The last year has certainly been a period of great uncertainty for many which has seen companies having to adapt quickly to a global pandemic. For some, there is the option for a mix of office and home, whilst others are working solely from home or the office. All of this creates an element of separation as people learn to manage dispersed teams. With government guidelines changing regularly and often with short notice, companies are having to quickly change their way of working.
What does this mean for the flexible office market?
Previously, many larger companies have opted for a leased space to provide stability but in these uncertain times, occupying a space for 5 or 10 years + suddenly loses its appeal. Even before the pandemic, the last few years have seen a shift in the way we work as more people choose flexible hours and have the option of working from home and as we all strive for a good work-life balance.
Conventional leases require high upfront costs to secure a floor or building. There may be additional costs involved to renovate the space and likely a need to employ contractors and managers to manage ongoing works and maintenance. There is also a lack of flexibility, so a company in a leased space would find it very difficult if they needed to expand or downsize at short notice (something which is certainly a big issue right now).
Serviced, flexible options often provide an all in all-inclusive rate which covers utility bills, business rates, cleaning and maintenance costs plus access to all shared facilities, reception services, and internet. This makes things a lot more fuss-free, passing on responsibilities to the provider so that companies and their teams can focus on the core activities of their business. Terms are flexible and can be two months rolling if needed with discounts offered for a longer commitment. Given flexible space often includes a variety of different options, it’s easy for companies to move to a larger space or downsize if required.
DeskLodge’s options to meet what’s needed
Here at Desklodge, flexible, fun, fuss-free space is what we’ve been perfecting over the last 7 years. Our principles are based on a home away from home with access to our fun and creative break-out areas and meeting rooms, unrivaled coffee, and great community. We’ve created productive environments with spaces to suit your need and purpose and we’ve spent the last year adapting to the uncertain market and creating options that reflect the new way of working.
In addition to our variety of private offices and coworking memberships, we now offer a “Hoffice” package which offers members the ability to rent an office on a part-time basis for 1, 2 or 3 days a week, in combination with full-time access to our hotdesking facilities Monday to Friday. This means that as we all adapt to the new normal, companies can offer their teams the option of combining dedicated office days with home working whilst still offering the ability for the team to use the hotdesking areas on any weekday of their choosing. This is also great for mixed teams of regular and non-regular users by keeping things fair and having the security of knowing that there is always space available, ready for you to get down to work. This is crucial for those moments when life throws an extra spanner in the works and your home internet unexpectedly lets you down, something I’m sure has been one of the biggest bugbears of 2020.
We are also working on how we can create a ‘build your own’ lego style offering as we come out of the lockdown so you can add on things like access to our event space one evening a month for a team social. All of this is in the hope to improve the way people use their workspaces and emphasizes the importance of having a space you can get together for essential collaborative working, making a trip to the office an experience every time and not just a day in the office. Essentially, it’s what going to work feels like, when it doesn’t feel like going to work
It might be some time before we see a big shift from leased to serviced workspaces but we are certainly ready for any upcoming changes and looking forward to opening up our doors to new members, in what’s looking to be a more promising year ahead. If you are looking for a new workspace, you know someone that is looking for a change or would like to arrange a team day out please do get in touch with us to find out more.