What are the reasons behind the increased demand for flex-workspaces?

[] Both, employers, as well as employees, are now expecting a lot more from their office spaces

The concept of the workplace has significantly evolved over the last two decades. From being the all-encompassing 9 to 5 operator, the office is now looked at as a place that offers flexibility, growth and much more. Both, employers and employees, of today are more evolved than their predecessors. Not only are their demands from their work different but they also expect a lot more from its physical manifestation, in terms of the ‘office space’.

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Where do flex-workspaces come into picture?

New age enterprises are looking to save costs and provide flexibility to employees, by moving to managed workspaces. Given the current global scenario, companies do not know the future. Therefore, during such uncertain times, investing in real estate is a fiscal burden that most organisations want to minimise. Traditional offices do not budge on leases, whereas managed workspaces offer the desired flexibility. Flexible workspaces provide a hassle-free work environment. There is no need to show tenant profiles, drawing up pages of lease clauses, partnerships, or management agreements. Instead, relying on the cornerstone of experience-based workspace, flexible spaces evolve according to the company’s demand.

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The many benefits of flex spaces

Businesses are eyeing flexible spaces as the most viable option right now. The road to recovery, post-pandemic, has led to increased demand, especially in young start-ups, channelling funds and diversifying risk away from real estate needs. This also gives them the freedom to scale up and down, depending on their requirements. Working with other fledgling businesses allows start-ups to learn and gain more confidence to do what they think will help them achieve their goals. New-age businesses are also integrating ‘business tech’ as a category. They are, thus, inclined to work with office space providers to support their technological needs, while reducing operational responsibilities.

Flex spaces: Predictions for the near future

We expect that demand will continue to surge in the start-up sector through 2022. Globally, the road to economic growth and recovery has been slow. This has led big MNCs and corporates to acknowledge the need to downsize their corporate offices and move to managed workspaces. This shift allows large enterprises to expand their footprint in their desired demographics. Another major factor that has been observed, for corporates to be interested in flexible workspaces, is the role of freelancers. More and more freelancers are offering their services to corporates at reduced costs and therefore. companies are incorporating them into the system rather than hiring full-time employees.

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Moreover, there is also a pattern of employees hesitating to return to their office cubicles, which is especially seen in MNCs. Employees want to work close to their hometown, rather than move to a different city. If big organisations wish to retain their position, they know they have to hire the brightest minds to work for them but the paradox is that those same people want to work from home. The disconnect between employees’ demand for a flexible working environment and the administration’s appeal to return to work has risen to what news is now calling ‘The Great Resignation’ season.

If this trend continues, we will witness a rise in demand for flexibility worldwide. This community-driven approach has pushed occupiers of every size towards co-working spaces. At this time, corporates are thus, focused on listening to the employees’ demands, who have learned what work-life balance really means for them.

(The writer is managing partner, Incuspaze)

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Category: Lifestyle

Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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