Tips for Choosing the Right Workspace for Your Company
As the workplace rapidly evolves – from digital advancements to dispersed teams – the traditional office evolves as well. While the COVID-19 pandemic quickly changed the workplace, forcing many companies to transition to a remote work environment, it was only a matter of time before companies began to reevaluate their office spaces and determine the best solution for their business.
Choosing the right workspace for a company is critical, as it can have a ripple effect across the business and its employees, driving productivity, culture and overall performance. As businesses embark on their quest of finding the right workspace, particularly during tumultuous economic times, there are a few important aspects to consider.
Resources and Stability
When considering the different types of workspaces, businesses should evaluate their resources and business stability before determining the best solution for the company. For example, permanent office spaces often utilize long-term lease agreements, traditionally around five years, which require companies to plan ahead both for costs and for scalability. Companies must ensure they will have the financial resources to support a permanent office over the long-term period and that the office can accommodate potential future growth during that period. This level of planning can be challenging for newer companies or startups, particularly during tumultuous economic times. It also presents challenges for enterprise companies that expect to scale quickly and may require larger or more dynamic spaces as part of that growth.
Coworking spaces, like those from companies such as Wework and Industrious, are another office option. Not to be confused with flex space, coworking spaces are branded workspaces that accommodate several companies within a condensed floor plan with shared amenities. While coworking spaces can save company resources by providing smaller and cheaper office spaces and shared amenities, these workspaces typically cost more per square foot and also often utilize long-term lease agreements, requiring companies to still evaluate their resources and scalability.
For companies in search of more flexible options that match their current resources, flex space can be a strong solution. Flex space is commercial office space that is leased for shorter time periods, such as three months, allowing for a more flexible use of the space based on the specific needs of the company. For companies with limited resources or unlimited potential to scale, flex space can offer the traditional office environment without shared amenities and without straining valuable company resources. Companies can maintain the benefits of a permanent office space, such as location, reputation and more, but only sign a short-term lease agreement that can be reevaluated as they grow and expand.
Employee Needs and Sentiment
Employee needs and sentiment vary across company, industry, location and more. According to Pew Research Center, 61 percent of workers that choose to go into a workplace cite preference and productivity as their reasons. CBRE’s recent Workforce Sentiment Survey found that 40 percent of those surveyed indicated that they would consider working from an office closer to their home one to two days a week if available.
With employee preferences requiring different workplace dynamics and settings, it’s important for companies to evaluate what their workforce specifically needs and what office solutions can meet those needs. Research shows that employees that consider themselves “happy” are up to 20 percent more productive than unhappy employees. Choosing the office space that best meets employee needs can not only impact employee happiness, but also productivity, performance and the company’s bottom line.
Companies that recognize their employees are happiest and most productive in an office at all times should consider permanent office space as a solution. If employees are more interested in or need a more flexible work environment, coworking or flex space could be valuable solutions to meet those needs, while preserving company resources.
From printers and copiers to refrigerators and Wi-Fi, amenities are an important, and sometimes costly, aspect of the workplace. In a permanent office space, companies will typically be required to supply most of their amenities, adding additional costs to the office. As part of the more flexible models, coworking and flex spaces provide an opportunity to cut back on those costs. In coworking environments, amenities such as furniture, appliances, technology and more are shared by multiple companies at a reduced cost, while flex spaces typically build these amenities into the lease agreement or provide partners for renting amenities as they are needed. As part of determining the best office solution, companies should evaluate what amenities will be needed at the office and the associated costs of those amenities before making a decision.
The new era of the workplace is only beginning and companies now have a variety of options to choose from when it comes to office spaces. Before settling on a traditional office environment, it’s critical that business leaders consider the resources they have to leverage, the needs of their workforce and specific office amenities. With the number of options available and growing in the marketplace, it’s the perfect time to evaluate and uncover the solution that meets their ever-evolving needs.
Written by David Menaged.
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