What is Flexible Office Space?

Post on July 26, 2023

Flexible office space has been growing as a trend for a while and was given an extra boost by the pandemic. More than 30% of the office space market in the U.S. is expected to be “consumed as flexible space” by 2030, according to research by JLL. 

It’s a trend worth paying attention to. 


What is flexible office space and how is it different from a coworking space?

Everyone has heard of coworking spaces , but what are “flexible office spaces” and how are they different?


Flexible office space provides different areas designed for various ways of working. Rather than having a designated desk, employees can choose where to work at any given time. Each area is equipped with facilities that suit a specific purpose. The whole space is designed to adapt alongside the company's changing objectives.


Coworking spaces are similar in that they also have areas designed for specific purposes that anyone can use at any time. The key difference is that coworking spaces house more than one company and are open to anyone to join. Flexible office space is for the employees of one company only. It’s like the company’s own coworking space.



What is the purpose of a flexible office space?

The main purpose of flexible office space is to boost productivity. That, after all, is why office spaces exist in the first place. 


The other purpose is to maximise the use of space. Space is expensive and cutting down on unused space will do your business a huge favour.


How does flexible office space boost productivity?

Flexible office spaces boost productivity by:


Removing barriers to productivity:

Every new workspace layout is invented to solve the problems of the previous one. An open-plan layout, for example, was designed to reduce silos and hierarchies, and boost collaboration. 


But it has its own issues. Open-plan offices can get noisy, which makes it difficult for some people to focus. And then, after complaints roll in, everyone is instructed to work in silence. This, in turn, makes it difficult for anyone who needs to talk through a task or issue but doesn’t want to disrupt others, and the only meeting room is booked. 


Enter the flexible office space with a designated area for every work need. Quiet areas for concentration. Meeting spaces for collaboration. Private spaces for private conversations. Casual spaces for social time. Comfy spaces for prolonged periods of work. 


Having these options reduces the friction, big or small, that hinders productivity.



Acknowledging that not everyone works the same:

Some people do their best work in a hard chair under strip lights. Others find their creative juices flow most when they are reclined on a beanbag listening to good music with headphones. 


Some people can’t focus with background noise. Others can’t focus without it. 

Some are morning people who run out of steam by 4 pm. Others only make real progress after dinner.

Some people work well from home. Others don’t.


In the past, these differences seemed trivial. Individual preferences were overridden in the name of fixed routines, convenience and cost savings. But recent research has shown that workplace layouts and facilities have a significant impact on mood, mental health, and human behaviour. The key to getting a team to perform better is to acknowledge and accommodate their differences. 


Time and time again, companies have found that when they become more people-centred, turnover rates go down and productivity goes up.


Accommodating space requirements as they change:

Every project involves different tasks. The way to keep the project moving forward with efficiency is to accommodate these changing requirements at each stage. 


For example, the initial meeting requires a group to get together, and then the team works on individual tasks, perhaps collaborating in smaller groups as the project progresses. Rather than all this happening in the same space with multiple projects clashing, flexible spaces allow people to choose the appropriate workstation or area for the task at hand.


A flexible office space design is a good way to ensure everyone has what they need to get things done.



How does a flexible layout maximise the use of space?

Flexible office spaces are much easier to rearrange as and when company objectives change. You can quickly scale it up to fit a growing team or down save costs with an increasingly remote team. You can change the layout with minimal disruption.


A flexible office space is a functional office space. Every square foot has a purpose. Space usage is maximised because every area is designed to be multifunctional: used by a variety of people for a variety of purposes. 


Plus, resources such as office supplies and amenities are centralised and accessible to everyone. 


All this adds up to cost savings.



In today’s competitive environment, every organisation has to adapt at an ever-increasing rate to succeed. When people talk about “adapting”, they are often referring to the organisation’s offering or culture or cost efficiency. But a key component here is space. Space has a significant impact on how quickly an organisation can change its offering and culture and cost efficiencies. 


Read: Hotdesking: Is it Right for your Company?


If you’re ready to transition to a flexible office space, one option is to move your team into a coworking space, where all the flexible spaces are already set up for you. Workbuddy is here to help you find a space that suits your team’s needs, however unique they are. 


Contact us for a free consult at [email protected].

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