Personal Finance

Reasons to ditch your office and consider flexible working spaces

work space

You should ditch that traditional office and get a contract with a flexible office or serviced office instead. PHOTO | SHUTTERSTOCK

Summary

  • With the 2020 work-from-home (WFH) trend among other adjustments in the workplace and consequent consideration of saving on your 2021 budgets, the first thing to go should be the expensive office that is hardly ever fully used.

Whenever individuals have their source of income disrupted, the first expense most people cut back on is how much they spend on rent.

Several people consider moving out of costly/high-end neighborhoods and settle somewhere affordable as they work on getting back on their feet. Today, Covid-19 has wreaked havoc on many businesses’ profits and while many of them set in motion austerity measures to cushion them during this time, the majority of them might still be sitting on their highest expenditure, their office.

With the 2020 work-from-home (WFH) trend among other adjustments in the workplace and consequent consideration of saving on your 2021 budgets, the first thing to go should be the expensive office that is hardly ever fully used. For instance, areas such as receptions are usually designed to hold at least four people at a time but rarely ever accommodate that number, hence you pay for space that is not in use majority of the time.

Here are five reasons why you should ditch that traditional office and get a contract with a flexible office or serviced office instead.

1. Major reduction in office overhead cost

A typical company of six people accommodated in a Grade A or B+ building under a traditional lease would spend a total of Sh420,000 per month (this includes rent, service charge, depreciation on furniture and fit-out, utilities and other office expenses). Opting for a flexible executive private office will bring this down to about Sh210,000 per month.

If you opt to go with a co-working space, the rental expense may get as low as Sh150,000 per month. And while the rental cost decreases, the office quality remains the same or might even get better as some flexible workspaces are of premium standards. Also, such providers offer the flexibility for offices to upgrade and otherwise vary their commitments at short notice, making it ideal to respective dynamic business needs.

2. Improve productivity while improving work-life balance

After the onset of Covid-19, many companies have adopted flexible work routines for their employees, encouraging them to use co-working spaces near them in case they are not able to work from home.

Not only does this boost productivity but also employees achieve a better work-life balance by cutting down the time spent in traffic, reducing the feeling of isolation as well as given them a professional setting to conduct their day-to-day responsibilities.

3. Flexibility to adapt an office to new needs at short notice

Traditional office alternatives have long (rigid) leases, complicated contracts, and make it difficult to increase or reduce capacity. With concierge-level service, premium serviced office operators offer flexible agreements allowing companies to scale their capacity or negotiate the terms of their contract at short notice depending on their requirements.

4. Access to new partnerships and new business opportunities

Flexible workspaces are a melting pot of businesses, ideas, and solutions. Having your team mix and exchange ideas with professionals and executives from different sectors will expand their horizons and give new perspectives. It has even led to new partnerships and business opportunities.

5. Focus your time & capital on your core business for better results

Offices, especially when well-planned and designed, can tie up financial capital in fit-out processes, other improvements, furniture, and equipment. Day-to-day operations of the office may also require periodic attention of senior team members.

By switching to serviced offices, all capital investment and management of the facility are all part of the service. The result of this is that businesses direct more of their capital, and the management team focuses more of its time on the core business/ mission of the respective organisations leading to improved results.

Grace Gicheru, General Manager Workstyle Africa.