May 18, 2021 by Andrea Rajic

Flexible office space: How to choose one for your company

Flexible office space: How to choose one for your company

As distributed work becomes the go-to option for a growing number of companies worldwide, flexible office spaces are top of mind for HR and People operations teams everywhere. With one-size-fits-all solutions slowly going out of the mainstream, companies are trying to encompass different working options for their employees.

For some employees, working outside the office means working from home; for others, coffee shops or remote workspaces. If you’re a People Operations, Workplace, or HR professional looking to accommodate employee needs for flexible workspaces, read on – this guide is for you.

Why Companies Use Flexible Workspaces

As we entered 2022, companies that worked remotely in the past two years had to redefine work models to meet employees' expectations and attitudes towards how they will be allowed to work.

The flexibility that remote work offered to many resulted in better work-life balance, so those who were able to successfully juggle personal and professional tasks now consider whether they want to go back to the office full-time.

With that said, companies of all shapes and sizes are either adopting remote-first or remote-friendly working. They allow employees to choose whether they will continue working full-time from homes or other locations or leverage a hybrid model that enables employees to come to the office a couple of days a week.

Providing Flexibility to Distributed Employees

More and more companies take advantage of location-agnostic hiring to find the most experienced and valuable candidates. Still, these employees expect employers to provide benefits like flexible working.

The core idea behind distributed work is that employees work from various locations. It can be different cities, countries, and even time zones. When team members don't share the same physical office, engaging distributed team members to use remote workspaces eliminates boundaries in terms of where you will look for your next new hire and where they can work.

Level the Playing Field Between Employees in Big Metro Areas and Smaller Towns

One of the challenges of a distributed team is the fear of not being presented with the same opportunities and benefits. Companies offering flexible workspaces send a clear message to current employees and new hires that everyone's work is visible and everyone gets the same benefits and opportunities. This is especially crucial for companies that have offices in big metro areas but want their employees in smaller locations to have a place they can call their office.

Flexible Workspaces Are Cost-Effective

When employees work from various locations, that takes a lot of financial burden off the employers' shoulders as they are not required to pay high rents, spend money on equipment purchases, or maintain the designated workspace.

But it’s not just about cutting costs; it’s about making sure what you spend is something employees will use and love. Managing remote workspace budgets helps you see how much employees are using the workspace benefits and what works best for them. For HR and People teams everywhere, knowing money is well spent and goes towards something employees use and benefit from is a clear sign of a well-executed workplace strategy.

How to Choose Flexible Office Spaces

In the past couple of years, employees' mindsets regarding what they look for in a company have changed. Companies aiming to create an employee-first culture must ensure the organization's mission, vision, and way of working resonate with employees.

In addition, employers who promote open communication are more likely to build a team of motivated and more productive individuals. According to the SalesForce report, over 85% of surveyed executives say ineffective collaboration and communication is a significant cause of failure in business.

How open communication adds to determining the best flexible office spaces for your team:

  • It allows employees to openly share their needs regarding the environment they want to work in
  • Employers have a clear picture of locations employees will work from
  • It helps HR, together with executives and the rest of the team, know what employees need

How remote workspaces tie into company culture

Another major concern of employers managing remote teams is how to build bonds among team members. Aside from the benefits, remote work can bring isolation, which can be an obstacle to effective collaboration.

As Buffer's research shows, loneliness (21%), collaborating or communicating (21%), and distractions (16%) at home are the biggest struggles of remote workers. It may not seem like a significant percentage. Nevertheless, having one-fifth of your team feel isolated may severely affect the overall business.

Enabling employees everywhere to have a dedicated place to work alone or connect with coworkers is essential for building your remote culture. Human connection in distributed teams needs to be intentional and designed with purpose, and for many teams, remote workspaces help build that connection.

Benefits for People Operations and HR teams

The key formula for a prosperous business includes tools, processes, and people. The latter is crucial as today's tech industry is packed with solutions making it straightforward for companies to find the software most suitable for their HR needs.

On the other hand, finding and keeping top talent is challenging. Again, it all comes down to creating a culture that will make you an employer worth considering. HR and PeopleOps play a significant role in it.

In addition, managing, monitoring, and evaluating the effectiveness of flexible workspaces put another layer of complexity to these processes. Fortunately, solutions like Gable help you get insight into how often employees use workspaces, why they come in, and what works best for them.

The integration functions allow you to connect it with your HRIS and SSO for easier management—workspace usage tracking and setting remote workplace budget policies are performed through a single dashboard.

Written By

Andrea Rajic

© 2022 Gable