One of the most common questions we get asked is how to compare flexible workspace vs conventional office leasing. Deciding how and where you work is unique to every business, employee, and employer. While this renewed perspective on flexible working was already trending and growing, Covid has accelerated its arrival into this new world of work.
While some establish a working from home model, some are looking to blended solutions, while others consider it by department or job role – the potential is endless. The real estate strategy for every business in terms of their office space is now being questioned.
So where do businesses go from here? With so many options, seeking solutions in the market can be overwhelming. Understanding both flexible and conventional office solutions can help any business make the decision as to which could work for them, and that’s the key – the solution should work for you, so you can work on what matters.
One of the first factors people look at when comparing flexible workspace vs conventional is cost. A conventional lease means leasing of the physical space, whereby all set-up and services costs (such as IT, rates and utilities) are separate. There may also be a fee to reinstate the space before returning it at the end of the lease. In a serviced office or flexible workspace your monthly fee is for the rental of the space but includes utilities, rates, on site support teams and additional services that can be customised depending on what you need, and wrapped up into a monthly fee.
Flexibility and Contracts
With a conventional lease, you are contracted for the entire term. In Dublin, Ireland – typically landlords are looking for a minimum of “10 years term certain”. This means, a landlord requires a tenant to sign into a minimum of a 10-year contract with no break options. As a business, if you know your long-term plan on staffing and growth for the next 5-10 years, then a conventional space may be optimal, as you can take space that will accommodate that growth from the outset.
If a company opts for a flexible workspace solution such as coworking or serviced offices, typically contracts are for a period of between 1 month (rolling) and 3 years with most parties opting for an initial 1-year contract to start, which can be renewed thereafter. You also have the ability to trial the product before long-term commitment, with workspace contracts from as little as a day or a week.
For a lot of companies, especially right now, if they don’t know where they are going to be as a business next year, never mind in 10 years’ time, flexibility makes a lot of sense. Equally for companies who are expecting to grow quickly – serviced offices & coworking provide the ability to grow into larger spaces within the building without penalty, meaning they can minimise the amount of space they need to occupy, which transpires into cost savings.