Part-Time Offices — your very own office to bring the team together for in-person work, 2-3 days per week.
Our flexible workspace platform holds 100% coverage of part-time offices from London’s most premium workspace providers, so you can find something to fit your budget.
While our expert team will help guide you through your entire search, you can expect to save up to 65% on the cost of a full-time office — helping you cut costs and invest in what matters most.
The Hubble Pass
If you’re looking for even more workplace flexibility, the Hubble Pass lets you and your team book flexible workspaces by the day or hour.
With it, you can bring the team together to connect, collaborate, and build team culture across 1,000 locations worldwide — helping your team thrive in workspaces convenient for them.
You only ever pay for the workspace you use with full control over your teams’ spend, making it an ideal solution for businesses looking to save money without losing the magic of in-person working.
Why is workplace strategy important?
The purpose of a workplace strategy is to strengthen collaboration, company values and employee engagement. Without it, a company won’t have a clear mission, goals to work towards or any incentives to stop employees from resigning and joining another workplace.
Why is workspace so critical to employee success?
Offering various workspace options helps employees focus better and be more successful. Whether it’s a meeting room for an hour or a part-time private office, the right workspace can put employees in the right mindset and help them feel more motivated and productive.
What is an example of a digital workplace?
A digital workplace strategy is a plan designed to create an effective digital working environment for employees, whether they are based remotely or otherwise. It may include basic elements such as email and instant messaging, virtual meeting software and computing resources.