What do we mean by ‘flexible working space’?
The term ‘flexible working’ relates to employees who want or need to work outside of the traditional 9-5. These include part-time workers and job-shares. A ‘flexible working space’ means much the same thing. It’s an office space that your business uses part of the time, and another business uses for the rest of the time.
Office timeshares are a popular new form of physical office space that can accommodate a hybrid working model. As workers start returning to the office, many are reluctant to give up the flexible work-life balance that they’ve grown accustomed to over the last year. On the other hand, the collaborative nature of the office has been missed, and businesses are keen to get their teams together again. A flexible working space means that you can have the best of both worlds. Your team can split their time between working remotely and the office.
Is a flexible working space right for my team?
Desk-job working models have never been more diverse. Rewind 30 years and employees had to be at their desks, in the office, from 9-5, Monday to Friday. It’s now 2021, and they have spent the last 12 months working in their pyjamas at home.
A flexible working space is an attractive option for employees looking to head back to the office, and organisations need to determine if it’s right for their team. For example, if you feel as though productivity has slipped, or that your company culture has suffered throughout lockdown, then a more permanent solution might be best for your business.
“I think it’s harder to have your finger on the pulse when team members are working remotely. Being in the office is quite beneficial in terms of feeling what the energy is like. It’s about seeing the team, not seeing the specific work that people do.”
Rebecca Kelly – Co-founder and CEO, VenueScanner
With people so dispersed right now, it’s important to gauge what your team’s feelings are about returning to a physical office. There are also financial and organisational factors to consider. Survey your team and assess the benefits to your business. If you don’t know where to start, check out our blog on building a successful part-time working model in 8 easy steps.
What are the other options?
If a flexible working space isn’t going to work for your business, there are other options.
If most of your team is working remotely on a full-time basis, then there is no need for them to have a dedicated desk. If only a small number of your team want to be on-site, then you can get them a smaller private office.
There might be team members who don’t want to work from home, but also can’t make the daily commute into the office. Hot-desking or having a dedicated desk in a co-working space might be the right solution for them. There are hundreds of co-working spaces across the UK, including Runway East in London and Bristol, so it’s likely they will be able to find one not far from their home.
Many companies are tied into lengthy leases for their offices. It’s likely that at least some of your team will want to come back to the office, at least some of the time, so remodelling your old office could be the way forward. With fewer people on-site, your team can spread out more. You can also repurpose old desk space into private meeting rooms and breakout areas.
A flexible working space is a great solution for businesses looking to launch a hybrid working model. How you structure your time in the space will come down to what your team wants, and what is best for your organisation. Survey your team, and find out what they want and need from an office space moving forward. If it turns out that you don’t need an office timeshare, there are still plenty of other flexible working options that will accommodate a hybrid working model.
If you’re interested to know more about our flexible working packages that Runway East can offer, our team will gladly show you around.