Flexible office space is increasingly popular with businesses of all sizes, whether you’re a global business looking for private offices across multiple locations, or a startup looking for coworking space. As more businesses begin to adopt hybrid working, flexible office space by its very nature provides an ideal solution to facilitate this new working style. So what is flexible office space and what are the benefits?
Flexible office space encompasses a range of different types of workspace. Private offices provide a dedicated office for your team with access to shared amenities within the space. This is the same for self-contained space, except you may also have dedicated facilities such as kitchens and meeting rooms within your own office. Coworking space gives you access to a dedicated desk within the communal working area, and hot desking allows you to choose any desk within the shared working area.
One of the key differentiators of flexible workspace compared to conventional offices is shorter term lengths. Depending on the type of space you’re looking for flexible office term lengths can vary from a few months to 12+ months.
Flexible office space is used by all types of businesses, across a range of industries. When flexible offices first came onto the scene, they were largely associated with freelancers, entrepreneurs and start-ups looking for a professional working environment away from home or coffee shops, but without long-term and expensive commitments.
Whilst flex space is still widely used by these types of businesses, over time medium to larger sized companies have seen the benefits of flexible space. Whether to use as a HQ office, to house specific teams or to have offices across multiple locations. The shorter term commitments and hassle-free set up appeal to a wide array of businesses. It’s no longer just creative and tech companies occupying this space either, you’ll find businesses spanning a range of sectors.
The amenities offered differs from space to space. As standard flex spaces will include cleaning services, desks and other essential furniture ready for moving in, and a team or point of contact at the space to help deal with any requests or issues. Aside from these more basic facilities, flexible offices often also offer kitchens and meeting rooms which may be included in the cost or available to use for an additional fee. Some spaces include event spaces, showering facilities, rooftop terraces and even on-site gyms. Often the more premium the facilities, the more costly the office space.
One of the key advantages to companies renting flexible working spaces is that there are no fixed contracts. The majority of conventional offices require signing up to a minimum of a two or three-year lease (more often at least five) which isn’t always suitable for fast-growing businesses. In times of economic uncertainty, committing to long leases is also less desirable and having shorter term flexibility can be key.
A license rather than a lease allows greater flexibility for companies to grow, as they can easily increase or decrease their space as their business changes. This can also be particularly useful for companies that need temporary project space, or companies that want to try out a new location. Terms are designed to be simple and transparent, helping to make the transition process as efficient as possible.
Many new flexible workspaces are designed to encourage employee productivity and creativity. By working in an environment that encourages collaboration, individuals can bounce ideas around with their colleagues, increasing employee engagement and boosting creativity.
Renting flexible workspace also means you can reduce your costs, as you can streamline your office space by only having the number of desks you currently require. As well as this, you have the freedom to easily obtain extra desks as and when you need them. Monthly inclusive rates are fixed, meaning occupiers benefit from being able to clearly forecast their monthly expenditure and outgoings.
Flexible office spaces are hassle-free. With these types of spaces you avoid the stresses that come with getting a new office up and running. As many flexible working spaces are serviced, you don’t have to worry about organizing internet connectivity, electricity, booking a cleaner or even hiring a receptionist. This means there are also no large fit-out costs – all the furniture is already installed, meaning you can move in quickly and easily.
There also aren't any ongoing operational costs – it's all part of your rent, and at the end you don't have to worry about dilapidations, you just move out. This makes for a very efficient, hassle-free process. For tips on a smooth office move, check out our handy checklist and guide.
There are typically great networking opportunities available within shared offices. Working alongside other companies can provide valuable networking opportunities that may just help to grow your business network. Many of these spaces also schedule regular events to help provide a sense of community within the workplace.
Providing employees with a flexible working space can make a significant impact on attracting talent and retaining employees. One of the appeals of flex space is the additional facilities you may have access to beyond meeting rooms and kitchens. Some flexible office spaces offer on-site gyms, catering facilities and outdoor terraces. In our research these ranked within the top 5 amenities that office workers look for when applying for jobs.
Choosing the best workspace to suit your team and business is an important decision to make, and with so many different flex spaces to choose from, finding the right one can be a challenge. Our experts at Workthere understand the flex market and can advise you on the best solution based on your requirements. We list over 6,000 spaces globally, so whether you need an office down the road or further afield, we can help you to get the best deal on your next office.
Considering flexible office space but can’t decide what’s best for your business? Check out our useful guide to learn more about the benefits of different types of space.