8 terms to know when considering a flexible space for your business

As the world establishes a new normal, businesses from virtually every industry are revisiting how the office serves them.

Creating permanent workspace mobility has become the next frontier among businesses, propelling the demand for coworking spaces. A trend set for continued growth, coworking enables greater adoption of flexible work patterns – but what exactly are the options available to businesses? How can businesses effectively capitalise on this solution?

In this article, we walk you through all the different terms you need to know when considering a flexible space. Understanding the sharp distinctions between various workspace terminology will mark a great starting point in your endeavour.

1. Flexible workspace

With the recent pandemic revealing the drawbacks of old-fashioned workplaces, flexible workspaces have meteorically grown to become a well-established part of the commercial real estate mix. The term “flexible workspace” itself is a blanket term, and can mean a lot of things – coworking spaces, hot desks, shared office spaces, to point out a few.

As its name suggests, it gives companies the choice of implementing versatile space solutions. While businesses look for risk-averse leasing options that are organic for collaboration, conversation and innovation, the true freedom and mobility that flexible workspaces render stand out. Be it a growing startup or an established enterprise, this model delivers a perspective beyond the cubicle.

2. Coworking

Simply put, “coworking” is an umbrella term that enables the adoption of flexible workspaces through a host of leasing plans. Similar to a gym membership, you pay a monthly fee for access to the amenities. But it’s not only about the infrastructure and resources.

Coworking spaces commonly adopt the popularised open-plan layout, recreating the environment for like-minded individuals to gather for productive work and networking – all without the corporate constraints. Providing the autonomy that is otherwise unattainable in a traditional office setting, coworking sets a new path for melding life and work in a sustainable fashion.

3. Shared office

Shared office spaces typically operate as a hub where individuals from multiple businesses can engage in work. Allowing businesses to utilise areas as small as personal pods to ones as large as suites and conference rooms without cumbersome landlord restrictions, the shared office arrangement is particularly well-suited to the need for scalability and flexibility.

Besides, one of the greatest appeals of the shared office arrangement lies in its financial benefits. Eliminating upfront capital expenditures (CAPEX), deposits and all things in between, you pay for a fraction of the cost that might otherwise incur from solutions like sublet offices and their traditional counterparts.

4. Virtual office

A virtual office refers to a business location in cyberspace. Designed around each business’s ever-changing needs and requirements, it facilitates remote working while still offering the perks of a physical office. These perks include a prestigious business address, a phone line with a dedicated receptionist and mail-handling support, on top of other service infrastructures that are paid for on an as-needed basis.

Owing to the shift in the workforce landscape, this solution is not only popular among startups that are looking to minimise overhead expenses, but also established enterprises with professionals who work from multiple locations.

5. Fully serviced office

As businesses venture into more agile alternatives for office spaces, serviced offices proved to be an effective option in the contemporary world of work. A serviced office (otherwise known as an executive office) is a fully-equipped and furnished suite with all-in-one facility management provided by the office provider.

Having your own four walls within a collaborative space, serviced offices offer a degree of privacy for larger teams that value confidentiality, while still extending full access to shared amenities and other benefits.

6. Hot desk
Hot desking is a scalable month-to-month or long-term membership plan where different groups of employees share workspaces and resources at different times. With hot desking, individuals get to choose from various types of seats to match their style of work – on a couch or by the window; you name it.

Playing the role of a secondary office, this real estate solution is particularly ideal for small teams, freelancers or solopreneurs who need access to an office away from home – all accompanied by the benefits of meeting rooms, internet connectivity, phone booths, among other coworking amenities.

7. Dedicated desk
A dedicated desk gives you the same flexibility as a hot desk, but the distinction lies in having a preferred workstation always ready at a fixed location. For individuals who want a physical ‘go-to’, or a space where they can safely stow away their belongings like computer monitors, dedicated desks meet the cut.

8. Hybrid work model (Core and Flex Model)
As the work-from-home experiment stretches on, employers are starting to see the cracks with remote working. From the lack of interaction and undesired distractions to digital miscommunications and more – it appears that remote working may not be that sustainable after all. In the pursuit of fusing remote and in-office work, an entirely new model – hybrid work – has emerged.

The hybrid work model, also known as the ‘core and flex’ model, comprises a fixed base rent (“core”) as well as a variable rent component (“flex”). The headquarter can function as the former, while a third space (like coworking) serves as the latter. By embracing this formula, you can leverage the full realm of tailor-made solutions covered above – some of which may be a perfect complement to your business needs.

The future of work: Are you prepared?

The market for flex space has grown with businesses of all sizes and industries now embracing its multitude of benefits. Businesses must carefully review factors like location, budget, employee needs and amenities to thrive.

Speak to our team to find the perfect fit or book a 1-week free trial to experience coworking first-hand!