Adaptive Workspaces, Happy Employees: A Look Into Different Kinds Of Flexible Workspaces
Nowadays, as opposed to earlier, much stress is laid upon the form, appeal, and ambience of offices as the very nature of their conception is essential to serving the needs of a business
If there is one phrase synonymous with everything that the modern business age represents, that would be, ‘constant evolution’. Just as businesses and their operation have changed manifold, so has the concept of offices. Gone are the days when offices were simply conceived as mundane spaces whose very ambience was utility-driven and nondescript. Invariably, workspaces failed to inspire and let individuals thrive, and employees would keep casting furtive glances at the clock to see when their ‘shift’ ends. But as Bob Dylan said, ‘the times they are a-changin', and changed they have, and so have the workplaces!
Nowadays, as opposed to earlier, much stress is laid upon the form, appeal, and ambience of offices as the very nature of their conception is essential to serving the needs of a business and the individuals that occupy these spaces. With the advent of the internet and growing digital infrastructure, workplaces are not a necessity to carry out work, so they need to evolve and offer experiences to employees to attract them to their desks every morning.
Considering the scenario, the contemporary business world has witnessed the rise of flexible employee-driven office spaces that seek to derive maximum output by simply focusing on the human aspect of work. The various types of flexible workspace that are available to businesses these days come with their own set of advantages and potential drawbacks. Every business must choose from that which best fulfills its purposes and those of its workforce. The different forms of these fluid workspaces are discussed below:
These provide ample business support sans the physical space, most suitable for small and budding enterprises, home workers, freelancers, and on-field professionals. Virtual offices let you avail of a unique official address and services such as a registered landline phone number, holistic communication services, mail handling, IT infrastructure etc with an optional access to meeting rooms and co-working space as per the demand of the hour. These are by far the most affordable types of new-age office spaces present due to the non-existence of physical desk space but they still impart the trust and credibility that one associate with an established commercial official lease.
The major reasons why virtual offices are so popular amongst young start-ups and business entities is due to the fact that they help build a professional image of a reputation for the business by building trust and confidence amongst its clients while maintaining an atmosphere of prompt communication and business inquiry. They provide extensive support to businesses in a plethora of ways that facilitate its day to day functions, enabling growth and expansion. However, these virtual offices are also prone to certain disadvantages such as its subjection to technological and mechanical constraints. Also, there have been instances when business owners end up losing considerable control over their employees due to the restricted autonomy of the employer.
Business centers are professionally managed and facilitated commercial office spaces that offer a comprehensive all-inclusive business infrastructure that is specifically designed for immediate commencement of company operations. These fully furnished and serviced offices that provide all kinds of office infrastructure and amenities prove to be an ideal choice of setting for businesses. They offer the possibility of initiating operations without the hassles of managing the peripheral yet critical business functions, saving an enormous sum of time and money. Business centers also promote growth and offer immense networking opportunities from the continuous interaction between various companies that lease it.
Yet business centrals come with their own package of problems. Scaling up and down along with interior modification becomes almost impossible due to the uniformity of design and layout. Sharing of essential common facilities such as Parking, conference rooms, washrooms can occasionally lead to conflict. Also, the companies housing the business centre are too dependent on the in-house service provider in case of an emergency or breakdown.
Co-working spaces are a vibrant blend of different businesses and industries that come together in a synthesis of community and creative coexistence through sharing and participation. It creates an active and dynamic network that encourages employers and empowers the employees to collaborate and engage with each other’s ideas. Co-working spaces are driven by passion and goodwill as multiple businesses share a single facility promoting a sense of community amongst themselves. The work is also conducted in a relaxed and amiable manner which soothes the spirits and registers high work creativity and output.
Co-working spaces also have certain disadvantages of their own due to its certain features. There is a lack of privacy often observed in co-working spaces as multiple businesses are part of a single facility. Also, the presence of multiple business entities makes it impossible for them to preserve their individual business brand and culture. A shared workspace also leads to personality conflicts, clash of ideas and general commotion.
With minimum drawbacks and maximum benefits, we move on to the fourth and final frontier of flexible workspaces that are serviced offices. It is a perfect blend of community, locale, and facility that optimally brings together people, places and technology. Picture a plush and private fully equipped official suite within a larger office that is maintained by an onsite staff that caters to every business need whether administrative, HR, hospitality, décor etc so that the company can direct all its resources and energy at its core functions.
Serviced offices give a new lease of life to the phrase ‘value for money’ as businesses are charged only on a per seat occupancy basis yet is offered complete access to all the aforementioned common facilities. The rent too proves to be a fraction of the total cost of a commercial office lease with all the prominence and reputation of an official address at a central location. The stand by support staff and maintenance team lets one escape the trouble of hiring one’s own staff or external services. This results in a substantial reduction in costs and aids specialization of tasks. Serviced offices also provide maximum ease and flexibility when it comes to making changes and modifications in the business infrastructure of the company.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house