In the age of remote work and flexible work arrangements, more and more companies are pausing their big leases and turning to serviced offices. These offices offer a range of benefits, including financial savings and a better employee experience. However, as workplace strategists navigate this new landscape, they need to understand the implications of renting serviced offices versus leasing real estate.
Let's start with the basics: why consider adding co-working spaces in your workplace strategy?
Providing employees with the option to work in an environment that best suits their needs can lead to increased motivation and focus, which in turn can lead to greater productivity and job satisfaction. With flexible office space options, employees have the freedom to choose an environment that works best for them, whether it's a quiet space for focused work or a collaborative environment for brainstorming and idea-sharing.
Co-working spaces can be a valuable asset for companies looking to expand geographically. Think of adding co-working spaces in your workplace strategy in terms of:
- Low starting costs: Co-working spaces can be a cost-effective option for companies looking to expand geographically. Instead of investing in a traditional office lease, which can be expensive and require a long-term commitment, companies can use co-working spaces as a flexible and affordable alternative.
- Scalability: Co-working spaces can provide companies with the flexibility to scale their operations up or down as needed. This is particularly important for companies that are expanding into new markets and may not be sure how quickly they will need to grow.
- Access to new markets: Co-working spaces can provide companies with access to new markets and networks. By working alongside other companies and entrepreneurs in a co-working space, companies can gain valuable insights into local business practices, trends, and opportunities.
- Reduced risk: Expanding geographically can be a risky proposition for companies, particularly those that are new to a market. Co-working spaces can help reduce this risk by providing a low-risk, low-commitment way for companies to establish a presence in a new location.
In addition to the benefits for employees, offering a mix of office space options can also provide cost savings for companies. By optimizing their real estate and reducing the costs associated with traditional office leases, companies can reinvest the savings in other areas of the business, such as employee training and development.
Attract and Retain Talent
Offering a range of office space options can also be an attractive benefit to potential employees and can help to retain existing staff who value flexibility and autonomy in their work. In a competitive job market, companies that offer flexible office space options are more likely to attract and retain top talent.
But what does renting serviced offices versus leasing real estate mean in practice for a workplace strategist? For one thing, it means that workplace strategists need to think more strategically about the types of spatial data they collect and analyze. With a serviced office, workplace strategists need to work closely with the third-party provider to ensure that the space is being used efficiently and effectively. This means collecting data on things like occupancy rates, space utilization, and employee satisfaction, and using that data to make data-driven decisions that improve the employee experience and maximize the return on investment.
So what types of data can help workplace strategists have control in this new landscape? Two words: spatial data. More specifically, one important type of data is occupancy data, which tracks how many people are in the office at any given time. This data can help workplace strategists identify areas of the office that are underutilized or overutilized, and adjust the space accordingly.
Another type of data that can be helpful for workplace strategists is space utilization data, which provides insights into how employees are using different areas of the office. This can include data on which spaces are most frequently used, how long employees spend in each area, and which areas are used for collaboration versus individual work. By collecting and analyzing this data, workplace strategists can make informed decisions about how to optimize the layout of the office or choose different settings, improve the employee experience, and increase productivity.
In conclusion, while the shift to serviced offices offers many benefits for companies and their employees, it also poses new challenges for workplace strategists. By collecting and analyzing the right types of spatial data, workplace strategists can help companies make informed decisions that actually improve employees' experience through flexible options and maximize the return on investment