What Is Flexible Office Space? Your Guide to Flexible Workspaces
Even pre-pandemic, work was becoming increasingly flexible. Now, the future of work looks a lot different from traditional 9-5 office jobs. More and more employees are currently working:
- From home, at least some of the time
- More fluid hours to accommodate their schedule
- From a couch, comfortable chair, or standing desk instead of a traditional desk
As work becomes less rigid, so should your workspace — it should be adaptable to meet your needs, even as they change moment by moment. That’s the core concept behind flexible workspaces and why they’re growing in popularity. But what is a flexible workspace or a flexible office space, and how can they help you? Learn about how they can transform your productivity in a heartbeat.
What Is Flexible Workspace?
Flexible workspace (also known as flex office space, coworking, or serviced office space) is a type of full-service workspace designed to provide teams and individuals with different ways to work depending on their needs at that moment.
With traditional workspaces, employees get a desk where they stay all day, no matter what they’re working on. These spaces typically require a fixed, long-term lease and only offer amenities and experience based on what the company has built out.
More traditional membership-based coworking provides far more flexibility. However, it does pose challenges, especially for teams that are on the larger side, require privacy, or prefer a highly professional environment. Coworking memberships are often based on desk count rather than square footage, lack private working environments, and are focused more on community than professionalism.
Flexible workspaces, on the other hand, are just that: flexible. They can easily accommodate growing or shrinking businesses, different team objectives, and varying work styles, giving teams the ability to work where, when, and how they want.
The Benefits of Flexible Workspace
If you’ve been wondering what a flexible workspace is, odds are you’re interested in how it can benefit you or your team. A flexible working space combines the best aspects of traditional and coworking spaces without the drawbacks. Benefits include:
- Agility – With a flexible workspace, you’re not locked into a rigid, long-term lease. You can freely scale up or down as your needs change or relocate altogether without the pressure of a long-term commitment.
- Reduced occupancy costs – You don’t have to worry about setting up an office from scratch, which saves the time, money, and effort you would ordinarily need to spend on designing the layout, IT/networking infrastructure, furniture, etc. With a flexible workspace, all that is taken care of for you, reducing the need for upfront capital.
- Improved employee experience – When people work from home, they often miss out on the camaraderie and social interaction they’d get in an office. With a flexible workspace, they get the opportunity to network and chat with other professionals. Additionally, with the reduced overall costs of flexible workspace, many businesses choose to utilize several satellite locations. This enables employees to enjoy the benefits of a hybrid work environment from locations most convenient for them, depending on their plans for the day.
- Adaptability – Flexibility is in the name for a reason, and a flexible workspace allows your business to adapt to different changes in an unprecedented way. A rapidly growing company can expand much faster, knowing that its new hires can choose to work in different locations. You have access to a larger talent pool, and you can set up your flexible workspace for different cultures, job responsibilities, and other criteria that you feel fit.
- Cost-effective utilization of space – With a flexible workspace, you’re paying for the space you’re using, not how many people are using it, and you’re not necessarily locked into a long-term lease. Depending on how often you’re in the space, you have dynamic options, reducing unnecessary spending.
Features to Look for in a Flexible Office Space
Looking for flexible office space or wondering what a flexible office space can do for you is only the first step on your journey. It's important to determine the features that matter most to your business and employees. Features to consider include:
- Flexible leases or memberships – Both long- and short-term leases are available, plus the option to reserve on-demand space.
- Transparent agreements – Clear, easy-to-understand lease agreements with no hidden fees or unknown expenses.
- Full service – Building concerns are handled by the property manager and/or office manager, so there’s no pressure on your team.
- Variety – Offers a variety of work areas to fit different needs, like open-layout common areas, private offices, individual desks, meeting rooms, etc.
- Furnished – Furnished to accommodate different work styles, with standing desks, rolling chairs, couches, tables, and conference room seating areas.
- Shared amenities – WiFi, coffee, snacks, printing, mail and package services, fitness centers, restaurants, outdoor spaces, events programming, and more.
- Quiet Areas –The best flexible workspaces have quiet areas designed to minimize the impact of increased ambient noises due to the abundance of open space.
If you’re unsure what your team values most in a workspace, consider conducting a brief survey to better understand their needs. You might also choose to gather your team and have a meeting or brief discussion about their thoughts and provide a few flexible workspaces for them to choose from.
How to Maximize the Benefits of Your Flexible Office Space
What is a flexible office space? It's your ticket to productivity! But, it's not enough to gather your employees in a flexible office space and send them on the run. You also want to maximize the benefits of your space by tailoring it to your employees and desired work environment. Streamline your operations by implementing different areas of the office for different tasks. Separate your eating and lounging areas from the work locations, and make sure the lounging areas have adequate sunlight and aren’t cramped or uncomfortable.
You also want to make sure you minimize the number of areas you have that are only used for one or two tasks. Spruce up a bland conference area and use it for multiple tasks throughout the day, or set up tables and chairs in some quiet zones that can double down as a quick and relaxing meeting space for teams.
Get a Flexible Work Space You’re Sure to Enjoy
As the world changes and work norms continue to evolve, the spaces where we work should follow suit. Flexible workspaces can boost agility, reduce costs, and improve the workplace experience for employees, no matter what type of work your business does. So it’s no surprise that more and more companies are making the switch from traditional offices, and you shouldn’t delay your trek into the world of flexible workplaces any longer.
Reach out to The Square if you’re ready to take advantage of the benefits of remote work environments. Our flexible workspaces provide a coworking experience that compares to no other, and we are constantly adapting to the needs of the modern worker. Experience our Texas Tower flexible workspace through a virtual tour, or thrive in a downtown Salt Lake City workplace in the Kearns Building.