While a majority of companies remain attached to the ‘classic’ workplace model, the health crisis confirms and accelerates a trend that was already underway: there is room for less fixed solutions that are better adapted to strategic issues, but also to employees’ expectations. Smile@Work looks at the (decisive) advantages of flexible offices.
1. A pragmatic response to the demand for flexibility and agility
To cope with the pandemic and its HR and business consequences, companies have deployed a wealth of reactivity, inventiveness, and adaptability. A sense of innovation is essential if they are to emerge from the crisis on top, carry out the necessary transformations and return to sustainable performance. Flexible offices support these changes by meeting various objectives: promoting project mode, decompartmentalising departments, adapting to changes in the workforce – particularly for fast-growing start-ups, which are very active in the war for talent.
Indeed, this agile positioning has everything to seduce employees. According to an international study conducted by the Avaya group, by the beginning of 2021, almost half of the French population would like to adopt a hybrid work model. The ideal solution? Split your working time between the office, home and a third location.
2. Multi-location workspaces, closer to where employees live
According to “pre-Covid” statistics, the average commute time from home to work is 30 minutes – with a peak in the Île-de-France region of 44 minutes. Several studies confirm that this issue is one of the main reasons why employees continue to telework after the crisis. The company can thus meet the expectations of its employees by adopting a hybrid model, offering more flexibility to organise itself and, ultimately, gain time for personal and family life.
Flexible workspaces offer concrete answers to this need: by further disconnecting the living space from the office, the employer opens the way to more open recruitment. Instead of targeting only one geographical area, it is possible to address candidates more easily on the whole territory.
3. Coworking, private or shared office, meeting space… Why choose?
Not all activities lend themselves to the same type of workplace: one may need calm and concentration to finalise a file; one may need to make the most of the time between two client meetings by accessing a workspace; or one may need to work with several people on a project. It is therefore in the interest of employees to have a variety of places to work, in line with the variety of tasks.
According to a recent study by ANDRH, “Building tomorrow together“, improving the quality of life at work will be the number one issue for HRDs in the second half of 2021. By offering numerous spaces and services, the introduction of flexible offices can contribute to this. Another decisive advantage is that, in this period of health crisis and its attendant barriers, modular and customisable spaces make it possible to manage health constraints as effectively as possible.
4. Valuable expenditure control in uncertain times
With the current uncertainties about the economic outlook, combined with the growth of teleworking in recent months, more than ever companies are looking to limit their expenses. The use of flexible space is a way to meet this critical challenge: the company has the flexibility to choose the right space for its needs, the frequency of use (full time, part time) and the number of workstations required. A model capable of satisfying the expectations of its employees, while avoiding high investment costs. Flexible offices can be rented for short, renewable periods, far from the strict constraints of traditional 3-6-9 leases.
5. Delegated or even augmented services to enhance the user experience
Water and electricity, maintenance of the premises, management of the IT equipment, etc. In “classic” commercial real estate, the ancillary costs are significant, while the problems linked to the building must be managed by general services. These are all budget items that quickly add up, not to mention unforeseen expenses to cover unforeseen events (flooding, break-ins, cyber-attacks, etc.)
By using flexible workspaces, the company avoids any financial surprises and delegates the entire management to a service provider – saving time and money so that it can focus on its core business! In addition, the services can include services that are appreciated by employees: networking events, social events, gym memberships, etc. These are other advantages that are far from negligible in terms of employer image.
And dedicated teams are on hand daily to make life easier for users: administrative assistance, IT support, help with preparing meetings and events, mail and parcel management, personalised reception of calls in your company’s name, etc.
So many services that make all the difference!