Same Workplace, Different Workspace
Now that the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation is conducting a public consultation to inform the delivery of guidance on remote working for both employers and employees and with some of our restrictions being eased albeit it will be the 10th of August now before the country Is fully reopened, we, at Glandore are seeing a number of positive enquiries coming in from indigenous and foreign businesses that want to downsize their property footprint in Dublin, Cork and Belfast. This may not be music to a lot of commercial landlords ears but for operators in the serviced office industry it bodes well. It is a relatively small industry in Ireland with a number of key players all working to make Ireland as attractive a prospect as possible to indigenous and foreign businesses alike.
With the overall productivity and output of employees across the island of Ireland improving across the board over the past number of months we are seeing that a lot of companies are seriously reconsidering the amount of capital that is being put into rent on an annual basis for larger properties with their brand name on the front door. Remote working works, but companies also need to be able to create a culture for employees to buy in to, the importance of the office environment cannot be overlooked… So how do they do that without eating into their profits due to high rents? Go serviced!
The terms on licence agreements for serviced offices are and can be a lot shorter than those of traditional leases and that in turn, frees up capital for companies to invest in their products and employees. As one of the larger serviced office providers in Ireland we understand the importance of office culture but we also understand the importance of flexibility, something that businesses and their employees now want and need more than ever. Some businesses that may have been traditionally inflexible have had to adapt and adapt quickly due to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, their ‘new-normal’ is now to be flexible and to provide their employees with the support to do so…
Downsizing Your Space
Downsizing office space does not mean downsizing your company. In fact, it is quite the opposite. It will allow some, not all, companies to expand that bit quicker. Serviced office spaces can be set up in a way that allows a company to have a base, a HQ, a home and create a culture that those that are working remotely can tap in to, but can also be apart from, where necessary.
To give employees the option is the key, have enough space that those that want a desk in an office can have it, but for those that do not need it, the company does not have to spend the money on it, instead, they can invest a small amount to help their staff member get set up at home. The future of work is flexible, companies will have to accommodate for the lack of childcare, the risk of a commute on public transport, the risk of another pandemic and the even grimmer risk of another economic crash. The safety of serviced offices is that companies can sign up for 6 months, 12 months, 18 months or more and at the end of said terms they can extend, renegotiate, scale up or scale down based on the needs of their business and the ever changing economic landscape.
It’s a no brainer for the new normal. Less risk and all the advantages. Our own experience as a serviced office provider over the past 20 years has taught us that company culture is key, both for our own staff but more importantly for the companies that we house. Employees, and people, need to feel a part of something, especially in the workplace, after all, we spend the majority of our daily lives in the office so it is important that positive and motivating culture is ever present. It can prove very hard to do that remotely so why not have the best of both worlds, the ideal work-life balance.
The Future is Serviced!
Getting back to the idea of office space, what we are seeing is that there is a significant amount of office space being made available on the ‘grey market’, where business owners and tenants are deciding to try and exit some or all of their current accommodations, following a reassessment of their business needs in light of the pandemic and the current economic climate. With remote working having proved effective for most businesses in Ireland, so many of them will be announcing to their staff that they are ‘remote first’, but, as mentioned above, they will have a need for smaller spaces which their employees can use on a first come first serve or pre-book basis. All the culture without the traditional costs. The future is serviced and it is a win-win. For us, and for other providers, it is now more important than ever that we focus on the actual services provided as well as the bricks and mortar and that we ensure that all businesses and their employees are coming into a safe workspace, the same workplace but in a different work-space.
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