They’re known as the ghost desks – workstations that sit silently in the corner of your office, vacant, gathering dust and draining your business of money. And businesses have every right to be spooked. Under-utilised office space is costing billions of euros each year; a punishing legacy of an outdated working culture geared towards fixed hours at a fixed location.
Happily, times are changing. Today’s business owners are recognising the need to think flexibly, re-imagining the world of work to save, but also developing new practices that bring out the very best in their employees.
The way in which office space is consumed is developing fast. Taking space on an as-needed basis makes sense for businesses that no longer want to be locked into long-term fixed and inflexible leases. After all, why pay for an office with 30 desks when only 15 are ever occupied?
Think fast, work smart
Flexible workspace is giving businesses of every size the freedom to act fast and make better decisions. A firm wanting to open a new division or department can do so immediately, secure in the knowledge that essential IT and front-of-house administrative matters are taken care of by the workspace provider. New teams can simply turn-up, plug-in and focus immediately on core tasks, with no wait for leasing negotiations or re-location logistics.
A recent Regus survey of business professionals outlines the importance placed on flexibility. When faced with two similar jobs, nine in ten professionals would select the one offering flexible working and half of respondents agreed they would ‘actively change job’ if one with more flexible working was offered.
Unlike previous generations, workplace flexibility is no longer regarded as a perk – rather, it is expected. By positioning themselves in a more agile fashion, businesses can cast their recruitment net wider – location no longer being a handicap to securing the best employees.
Catch the co-working buzz
Working flexibly does not mean working in isolation. The same Regus survey identified that nearly nine out of ten professionals believe co-working “helps curb loneliness for home-workers”. Co-working is one of the biggest workplace trends of the moment, describing a workspace that is occupied by individuals from a number of different companies and that encourages networking and collaboration.
These environments are specifically created to foster innovation and drive productivity, with employee wellbeing firmly to the fore when it comes to the design of communal areas such as cafes, bars and activity-led breakout areas.
Regus is at the forefront of this trend, with a growing network of over 3,000 locations in 120 countries worldwide. Today, conversations between Regus and business leaders cover the financial benefits of a more flexible workplace approach. But the conversation moves beyond the financial – namely, how to provide the best environment for workers, so that they in turn might provide their best work for you.