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Flexible Offices: Redefining the 21st Century Workplace

Flexible Offices: Redefining the 21st Century Workplace

With the unpredictability of the current business climate (due in no small part to the unchartered waters of Brexit ahead), flexibility has understandably become a watchword for many organisations. The advantage of flexibility in these ever-changing times is clear: with agility comes the ability to change in response to external influences, which are now especially difficult to forecast.

One of the most meaningful and significant ways that a business can retain its agility – and therefore its adaptability – is by choosing a flexible workspace solution which allows for upsizing or downsizing in line with business requirements. Traditionally the mainstay of smaller companies, flexible space is now becoming an increasingly popular option for larger corporations who want to maintain greater control over their property portfolio, according to a recent report by multinational real estate company Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL).*

The report also revealed that the trend for flexible office space is only set to continue with up to 30% of corporate portfolios expected to be co-working or flexible space by 2030.

In addition to adaptability, flexible space also brings a plethora of other benefits which are highly attractive to larger corporations.

The ‘easy-in, easy-out’ nature of flexible office space is invaluable when organisations are looking to experiment with reaching a new market in a new territory or industry. Flexible office space can be organised speedily – which enables businesses to capitalise on new opportunities promptly – and the space can often be expanded, reduced or cancelled with ease depending on the fortunes of the project. The same features are also useful when teams need to be brought together to work on a specific project for a finite amount of time.

Expenditure can also be greatly reduced when choosing to take flexible office space rather than a traditional leased office. Legal fees and fit-out costs for a traditional office lease should not be underestimated when considering the initial capital outlay, whilst the fluctuating cost of dilapidations during tenancy can prove to be problematic when planning budgets. Flexible licence agreements, on the other hand, do not typically require legal counsel and the associated licence fees are typically fixed for a defined period of time, allowing for cost certainty from month to month. Fit out costs can also be controlled – or even negated depending on requirements – as offices generally have the infrastructure to be occupied immediately.

Furthermore – according to the JLL report – flexible space can even help corporations attract specific talent pools. Flexible workplaces are especially attractive to a younger demographic, as they often present a less traditional corporate office setting. Most flexible workspaces are now high-quality, ‘amenity-rich’ working environments complete with networking calendars, social events and shared breakout areas which promote a sense of community and encourage collaboration. This is an appealing working environment for many, and could certainly be a draw for candidates when deciding where they would like to work.

With the benefits of flexible space self-evident, it is no surprise that the industry is on the rise. To find out more about how flexible space could assist with your business requirements, please call the Arena Team on 01202 862444.

*Source: JLL: 'How flexible space is leading companies to rethink their real estate'

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