Pandemic aside, flexible workspaces have completely changed the way in which we think about offices and how we work.
For small business owners who are just getting started (and may be working all by themselves), using flexible office space means enjoying the same services as large corporations without high overhead costs and long-term leases.
But what exactly is flexible office space?
How do you know it is the right choice for your business?
And how do you go about finding your own?
If you’re ready to take the business world by storm, this post is for you.
Below I give you a quick rundown of flexible workspaces and discuss the top five ways small businesses can benefit from them.
Table of contents:
1. What Is Flexible Office Space?
In today’s dynamic business environment, your business’s workspace requirements are likely to change frequently.
Conventional leases are typically between 3 and 5 years (or even longer in some cases), meaning you get locked in a long-term contract.
Or, if you break your lease, expect to pay your landlord good money in order to cover their financial loss.
Especially if there’s an unforeseen run of low revenue, that can be a huge burden for a small business.
So ask yourself, can you really afford this financial burden and risk?
When you are first starting out, it’s best to keep your overhead costs as low as possible so you can increase profit margins and boost your bottom line.
That’s why you do not want to find yourself trapped in an expensive, long-term commercial lease.
Flexible office space, on the other hand, is just that: flexible.
It is called so because it comes with flexible lease agreements – some flexible offices even provide monthly rolling contracts.
In most cases, the term flexible office space encompasses the following types of workspaces:
- Virtual offices – an affordable set of services that support remote working while maintaining a prestigious business address and positive reputation
- Serviced offices – fully equipped, pay-as-you-use workspaces located in an office building managed by an operator
- Coworking spaces – collaboration hubs that enable workers of different companies to share an office space
- Managed offices – tailored workspaces that are managed and looked after by a third-party operator
- Hot desks – a workplace system where desks are used by different people at different times on a first-come, first-served basis
The facilities that come with a flexible workspace vary from space to space.
However, most of these workspaces typically include office essentials such as equipment, cleaning services, and high-speed Internet, just to name a few.
If you’re wondering what type of flexible workspace can best fit your business, you have to determine the features that matter most to you and your small team.
Some of the features to consider include:
- Transparent agreements with no hidden fees
- Quiet areas that enable you to hold effective meetings while also protecting your privacy
- Shared amenities, such as Wi-Fi, printing, paper shredding, coffee, snacks, and more
- Furniture, equipment, and collaboration tools, such as telephone systems, whiteboards, rolling chairs, and more
- Location and the ability to get a business address to register your business and receive mail and packages
After considering each of the features above, think about how many team members will use the space and how often they will be there.
For example, coworking spaces are great if you and your team need office space to drop in occasionally.
Or, if you operate 100% remotely but still need office space to hold important meetings and give your business a professional appearance, virtual offices are the best alternative to coworking spaces.
Or, if you work out of hours and need somewhere to work at night or during the weekend, it’s best to look for office space that’s accessible 24/7 (such as our rentable meeting rooms).
Once you’ve found a workspace that might fit your business needs, book a tour and be sure to read online reviews before making your final decision (for example, we at B2B HQ are proud to be able to provide you with a 3D virtual tour and a whole page dedicated to customer testimonials).
The benefits of flexible workspaces may not be readily apparent, but when you look beneath the surface of what flexible work arrangements have to offer, you’ll discover perks you will never get with a traditional office.
So let’s take a closer look at the top five ways your small business can benefit from flexible workspaces.
2. 5 Reasons to Choose Flexible Office Spaces
- Plan for uncertainty
During the first year of starting your business, you’ll constantly be faced with the question, “What’s the next step?”.
When you’re just getting started, it’s difficult to predict where you’ll be in a few months – let alone five years.
Setbacks are an inevitable part of an early startup journey, so you probably don’t want to tie yourself to a long-term commercial lease.
Exiting a long-term lease is often difficult and involves high costs – not to mention that long-term leases prevent you from taking advantage of more favourable terms that may arise later.
That’s why flexible office space is the best way to manage the cycle of ups and downs in your business and get a business address in a prime location with little to no risk.
- Scale up quickly
As a startup, your space requirements are likely to change fast.
As your business grows, you’ll face some very confusing forks in the road, such as hiring more employees or staying small.
If you decide to scale up your startup and hire more team members, flexible office space can help you do that with no downtime and without incurring significant costs.
This is because flexible workspaces give you the ability to streamline your office space by only paying for the services you need at the moment – All while giving you the opportunity to add extra services when you need them.
This means you also eliminate the cost of underutilised and empty office space.
- Improve business agility
In today’s business environment, one of the top phrases on the tip of most entrepreneurs’ tongues is business agility.
The business landscape has changed, and it’s time, now more than ever, to create an agile environment where your business can anticipate change and respond to emerging opportunities.
That’s why every business needs an office that accommodates a variety of workstyles and supports a shift away from a fixed desk position.
That can help you create an exciting new environment for your team and support growth by ensuring your business continues to attract top talent.
Being flexible with how, where and when you and your team members can complete tasks gives your business the agility to remain competitive and successful when market conditions change.
- Reduce overhead costs
In this day and age, the cost of finding, leasing, and equipping your own office is huge and can have an enormous impact on your business’s finances.
As a startup or small business, having a short-term rental agreement in place helps you eliminate expenses such as utilities, insurance, maintenance, etc.
That gives you the opportunity to work from a fully equipped workspace at the fraction of the cost of renting a traditional office.
That means your profit margins will be much higher, and those savings can then be pocketed or re-invested.
- Improve employee satisfaction
Attitudes towards employee health and wellbeing have improved significantly in recent years.
This is because employee satisfaction is a significant part of increasing productivity and getting talented employees to stay longer.
For many businesses, it has become obvious that one of the greatest factors that impact employee satisfaction is the working environment.
Positive and flexible working conditions where employees feel valued are one of the best ways to keep your team members happy.
In fact, statistics show that flexible working improves job satisfaction for 58% of workers.
When you value employee wellbeing, the odds of your team members suffering from burnout decrease, which is one of the leading causes of employee turnover.
Conclusion: Flexible office spaces require a lot less commitment than traditional offices.
Rather than signing a lease for 3-5 years, it’s best to choose a monthly rolling contract that enables you to cultivate a truly flexible work environment.
That will make your business more adaptable to the challenges it will inevitably face – especially during the first year.
Here at B2B HQ, we want to help you grow your business while saving large amounts of money on overhead, and we do that by offering premium office space for you to work in. If you’re ready to give flexible office space a try, get your virtual office in Melbourne today and see for yourself how much you can benefit from flexible monthly subscriptions (plus a myriad of other amazing benefits)!