People’s lives have been turned upside-down as a result of Covid-19, as the country has been consumed by financial uncertainty and an extreme economic decline. One area that has been hit hard is the commercial property industry, particularly owners of office spaces.
Previously booming offices became empty as millions of people were forced to retreat and work from home. After adjusting to a new working environment at home, people began to see the benefits, and it became clear that the commercial property market needed to prepare for a substantial and long-term shift. Let’s have a look at the major changes in the commercial property market, the role of flexible office spaces in this shift and what the future holds for the industry.
To begin with, working and living in the same space posed a challenge for many people, yet after months of finding a routine, many are now seeing the benefits. People are saving vast amounts of time and money as a result of not facing the morning commute. Workers are getting more rest as there is less of a rush in the morning and they can unwind easier in the evening, as well as substantial amounts of money on petrol. Additionally, having that extra time has done wonders for people’s mental health, as they can utilise it to spend time with their families and focus on their health and wellbeing.
No matter what people’s reasons may be, the common theme is that people are enjoying their new routine and are likely to want to continue it in some form when it is safe for people to go back into offices. Of course, this creates an issue for commercial property management who are dependent on the huge leases paid out by companies solely based in office spaces. The demand for office space on the scale it was before the pandemic is likely to decrease dramatically.
Whilst workers are likely to want to work from home some of the time, it is likely they will also want access to an office space occasionally. This suggests that there will be a shift towards flexible office spaces once the transmission of Covid-19 is under control. This would involve having large office spaces that are shared by multiple companies, containing various different compartments for individual desk work, private meetings, conferences, phone calls or group work. As you’ll find out in a second, there are plenty of benefits for both the staff and the bosses when it comes to flexible office space...
Benefits of Flexible Office Space
Flexible office spaces have plenty of benefits for staff and business owners. Staff are able to access an exciting and vibrant office space when necessary, whilst also benefiting from working at home. Also, many flexible office spaces offer amenities that you wouldn’t usually find in normal offices, such as vibrant interiors, free refreshments and complimentary snacks, additional security, and even free beer after 3pm in some cases. That might be a reason for staff to come into the office!
For business owners, although leases on flexible office spaces aren’t cheap and there are pro’s and con’s, monthly costs of these spaces are usually inclusive of the total cost of occupying the building, something which traditional office spaces don’t always offer. Also, conventional leases can last up to 15 years or more in some cases, whilst most flexible office spaces offer monthly rolling contracts. This flexibility is something that would be extremely appealing to many business owners as they have confidence in the fact that they can adapt to the needs of their business with almost immediate effect.
The commercial property market, and office spaces particularly, have suffered greatly because of the pandemic. Whilst this has been a substantial issue for many commercial property owners, some areas, such as flexible workspaces, will thrive as a result of the permanent changes to how we work. The opportunities that come with flexible workspaces, for both staff and owners, seem to firmly position these environments as the future of office-based working.