The difference between a flexible office and coworking. And why businesses are increasingly turning to them

Reading time 4 min.

The defining quality of flexible offices is obviously, as the name suggests, their flexibility. On several levels. They allow tenants to pay only for the space they actually need, without the multi-year contracts typically associated with traditional offices. Short-term contracts and the option to resize office space according to current needs gives companies more freedom and greatly lowers the risks they face.

There is a big difference between a flexible office and coworking

Flexible offices are enclosed, private and fully serviced spaces. Only employees of the company renting the office have access to these offices. These offices are pre-fitted with high-quality furniture and technology, allowing businesses to save hundreds of thousands, if not millions, on equipment. Yet they are still free to adapt the interiors to their specific requirements. In any event, the office is ready for them to move in and get to work immediately.

The advantages of flexible offices

Flexible offices offer a range of advantages that can also translate into substantial savings. The CEO of OfficeRnD, for example, estimates that the flexible model can deliver businesses a cost saving of up to 40%. Apart from the obvious upside of paying only for those spots that are actually used, there are other financial benefits. The costs of running the building, such as maintenance, cleaning and reception services, are included in the rental price. This also applies to ICT, so there is no need to spend extra money on purchasing and managing IT infrastructure.

The office space is complemented by meeting rooms. Naturally, employees also have access to coworking and common areas, including relaxation and gaming zones, cafés with barista service, and roof terraces. A flexible office combines the function of a self-contained, lockable business space with a coworking space that is a great place for inspiration, collaboration and community.

A coworking space is available to all members and comes with fully equipped kitchens stocked with great coffee and snacks consisting of fresh fruit and other seasonal goodies. Closable rooms are available for coworking clients when they need privacy for focused work or confidential meetings.

Whether people work in Scott.Weber’s flexible offices or are coworking clients, they are all part of a community for which a wide-ranging activities are organised. These are regular community get-togethers where clients can learn more about each other. These gatherings are always combined with culinary or other experiences. There are also lectures and workshops geared towards professional training or personal development. In addition, our clients can make use of major discounts and promotions that we arrange for them with our partners.

Flexible offices and coworking improve wellbeing and productivity

The interiors are always designed to meet three basic conditions.

First of all, they must be modern and professionally designed; simply beautiful. We want to offer our clients better facilities and greater comfort than they enjoy at home. The goal is for people to like coming to work and to enjoy what they do.

We believe we are doing a good job in that respect. This is borne out not just by client satisfaction, but also by the awards we have won.

Secondly, they must promote productivity. We design and select premium and high-end furniture that enables people to do quality work. Technology also comes into play here. We are constantly innovating to provide our clients with the latest forms of connectivity, including high-security, high-speed internet.

And thirdly, they must foster general wellbeing. This activity is the most complex and is directly related to the previous two. One aspect of wellbeing is physical, offering clients the opportunity to relax. Whether passively – in massage chairs, surrounded by plants on the terrace, or simply having an after-lunch doze – or actively, typically by going for a run, hitting the treadmill or having the chance to enjoy a comprehensive morning or afternoon workout under the guidance of a professional trainer.

We also care about our clients’ social wellbeing, which is why we hold the social events outlined above. These might include brunch, afternoon barbecues or evening events with music and great drinks. The last category of wellbeing that we bring to our clients is mental wellbeing. For us, this means the growth of an individual professionally and, most importantly, mentally. We regularly host workshops and lectures on self-development and mental equilibrium.

A competitive advantage in an overheated labour market

These activities, coupled with flexibility, ensure, among other things, that workers are happier, more loyal and more productive. This is also appealing to employers, as it enables them to focus on their business and makes them a draw for talent and future employees. This is a very strong argument for businesses at a time when there is (and long will be) a dearth of high-quality candidates on the labour market.

Nowadays, no one is surprised to see the traditional office model in crisis, while flexible offices and coworking are flourishing. This model is a workplace revolution that is increasingly being embraced not only by small and medium-sized enterprises, but also by large multinationals.

AUTHOR
Ondřej Hubatka
Head of Marketing ve Scott.Weber Workspace

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