Why more and more leading companies (tech and beyond) like IBM, Microsoft, PwC, and others turn to flexible workspaces in 2021?
The COVID-19 pandemic showed us the numerous benefits of flexible workspaces, which combine the best of both worlds - fully office-based and remote working operations (learn more about the latest trends & the future of work).
From cost-effectiveness to a happier and more motivated workforce, flexible office spaces have many advantages for organizations of all sizes and stages. Let’s get started.
First, what’s a flexible workspace?
A flexible workspace is a space, which is operated by a third-party flexible office operator that provides flexible lease terms and a strong focus on the experience of the companies and individuals who use the space.
There are various terms like coworking space, flexible serviced office, flexible office, etc., but the common mission of flex spaces refers to focusing on providing tailor-made and flexible serviced experience at the workspace.
For example, at Campus X we rent flexible serviced workspaces, which come with enterprise-level services and amenities, access to leading experts, and a carefully curated coworking community, among other added benefits.
The flexible and modular offices (private, shared, and other flex options) can easily add or remove space and have fully flexible contract terms (month-to-month or up to 36 months as opposed to 5+ yearlong traditional leases).
So, why do small, medium-sized, and big Fortune 500 companies start to opt for more flexibility in the workspace?
1. Flexible workspaces are cost-effective and agile
“What we’re seeing now is a re-evaluation by organizations of their office strategy,” comments for Business Reporter Paul Salnikow, Founder and CEO of The Executive Centre (TEC), an Asia-based provider of flexible working spaces.
“The current market uncertainty is creating a huge demand for the flexible workspace sector as companies try to manage costs and become less willing to commit to long-term leases.”
Organizations are looking to grow their businesses and teams, but the external circumstances make it hard to predict with absolute certainty, especially if the business is negatively affected by the current health and economic crisis.
"With the global pandemic, more than ever, organizations and businesses were challenged to do an extremely deep dissection of every single ledger item that can be optimized," comments Campus X's Co-Founder and CEO Boyko Iaramov in his thought leadership article on the changing office environment and adds:
"Recognizing the opportunity to continue to operate in excellence, yet not be bound to any limitations and capital investments is as liberating as getting out of an Uber in downtown traffic and not caring where to park or what happens next with your vehicle."
Also, there are different work strategies during the pandemic – some teams may work from the office space, others from home, while a third group can work both from home and from the office a few days a week.
Renting a flexible workspace offers much greater flexibility as businesses can easily add or remove space without additional costs while paying only for what they need at the moment. Thus, organizations can stay agile and scale up or down efficiently and cost-effectively without any overheads. Our modular private offices, for instance, are tailor-made, customer-centric, and fully flexible, and allow companies to grow and customize their workspaces in a way that suits their evolving demands.
2. Flexible offices prioritize safety and remove all the hassle
“A majority (66%) of employees say they are worried about their health and safety when it comes to returning to the workplace,” concludes Envoy’s recent report.
If companies want to facilitate a hybrid work model, they’ll need to make a huge investment in safety measures. Apart from the cost, it would also require a significant time resource to carefully plan and execute all the necessary measures so that your teams can come to the office space with peace of mind.
Flexible serviced office operators take care of all aspects of facility management, including safety so that businesses can focus on their business strategies rather than losing precious time and money for the maintenance of office spaces they are not utilizing.
“At Campus X, we take care of everything – in addition to providing fully serviced and move-in-ready offices, we manage all buildings and facilities, delivering the highest standard of security, maintenance, repairs, as well as safety measures during COVID-19.
Also, the team ensures that everything runs smoothly, and provides fast and reliable support whatever members might need, “comments Neyko Belomachev, Campus X’s Facility Manager with 15 years of experience.
He adds that since the start of the pandemic, the Campus has acted fast and gone far and beyond all global recommendations to implement the highest standard of safety measures – from premium UVC lamps and air purifiers to rigorous cleaning and disinfection, onsite PCR tests, and more.
“As a result, Campus X became the first office space in Bulgaria to be awarded the COVID Shield Certificate by TÜV Austria, which represents the highest level of safety.”
And surveys among our members show that the safety measures we’ve introduced are highly valued and create a work environment, which prioritizes safety and creates peace of mind.
3. Flexibility attracts and retains great talent
As the world opens up to more flexible work models, many employees are considering their next move.
Microsoft’s latest comprehensive research shows that 41 percent of the global workforce is likely to consider leaving their current employer within the next year, with 46 percent planning to make a major pivot or career transition.
Another big survey finds out that 41% of workers say they would be willing to take a job with a lower salary if their company offered a hybrid work model.
Also, 47% of employees say they would likely leave their job if it didn’t offer a hybrid work model once the pandemic ends.
All in all, flexible workspaces and hybrid models of work may be important tools when it comes to attracting and retaining the right talent.
“If HR leaders don’t address these new employee preferences oriented towards safety and flexible work models, they may risk losing their best employees,” according to Envoy’s Founder and CEO Larry Gadea.
4. Flexible work and coworking boost innovation
While the increase in remote work has many advantages, it has also had a negative impact on employee engagement and productivity. JLL’s survey of 7,000 employees concluded that:
66% said they lacked space to be creative and feel inspired
60% said they were not fully engaged at work
50% said their environment does not allow them to work effectively
Furthermore, people who work remote-only lose meaningful connections with their coworkers and this hinders innovative ideas, according to Microsoft’s research into the latest flexible work trends.
One of the most effective ways to counteract this is through flexible and coworking workspaces, which facilitate a safe space for meaningful connection and collaboration between different teams and organizations.
Here at Campus X, we’re big believers in the power of a carefully curated coworking community of fellow innovators who are eager to share know-how and learn from each other.
Our member companies achieve major successes, exchange ideas, and form valuable collaborations.
“I have known the amazing team behind Campus X for a very long time, and joining the Campus was a no-brainer for us.
The most important value is the opportunity to be a part of Sofia's vibrant startup ecosystem and exchange ideas with some of the other leading entrepreneurs and teams located on the Campus.
And we enjoy the great office facilities of course," comments Kosta Jordanov, CEO and Co-Founder of our member company FITE, which recently got acquired in one of the biggest exits for the CEE’s tech ecosystem.
Ready to enjoy the benefits of the flexible workspace?
Some of the best business leaders are embracing extreme flexibility at the workspace to spark innovation, optimize budgets, and retain their best employees. And this is the way forward in today’s world that undergoes major transformations.