The changing needs of your office when your company grows
Workplace of the Future SMEs are no longer start-ups, and not yet large companies – their workspace needs to adapt and reflect this: consider these five themes...
In the new fast-changing workplace, businesses need to be able to be agile. Embrace flexibility and you will increase productivity, but in order to do that, innovative and high growth SMEs require a specific type of workspace. Having outgrown co-working, they are finding conventional office space doesn’t work for them and are looking for something that will cater to their particular needs.
"Embrace flexibility and you will increase productivity."
There is a need to plug this gap and provide a workspace that is a step-up from highly shared co-working spaces; enabling SMEs to reflect their own brand and culture, whilst supporing them with flexible, all-inclusive agreements. This will, in turn, increase employee satisfaction leading to increased productivity – one of the biggest issues facing British business today.
Five themes need to be kept in mind when creating this new type of workspace, which were not necessarily uppermost in more traditional offices:
The first – and key – requirement is flexibility, because this means that growing SMEs will not have to commit to long rental agreements, but will be able to see their workplace grow and change as they do themselves. A flexible approach with short leases aligns with the planning horizons that SMEs are used to.
The next important quality is personalisation, which involves reflecting the company’s own brand and ethos. This too contributes to employee satisfaction levels as it helps them to relate to their company, becoming a part of its culture. To do this successfully, the company providing the space must take into account the exact nature of the work being done. It is a bespoke service for the client.
Thirdly simplicity; this boils down to making sure the SME knows exactly what its monthly outgoings will be, and so all payments involved in the running of an office, including rent, utilities bills and high speed broadband are wrapped up into one fee. Allowing the SME to forget about day-to-day issues and get on with building up the business.
The fourth concern is, of course, making the office space enhance productivity. This can be as simple as providing fast, resilient WiFi that ensures continuity of business, to promoting wellbeing (e.g. standing desks) to providing the right tyes of spaces to support the way a company works e.g. collaboration spaces vs focus areas. And the office must have the abilty to adapt over time, as any SME will tell you that they have different requirements at different stages of their jouney.
Finally, an understanding of shared space. While SMEs might need most of their own space, there can be some shared facilities, which will help in keeping costs down and cannot be justified as they will not be used all the time. These include board rooms, kitchens, showers, bike storage and dynamic areas where companies can interact.
All of these themes work together to provide a great space that keeps the team happy – which in turn helps them to work.
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