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StepSpace / 18 Jun

How to prepare for a new era of flexible working

Belfast has become one of Europe’s most pioneering tech hubs, showcasing amazing local talent and fresh, ingenious ideas on an almost daily basis. With this wave of high-growth start-ups and innovative entrepreneurs, comes a need for a new, unique style of flexible working spaces that will allow invention and collaboration to rule both in and out of the office environment.

Adapting your style for success

The traditionally rigid 9-5 office environment is no longer the most efficient models for companies to thrive and the advent of a number of flexible working spaces in Belfast has been essential for companies to fulfil the expectations their modern employees hold. From free-flowing open plan design to leading edge amenities now, more than ever, it’s essential for companies to situate themselves in a space that inspire, say goodbye to bland beige walls, and ergonomically unfriendly office chairs and cubicles!

It’s understandable that some employers can be nervous about stepping away from a traditional office environment. Many a successful established company has been caught up in trend cycles and has come out the other side often not much better off. However, in the new digital age, more and more we see the best results coming when organisations embrace change and disrupt the status-quo. Modern office design that incorporates the needs and preferences of staff and breeds flexibility undoubtedly encourages and attitude of creativity that ultimately results in Return on Investment. Healthy, happy staff will feel incentivised to do the best possible work, cooped up drones just watch the clock until hometime.

Staying flexible in your approach

Research, combined with the staggering success of companies like Apple, Google and Facebook continually show that employee/employer relationships are increasingly based on mutual respect and reciprocity. Now, more then ever, employees have high expectations of their organisation, many of which include the ability to work flexibly and remotely. Fulfilling this expectation empowers a company’s people and shows trust in working relationships.

The majority of companies, from established to start-up are finding that removing the shackles of a 9 to 5 desk job means increased productivity for companies and giving staff this option can often makes people appreciate the social aspect of the office all the more having great effect like greater levels of self with and reduced absenteeism. Research by IBM indicated that employees who worked remotely just one day a week were less stressed and more engaged in their work.

Anticipate your growth with a space to scale

A flexible working space should allows businesses to adapt and grow seamlessly within their office space. This is particularly important for fast-scaling start-ups that often begin their journey with a few bodies then hit a rapid growth trajectory and boom… one second you’re perfectly situated, and the next you’re sitting on top of one another!

When a company doesn’t know what size or shape it will be this time next year a short-term lease gives flexibility to change and adapt office space when it is outgrown, without expensive penalties. Short leases, memberships and subscription models are becoming an incredibly popular option; take-up of short term flexible space in the UK’s largest cities outside of London increased from 2% to 7.5% of all leases in 2017. As for London? It remains the global capital for flexible co-working spaces, ahead of New York.

Collaboration is key

Modern, flexible working spaces also use working environments that promote collaboration with the aim of sparking creativity in the workforce. A carefully considered office design allows everyone in a company to communicate easily, building better working relationships and more spontaneous innovation. Whether it’s a communal open plan meeting space, or pods for quieter contemplation, the more opportunities you can provide for flexible working options, the better!

Perhaps most importantly, collaborative spaces make an office a more enjoyable place to work. Break out areas allow time for socialising which is necessary in a creative space. VMware, a leader in cloud infrastructure and virtualization software have earned themselves a name as one of the best places to work because of their relaxed office design that allows you to work out on your lunch break, play games or simply relax as and when you need to.

The future of flexible office space?

The office market is being disrupted by the growing demand for the flexibility so desperately needed by growing, innovative companies and employers won’t ignore ignoring their employees’ desire for a more flexible attitude towards working. Companies realise that if they don’t adapt they can run the risk of stifling employee creativity and motivation, and also limiting their access to the best candidates for new jobs.

When office space is one of the most expensive costs for a business business, it is essential to get it right. StepSpace has been developed to bridge the gap between co-working office space and the traditional city centre office.

Offering and alternative to the traditional five or ten year lease, an ongoing membership at StepSpace not only entitles companies to private office space set around a communal core, but also a range of operational and support services.

StepSpace we are responding to a changing market demand with an offering that provides the best of all worlds for companies who want to concentrate on what matters, namely growing their business.

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