Is Flexible Office Space the Future of Work?

IT Company collaborating at Co-working Desks in Melbourne

As the world’s economy evolves, so too, do its workers. The modern workforce is dominated by freelancers, small companies, and hybrid businesses. 

These workers need a new kind of office space. Something dynamic and flexible that can change to fit every kind of project they work on. 

These are problems that flexible office space is designed to solve. 

More and more businesses are giving up commercial leases and transitioning to the use of flexible office space. Is this design the future of work? Let’s learn more about flexible office space and if it’s right for you. 

What is Flexible Office Space? 

Also called a shared office space or “flexispace,” flexible office space is designed to create dynamic work environments. The workspace flexes and adjusts to accommodate the changing needs of employees and their projects. 

A flexispace consists of all the tools you find in a traditional office such as desks, chairs, computers, phones, and so on. The difference is that they are arranged in a versatile way that can be changed to accommodate workers’ needs. 

For example, one area in a flexible office space can be a group workspace one day, a place to hold meetings or presentations the next, and a project staging area the day after that. The idea is that the workspace changes as the needs of the employees change. 

In the business world, flexible office space is often synonymous with coworking space. Coworking spaces are buildings where several businesses rent desks, offices, and meeting rooms all under the same roof. They are designed to be versatile and change to meet the needs of cohabitation businesses and workers. 

Flexible workspaces have been gaining popularity with freelancers and enterprise companies. By 2022, the number of flexible workspaces available in the world is predicted to double from the 26 thousand that were available in 2017. 

Types of Flexible Office Space 

There are many different kinds of flexible office space available. Understanding what they are will help you pick the right spaces for your needs. 

One popular option is hot desking. Hot desking is when different people use the same desk at different times when they need it. You find an open desk, claim it, and get to work. 

This flexibility is linked to employee innovation and cross-business collaboration. A hot desk will be equipped with everything you need to start working immediately. This includes computers, phones, power outlets, and WiFi. 

Hot desking also gives you access to a facility’s resources. This can include meeting rooms, event spaces, client presentation rooms, and recording studios. A good coworking space will also offer IT services, printing, faxing, janitorial services, kitchen facilities, and more. 

If you’re the kind of person who functions best with assigned seating, dedicated desks might be a better option for you. These come with all the perks and flexibility of hot desking, but you’ll be working in the same space every day. 

These two flexispaces are a great solution to finding office space without the commitment and rigidity of long-term office leases. If you’re a freelancer, entrepreneur, or self-employed, hot desking or dedicated desks at a coworking space is one of the best ways to fight the loneliness of working at home

Some coworking facilities also offer private or shared office space. These options are awesome if you’re working with a small team of employees. You’ll get all the perks of operating in a coworking environment while also enjoying space that is dedicated to your team and its needs. 

Some industry leaders also offer an innovative new option, virtual offices. Virtual office business plans let you use the address of the coworking facility as your business address in marketing literature, business cards, and website. The facility will redirect physical mail to your home address and greet clients on your behalf. 

This solution is perfect for startups. If you’re not ready to commit full-time to hot desking or shared office space, virtual offices give you an extra level of flexibility. And if you need a meeting room or desk once in a while, you can pay for it by the day. 

Good coworking spaces are set up to give the businesses that use them as much flexibility as they need. Being knowledgeable about the different types of flexible office spaces that are out there helps you make an educated decision about which one is right for your needs. 

Flexible Workspace Trends 

It is undeniable that COVID-19 has changed the way we work. Many employees have enjoyed the flexibility afforded by working at home. The work from home model is especially great for disabled employees and workers who need additional accommodations. 

Working from home is here to stay. But it doesn’t come without drawbacks. Many employees report feeling lonely and disconnected from their coworkers. People miss the social aspect of work more than anything else. 

This is one of the biggest reasons that flex spaces are seeing a huge uptick in business. After an initial dip from the beginning of the pandemic, more and more entrepreneurs are choosing shared workspace as restrictions are lifted. 

Flexible office space gives workers the ability to choose when to work from home and when to go into the office. It also makes it easier to maintain social distancing by offering a smaller number of desks available for use. Coworking offices will make sure that they are appropriately spaced out from each other for safety.

Coworking spaces are also great for hybrid meetings. If half of your team is in the office and half is calling in via Zoom or Microsoft Teams, being able to rent a high-tech conference room will make your meeting go so much smoother. 

Flexispaces free you from being tied down to real estate contracts and leases. As our world changes rapidly, your business needs room to grow and adjust. Coworking offices give you that freedom. 

The Future of Work

Flexible office space is the future of work. In a world dominated by startups, small businesses, and freelancers, our workforce needs more flexibility in its daily operations. 

Coworking space is the perfect office solution. Providers make sure that you’ve got all the tools you need to get started right away. This cuts major costs like furnishing a commercial office space and IT setup. 

The best flexible office spaces also come with serious perks. These include kitchen facilities with free refreshments, showers, indoor bike racks, gym lockers, and more. 

The flexispace market was growing even before the pandemic. Now as more businesses take advantage of a hybrid work model that allows employees to work from home and in the office, it’s only getting bigger. 

Hybrid workspaces are also a great way to accommodate disabled workers and workers with children. The extra flexibility gives them the space to balance their work and personal lives and increase productivity. 

Let Your Office Space Work for You

Flexible office space creates a collaborative environment that changes to fit the needs of its workers. It is paving the way for workers to increase both their productivity and quality of life. 

Don’t let yourself get left behind in the office trends of the past. Find coworking spaces in your area and see what they can really do for your business.

Jeremy Ellis
Jeremy Ellis is the co-founder of LaunchPad, Australia's first local multi-site collaborative workspace for future-focused businesses. Together with a close knit team of Australian associates and global partners, we envision the future of work and how we can channel the best of Australian values to impact the world with innovative workspace solutions.
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