Workplace flexibility isn’t a new concept, but it has taken a long time to catch on. Take remote work: personal computers were introduced to society in 1975, and the Internet was created in 1987, laying the foundation for modern remote working.
In 2014, the Government provided all UK workers with the legal right to ask their employer for flexible work. Despite this being a relatively simple idea, until recently, many employers were still reluctant to allow employees the simple flexibility of working from home.
But the COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it a change of tack. Companies have no choice but to operate in new and unforeseen ways, and now more than ever, it’s crucial to embrace more flexibility for your business.
Moving beyond the workforce, the space in which a company operates requires a degree of freedom also. Flexible workspace made up 35% of commercial property transactions in the year up to September 2019 - a number likely to rise in 2020 and beyond.
It’s a pertinent approach for businesses that expect significant growth or downsizing, which can happen suddenly and regularly. Flexible workspace providers typically allow a company more wiggle room, arming employers with the benefits and freedom that come with flexible space.
Flexibility applies to not only the length of rental but also with the space itself. If you want an office off-the-shelf, there’s a space for that. Or if you decide to make the space your own, decorate it bubblegum-pink, arrange your own fruit-themed furniture and stuff it with ping pong tables and bean bags, there’s a space for that too.
Many companies opt for flexible spaces due to the simpler terms and conditions over your average commercial property leases. With the competitive nature of the market and the fast-paced lifestyle, flexible providers are fully-equipped with licences that cut the jargon and get down to business.
Whether you’re a business requiring a long-term rental or the freedom of a shorter licence, flexible spaces have you covered. You can trial a space on a short-term contract, then take out a longer rental if it’s the place for you. A business is free to grow at its own pace with a stress-free let agreement.
Typically, flexible space allows you to move offices, locations and space-types freely within the same company group. That means that as your business changes, your space can change and even relocate with it, so no matter where the work takes you, your property evolves along with it.
If COVID-19 has proved anything to businesses so far, it’s that being locked into a long-term lease during times of instability can result in financial difficulty. With little room to manoeuvre and learning that the hard way, rigid lease agreements in the future may well become a sign of a bygone era.
Adaptability is paramount for any business now, not just the start-ups - and for companies to be able to grow or shrink, they need the space that allows them to and supports them in doing that.
Companies are looking for flexible opportunities more and more - and flexible space could be a saving grace for forward-thinking businesses.