The Rise of The Rented Office SpacePaul
The pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on working culture – traditional office life looks set to become a thing of the past for many companies. For the last year, employees around the world have been forced to work from their homes, connecting with their customers and colleagues using nothing but a computer, phone and video conferencing apps.
Greater freedom and flexibility
Companies that have previously invested significant money into dedicated office spaces are now seeing the benefits of remote working: greater freedom, increased flexibility and a better work/life balance. Just this week, Salesforce – which recently spent more than $1bn launching Salesforce Towers in San Francisco – and music company Spotify announced new “work from anywhere” policies that will enable their employees to choose a working arrangement that suits them.
The Need for Interaction
While the benefits of remote working are clear, there are also many reasons why people still crave the office environment. Working alone at home for long periods of time can feel isolating, demotivating and anti-social to some. Many people’s homes just aren’t equipped to enable them to do their best work, and many people miss that face to face interaction that the office environment brings.
The solution is finding a healthy balance between the two ideals: a work set-up that offers freedom and flexibility while letting people benefit from physical environments and in-person relationships. Enter flexible office rentals – arrangements that can allow companies to rent parts of a building, rent office space on a part-time basis, or share a rented space with other businesses. Flexible rental agreements are soaring in popularity.
Shorter Leases, Shorter Rentals
There will inevitably be a decreased demand for long-term, rigid office occupation. The future is uncertain, and many companies want the flexibility to change their arrangement if they need to. Some businesses will also have been inspired by the new remote working culture and will want the freedom to change their working policy when they are ready. For these reasons, office rentals are likely to come with shorter lease terms to attract occupancy.
Before the pandemic, there was already a growing trend for businesses to shrink their office spaces. With remote working becoming increasingly popular as well, many were seeing this as an opportunity to cut real estate and running costs. The pandemic accelerated this, and now companies around the world are shrinking their spaces to enable more of their workers to operate remotely.
At the start of this year, Texan travel technology company Sabre sold two out of four of its headquarter buildings. The company cited a change in office culture as its reasons for wanting to downsize its campus.
Companies like Salesforce, Spotify and Sabre are likely to offer their remaining office space to their employees on a part-time, rotating basis. This will enable staff to conduct meetings there that are not as effective over video calls – such as leadership events, customer meetings and training sessions – while keeping office running costs much lower.
The Rise in Safe Spaces
Of course, health and safety are now of paramount concern to anyone thinking of returning to work. In the UK, this is even more prevalent, as we grapple with the effects of the latest, more contagious strain.
When the environment starts to return to normal, safety will be a key feature for companies looking for a newly rented office space. Innovative office spaces like Biz-Hub are focusing on providing a safe and reassuring environment for employees. With a range of contemporary offices in Northern England, these flexible serviced offices provide high-quality amenities, spacious layouts and a range of features designed to protect against COVID-19.
Enhanced Layouts and Amenities
As a result of the pandemic, companies now have an increased focus on saving running costs and on enhancing the work experience for their staff. Therefore, amenities are likely to become an increased focus. Employees that have got used to the comfort and safety of working from home will want to feel assured and motivated to come to the office again.
Offices that are outside of busy towns will become more popular, as people shy away from commuting via public transport. Facilities and extras will also rise in popularity; attractive creative spaces, clean modern kitchens, socially distanced layouts and freebies like meals and free drinks will become even more relevant in a post-pandemic world. New experiences will also be key; people will be keen to try different ways of working.
In conclusion, the rented office space is likely to have changed forever. And, as a result, companies should be looking for safe, flexible and innovative office agreements to suit evolved employee needs.