Through sheer necessity, we need so much more flexibility now than we did pre-COVID and this is especially true for the working environment.
Flexible workspaces have never been so important
The past two decades have seen a rise in the trend of flexible workspaces. Whether driven by advances in technology, efforts to reduce environmental impact or to improve employee wellbeing, there has been a shift towards work-life balance and working close to home or directly from home formed a big part of this. Of course, cut to 2020 and what was once an optional working arrangement, suddenly became mandatory.
It is safe to say that in January 2020, most employees would have said that occasionally working from home offered convenience when needed; saved commuting costs and afforded parents vital time to be with their children. This is undoubtedly still the case but the enforced and continual nature of having to work from our bedrooms and back offices has presented its own issues, at times causing us to feel isolated and unconnected.
So the return to the office is a hot topic for employees and employers. Most of us are keen to maintain the convenience of working close to home but we’re also eager to once again interact with our colleagues in a safe and socially-distanced way.
Supporting our customers during troubling times
This was certainly the case for our client WMR, which supplies waste and recycling services to businesses in the leisure industry. Based within Needspace? flexible office space at Crawley Business Centre, the company closed its offices during lockdown and we supported their overheads by lowering their rent during this period. When they reopened, they soon realised that they needed more space to better support social distancing and we were able to offer them three alternatives within the same building.
The best of both worlds with work and home
A recent BBC study found that 50 major UK employers had no plans for all employees to return to the office full time. This is a huge step-change and brings with it undoubted concern that this culture shift will put our once bustling cities at risk while also having longer-term impacts on mental health and wellbeing. We need to find a way for employees to prioritise their home life while ensuring that accessible, flexible and safe office space is available to them and, crucially, that they can easily transition between the two. In a post-COVID era, an employer may look for offices to let in London but this search will have a new level of focus on flexible working arrangements and easy, commutable access between home and work.
The big question for us is how our industry can support this culture shift. Flexibility has always been built into our managed office provision at Needspace? and the strategic location of our buildings, the vast majority within the commuter belt of London’s zone two, is a much bigger draw than ever before. So we’re well placed to serve this shift in employment priorities.
Working trends are unlikely to return to pre-pandemic requirements and the provision of high quality, flexible workspace for small, growing businesses in commutable locations is pivotal. Our response at Needspace? is to continue giving businesses everything their employees need to maintain a true work-life balance.
We offer flexible, affordable workspaces in great locations across London and the South East.
14 Chillingworth Road, Islington, London N7 8QJ
St Mark’s Studios is a restored listed building in a highly desirable part of London that has become a hub for tech businesses and start-ups.
City Business Centre, Brighton Road, RH13 5BB
Great value, flexible workspaces in a stunning former Victorian warehouse 5 mins’ walk from the heart of this West Sussex market town.
77 Bastwick Street, Clerkenwell, EC1V 3PS
Situated in the vibrant community of Clerkenwell, our 77 Bastwick Street office space is ideally located for access to the City and to trendy Shoreditch.
227 Shepherd's Bush Road, W6 7AS
Our Hammersmith offices are an attractive and impressive place to work, right in the heart of a buzzing business district.
Crawley Business Centre, Stephenson Way, RH10 1TN
Our offices in Crawley are seven minutes from Three Bridges station offering easy access to both Gatwick and London.
Clapham North Arts Centre, 26-32 Voltaire Rd, London SW4 6DH
Flexible and affordable studios and offices for rent in vibrant Clapham.
Earlsfield Business Centre, 9 Lydden Rd, London, SW18 4LT
Earlsfield Business Centre is a light, airy and lively building offering a mix of office, workshop and studio spaces.
Let us know what you are looking for!
Whether you need a low cost, flexible alternative to leased offices, a project office or room for offsite meetings, we have the space for you.