What is the difference between a flexible work space and a traditional office?

Flexible office space is a flexible alternative to traditional office solutions, affording companies the possibility of implementing versatile space solutions. Flexible workspace is also known as shared office space or flexispace. This type of office space is fitted with basic equipment, like phone lines, desks, and chairs, a setup that allows employees who normally work from home or telecommute to have a physical office for a few hours every week or every month.

Unlike in traditional offices, space allocation in flexible workspaces is not fixed, so business can maximise the benefits of cost and time-efficient solutions, such as hot desking or mobile working. Whereas in traditional offices employees spend most of their working day at their fixed workstation, flexible workspace solutions allow staff to work from alternate locations and to only work from the office when necessary. In some cases, employees from different companies may share a flexible workspace.

Generally speaking, flexible office space gives business owners access to fully equipped office premises without requiring a long-term commitment in terms of lease duration or contract terms.

The length of flexible workspace leases varies and can be extended to suit the needs and requirements of the occupier. Rolling month-to-month contracts are very common and are in fact one of the main advantages of this office space solution. And although the majority of tenants who opt for this solution take up office space for 4-6 months, some extend their contracts for up to 2 years. In addition, the vast majority of office space available under these terms is ready to move in, so tenants who opt for this solution can enjoy a less disruptive transition when moving between different premises. There are some similarities between flexible office space and traditional space. For example, both options require that notice is given before vacating the premises, although flexible office leases often require a shorter notice period (for example 4 weeks). Deposits are required for both types of office space, as well as insurance. Lastly, and just like traditional office space, flexible offices may be furnished or unfurnished.

Flexible office space is also known as temporary work space. Traditional leases cannot always accommodate the needs of businesses through every stage of their development. For instance, some companies may need to take up additional office space during a particularly busy period, but cannot commit to a long-term lease. Other firms may need to vacate their current premises while they look for more suitable long-term space. Start-ups may want to rent office space on a temporary basis before committing to a specific location. In cases like these, flexible office space is an ideal solution, as it provides the kind of flexibility that traditional office space cannot offer.

There are other reasons why flexible office space may appeal to some business owners. Reduced overheads are one of the most commonly cited advantages of flexible workspace. Generally speaking, flexible offices are cheaper than their traditional counterparts, since most providers include all expenses in one fixed monthly fee. Rental rates may include parking, water, electricity, heating, business rates, and other utilities, and many providers also offer the possibility of adding other extras such as business storage space or visitor parking space. Fixed monthly costs make financial planning easier and allow companies to manage their budget more accurately, helping them reduce their overheads. Last but not least, business owners have the option of renting serviced or managed flexible offices without having to worry about hiring a new staff member to man reception areas or to do admin work.

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