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    How essential will the flexible office be for businesses after lockdown?

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    It’s safe to say that most people did not expect how affected they would be by the pandemic, both in their personal and professional lives. Practices and beliefs we thought were set in stone are no longer relevant, and everyone is starting to reevaluate the ways we socialise, live and most of all – how we work.

    So what is the future of businesses after lockdown? In this article, we will take a look at the concept of flexible offices and a more forward-thinking way of working.

    Let’s start with…

    What is a flexible working office?
    A flexible office is a workspace that provides the employees with the opportunity to either work from the office or from home. It can also refer to an office space that can be rented for a short period of time – from one month to around five years.

    Flexible office:
    Usually, when renting an office, businesses have to commit for at least five to ten years, which at present is not feasible. Flexible offices allow for company owners and especially startups to operate with more financial tranquility while offering a top-notch environment to their employees.

    Those offices traditionally offer a lot of co-working spaces and facilities such as gyms, break spaces, conference rooms, rooftops, and much more. The best part is that in 9 out of 10 cases, all the upkeep and maintenance is covered by the owner of the building.

    Flexible working options:
    Now, let’s step away from the concept of the flexible office and focus on flexible working. Also known as hybrid working, this model allows employees to organise their work around their lives, and not the other way around. It gives people the opportunity to choose where they feel more productive, and schedule their week in a way that suits their lives best.

    There are many other advantages to both hybrid working and flexible offices, with both concepts becoming even more essential after lockdown is officially over.

    So let us all take a closer look at …

    The benefits of the flexible office and hybrid working in a developing world
    Since the two concepts are quite close and often intertwined, we will list their advantages together.

    No binding contracts:
    Flexible offices can be rented for a very short period of time, most of them starting with only a month. If you’re just starting your own business, it can be very dangerous to bind yourself in a long contract with an office building, so flexible offices might be just the thing you need.

    A great option for company owners that are looking to save money, is having an office with just enough space for their employees, and separately hiring meeting rooms only when they need one. It’s important to mention this because the price often depends on both the location and the facilities included in the space you are hiring. An office with many meeting rooms and break spaces will cost a lot more, than the one without. And the truth is that many startups and smaller companies, will not need a meeting room every week, so it’s a lot cheaper to rent them only when you need to.

    Being up-to-date with the latest working trends:
    The working environment is one of the most fast-changing ones, especially in the past two years. So if companies don’t want to fall behind, they should focus on things that make them flexible.

    Short-term contracts allow businesses to quickly change the way of working and their offices, should they need to. For example, if more employees decide to go remote permanently, there will be no need for huge desk spaces. The employer then can switch to a place with a bigger meeting room or an interactive coworking space. If their business requires a lot of live meeting with potential partners and clients, it would be wise to invest in an office that will supply them with a presentable area.

    Saving money:
    One of the biggest advantages for both flexible offices and the hybrid work model. Employers and employees alike can enjoy financial stability while prioritizing development and innovation rather than rent and travel expenses.

    ● Flexible contracts allow businesses to switch to a cheaper option at any time, without breaching any clauses or having to wait years until they are able to do so.
    ● With most of their employees working remotely either all the time or partially, they will not a big office in order to function properly. This automatically means less money spent on office maintenance and bills.
    ● Businesses can work in a small office that is just enough for the people there and hire meeting rooms only when they need to.
    ● Flexible office owners are more likely to either lower the rent or completely remove it during a full lockdown, so you don’t have to worry about paying for an office that you’re not using.
    ● Employees will spend less money on travel, food, and other expenses connected to working in an office 5 times per week.

    Being inclusive when recruiting new employees
    No longer are employers restricted to hiring people in their region or even country. Remote working culture has grown significantly and hiring managers are becoming less and less sceptical about people working from home.

    Most companies already have an established WFH method, the software they need, and most of all, a way to maintain company culture even if not everyone is at the office.

    It will allow directors to fill their businesses with knowledgeable people, the best in their field, and keep them in the company through strong social and community-based surroundings.

    Being flexible is essential in a post-lockdown world. Business owners will have to pay a lot more attention to both their employees and the constantly changing working environment. Flexible offices and hybrid working conditions can be extremely beneficial to most companies, so take a look at what are the best options and practices for your business, and keep moving forward!

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    Lisa Carter

    All stories by: Lisa Carter