The pandemic has forced us to rethink the way we work.
The familiar setting of conventional commercial lease offices are, at the moment, either empty or functioning at a limited capacity.
Employees have found that working from home has become the ‘new normal’. Meetings have become virtual, and the world of workplaces are connecting online for the most part.
As a result, businesses are dropping their commercial leases and are transitioning to flexible workspaces at a significant rate.
The numbers speak for themselves. More people are working in shared offices right now than ever before. And the trajectory, in light of COVID19, shows these numbers will only grow further in the future.
Many people think that this way of working might be something short term, and once things get back to ‘normal’ things will go back to the way that they used to be.
What if this is the ‘new normal’? What if flexible workspaces are the future?
A study has shown that businesses that have transitioned already, seem to be thriving in a flexible workspace environment. From finding their work more meaningful, gaining more job control, to feeling part of a community, coworking spaces are offering them a place to flourish.
So, is it a short-term situation or are flexible workplaces here to stay?
The latter seems to be more valid. Statistics show that there are more than 50,000 workspaces all over the world right now, and the growth rate is astonishing. At more than 40% increase per year, it’s fair to say that shared workspaces aren’t going anywhere.
Primary reasons why businesses are replacing commercial leases for flexible workspaces:
Work near home – Whether your whole company meet in the same coworking space, or you opt for memberships across various spaces, operating from a flexible workspace can offer a work-near-home solution for employees. Meaning that people will be able to spend less time commuting to attend the office, they could even avoid public transport at all if they are in walking distance, which is ideal during this time. Most workspaces offer flexible membership options, so your employee can switch up their work week between coworking and at home working, giving them a better work-life balance.
Cost – As the UK are facing a double-dip recession at the moment, any money that businesses can save is crucial for them. Coworking spaces are cheaper when it comes to operations than a conventional office space. As everything is taken care of under one bill, you no longer need to worry about the extra running costs on top of your lease agreement.
COVID-19 – The restrictions and economic crash due to the pandemic are significant reasons why businesses are transitioning to the flexible workspace model now more than ever. Data shows that the coworking office market has seen a considerable boost after the pandemic. With their professional atmosphere, affordable rates, and an offering to escape from the kitchen table desk, it’s no wonder that coworking spaces are in demand.
COVID-19 and the future of offices
It seems as though the pandemic has made many business owners and employees realise some glaring shortcomings of conventional workspaces.
Having tried the coworking spaces, companies have come to realise that there is adequate room for creativity and productivity with a work near home model. Post pandemic, many businesses are going to stick with their work from home model, making traditional workplaces redundant.
Flexible workspaces are the future of offices and the ‘new normal’ that will emerge in a post-pandemic world.
Benefits That You Get from Transitioning to A Flexible Workspace
Fewer operations – When you move to a coworking space, you take away a significant number of functions that are otherwise required to run a conventional workplace. With a lot of operations tasks handled, business owners have more time to focus on their team and their work.
Improves your bottom line – A flexible workspace can save you a lot of money as well. Research shows that when you transition to a coworking space, you save 20-30% on costs as compared to a conventional workspace (Voordt, 2004).
More room for growth – Holding a license instead of a lease gives you more flexibility to expand. You can always decrease or increase the space that you require for your employees when you are in a shared office. As you only pay for the space you need, if your team expands, then you can upgrade your membership to increase your space, instead of searching for a new leased office location.
A boost for morale – As coworking spaces base their foundation on collaboration, they easily promote a culture of creativity and productivity. When you can share ideas with your colleagues and listen to what they have to say, you boost your productivity. Studies have shown that flexible workspaces are also better for maintaining a healthy work and life balance which leads to a significant boost in employee morale.
Employee satisfaction – When working in a shared office, flexible hours are often available to suit your business needs. Being able to support your employees with hours that fit their lifestyle will promote employee satisfaction. The environment and culture around you have a significant impact on your ability to perform at work. Research has shown that flexible workspaces lead to higher levels of employee satisfaction, due to their sought after atmosphere of productivity.
The advantages that shared offices and coworking spaces offer over conventional offices are too significant to ignore.
Flexible workspaces are in many ways, the ‘new normal’ and the future of work in general. The pandemic has just catalysed its acceptance.
With all this said, it is no surprise that businesses are replacing commercial leases for flexible workspaces.