COVID-19 SET TO INCREASE ADOPTION OF FLEXIBLE OFFICES AND COWORKING SPACES
COVID-19 has opened the floor for a refreshed look at how organisations interact with office space with the Pandemic set to accelerate the already in-motion transition from traditional commercial office spaces, to flexible office and coworking arrangements. The hangover and subsequent economic downturn of COVID-19 will be the catalyst for conservative decision making for business owners, and in-turn the implementation of risk-averse solutions – namely their office space solutions.
Why? Well, there are three main reasons:
1. Risk mitigation
2. Lease flexibility
3. Space flexibility
Flexible office spaces deliver control back to the organisation by not anchoring them down with long term agreements, making it easier to scale up and down as necessary and mitigate risk through weekly or monthly leasing options.
As organisations gain experience in procuring flexible spaces, and the market shifts – the offerings from flexible workspace providers are evolving. Here at Victory Offices, we are constantly looking at how we can accommodate current and prospective members with niche, tailored offerings. A perfect example of this is our newly created Business Continuity Program, a week to week, person by person arrangement, created specifically to combat the uncertain times of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Victory Offices – Business Continuity Program
- > No Lock-In contract Week by week, or month by month agreement
- > Ready-to-go spaces you could be up and running within 48 hrs
- > Fully furnished workstations
- > IT Infrastructure and Support
- > Business-grade Wi-Fi
- > On-site café
- > Meeting rooms
- > Premium amenities
Looking beyond the Pandemic
As businesses re-emerge and seek to redefine their workspace solutions, the shift toward flexibility will likely be noticeable. From 2015 to 2017, the number of members using flexible offices tripled to 1.7 million globally, with that number expected to rise over 5 million by 2022. Given the current climate and ongoing office accommodation challenges, it would not be unexpected to see uptake increase exponentially.
It’s no secret, coworking and serviced offices have been around for decades; however, this option has often been overlooked by organisations seeking space due to perceptions such as:
- > It is too expensive
- > It is not for the long-term
- > Longer commitments deliver better incentives (i.e. from landlords)
Traditional office lease scenarios are somewhat static The space remains the same, there is no element of expansion or contraction, and any variations require further lease negotiation and it’s associated costs. Sure, the fundamental costs for leasing and maintaining a standalone office are appealing, but what are organisations giving up in return?
Conversely, organisations housed within flexible spaces benefit from that dynamic environment through elasticity of space – the ability to expand and contract during uncertain times. Simple Licence Agreements negate the need for cumbersome leases and the associated delays which may be associated with the procurement of bank guarantees or other documentation.
The ‘gross cost’ element of a coworking or flexible office price gives certainty to a business when considering a workspace.
There is great value and confidence in knowing what a workspace will cost an organisation over a period from a wholistic perspective, instead of having to think with a traditional ‘Rent + outgoings + electricity + cleaning + internet + furniture + telecommunications +++’ perspective.
If 2020 has taught us anything so far it is that during uncertain times there needs to be an element of fluidity in the way in which businesses can fundamentally operate. Questions arise surrounding the agility of an organisation’s workforce, access to spaces across a larger geographical area, and even as to whether permanent office space is needed at all.
One thing is for certain – with risk mitigation possible and now at the forefront of many organisation’s forward thinking strategy, it is unlikely that the value proposition flexible workspaces and coworking present will be overlooked.