In order to succeed in an increasingly competitive market, and in the face of wider economic uncertainty, businesses need tools that allow them to react as well as attract increasingly sought-after talent. The pace at which businesses grow, shrink and adapt is accelerating, but for many years property that businesses occupy has not been so adaptable.
Grow, shrink, adapt
As businesses evolve, flexible workspaces can offer an effective means of responding to change. Rather than committing to the restrictions of a conventional lease length, a 12- or 24-month agreement offers a flexible solution that can be scaled to accommodate growth, allowing quick responses to all business conditions, both positive and negative. Turn-key solutions mean that a business can move office with minimal disruption. If the need arises to scale back operations, you can easily do so; or even if you need to expand a team because business is booming! Property does not have to be a constraint on growth as a business evolves.
A smart use of space can also allow a business to be cost effective. For example, occupying a smaller office but utilising the building’s premium business lounges, meeting rooms and collaborative break-out areas means that a business can extract maximum value from its workspace – more than a standard office environment would provide.
Additionally, growth may not always be possible in the current building. By selecting a provider that offers a cluster portfolio, a business has workspaces nearby should it need to significantly upscale or downsize. This means that it can maintain a highly sought-after postcode, attractive to clients, recruits and investors, whilst employees’ commutes are not disrupted.
Within the workspace market, there has been a lot of change in recent years and so, when selecting an office provider, businesses should choose with care. Consider those that own their own real estate and have a track record of stability.
Varied environments attract talent
The edges to be sought over competitors are becoming smaller and offering a premium workspace that provides a varied environment may support businesses in the ‘war for talent’ – whether they are hiring a promising graduate or senior manager.
More and more employees expect desirable environments, including breakout areas, business lounges and private phone booths; all of which create dynamic spaces so employees can work where they feel most productive on a specific task. Creativity can be encouraged by booking a meeting room and moving the collaboration process to a new environment, which also preserves the quiet of a main office for employees that need it.
Also, high-quality meeting spaces are important. By hosting client meetings in impressive meeting rooms or premium lounges, businesses can strengthen their brand image and their clients’ perception of them.
The work-life balance is also rising steadily up the agenda for job-hunters. Given that 83% of employees would turn down a job if it didn’t offer flexible options, flexibility may prove an increasingly important tool for securing talent. By offering employees the option to work from a location that reduces their commute, they can spend less time on the tube and more time with family and friends. The productivity benefits of boosted employee wellness are well-documented!
Employees still need the traditional drivers of financial reward and career progression, however the space in which they work, and their ability to have control over where that is located, are important. Some businesses may currently offer flexible working as just a ‘bolt-on’, but in the years to come a committed approach to this way of work may be key for attracting the necessary talent.
Conclusion: Futureproof with flexibility
Businesses may want to consider maximising flexible and premium workspaces to both support their growth and create an inspiring workplace to futureproof their talent pipeline. Real estate is no longer just about bricks and mortar, foundations and four walls – it does not have to hold a business back but can in fact play a part in helping it succeed.