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 than traditional nine-to-five office jobs. More and more employees are now 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 workspace.
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 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, tend to lack private working environments, and are focused more around community than professionalism.
Flexible workspaces, on the other hand, are just that: flexible. They can easily scale to accommodate growth or scaling back businesses, different team objectives, or varying work styles, giving teams the ability to work where, when, and how they want.
The benefits of flexible workspace
Flexible workspaces combine the best aspects of traditional and coworking spaces, without the drawbacks. Benefits include:
- Agility – With 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, and more. With 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 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, which enables employees to work from the location most convenient for them depending on their plans for the day.
- Cost-effective utilization of space – With 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. You have dynamic options depending on how often you’re in the space, reducing unnecessary spend.
Features to look for in flexible office space
If you’re looking for flex office space, you should 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 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.
If you’re not sure what your team values most in a workspace, consider conducting a brief survey to better understand their needs.
As the world changes and work norms continue to evolve, the spaces where we work should evolve, too.
Flexible workspaces can boost agility, reduce costs, and improve the workplace experience for employees, so it’s no surprise that more and more companies are making the switch from traditional offices.
If you’re looking for maximum workspace flexibility, discover The Square by Hines. Contact us to book a tour.