How the hub and spoke office model benefits big companies?

COVID-19 is here for some time now, changing life as we know it. One of the reminders of its lingering impact is our daily work routine with many employees still working from home. Here’s how it affects businesses all over the world and why the hub and spoke model might be the way forward for larger businesses.

Flexible workspace at Campus X, Sofia
Flexible workspace at Campus X, Sofia

What’s the hub and spoke office model?

Pioneered in the 1980s, the Hub and Spoke definition initially stems from the airport industry. In its essence, the term refers to flights being sent to a central “hub” destination located between airports, instead of sending half-empty planes straight to smaller “hub and spoke” airports. Thus, the hub airport turned into a connecting location: for example, the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris.

The model expanded to various industries beyond aviation, including property and project management, product logistics, and others. When it comes to models of office work, “hub and spoke” means a more flexible working style as opposed to the traditional headquarter (HQ) model. In other words, businesses don’t rely only on a single main HQ. They allow their employees to work both from the head office and the “hub and spoke” offices, which might be dispersed in different locations throughout the city. A very practical and balanced work model, which can benefit big companies and allow them to ensure the safe return of their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Flexible offices spaces, Campus X, Sofia
Flexible offices spaces, Campus X, Sofia

Why not remote work-only?

While most workers value the chance to have remote work options since the start of the pandemic, 35% say their ability to collaborate and their level of engagement have decreased, according to a recent report by KPMG. Furthermore, 77% of respondents report increased job demands, and nearly half (49%) say their mental health has declined.

The bottom line? Whereas many big companies like Twitter, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft have embraced the WFH shift in times of pandemic, the model must evolve to keep employees sane and productive.

For instance, Google’s internal data measuring productivity during the coronavirus shutdowns has shed light on a worrisome trend: engineers are less productive working from home, especially newly hired ones. Moreover, Netflix’s founder Reed Hastings has also pointed out the lack of interpersonal communication as a major disadvantage from remote work, as quoted by BBC:

“Not being able to get together in person, particularly internationally, is a pure negative.”

The social aspect

Humans are social beings. Stuck at home, many workers suffer from isolation and lack of variety, admitting they miss the personal interaction with their colleagues.

Our first-hand experience at Campus X confirms that. After surveying our members and conversing on what they