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How Flexible Workspaces Boost Employee Retention: the Surprising Benefits of Work-Life Balance

Blox Social
Posted on
Mar 27, 2023

Remote working, work-from-home, tele commutation – while we all heard a lot about these terms before 2020, most organisations did not offer any meaningful positions or opportunities for professionals to avail of these. Some organisational policies made it possible to take these up as part of short-term assignments or post-childbirth or on health grounds, but by and large, office spaces ruled the roost. With the onset of the pandemic and the consequent emphasis on social distancing, however, remote working and hybrid working systems are more the norm than the exception. This gave rise to co-working spaces and flexible workspaces. Let us take a look at these to understand how they can be a great employee retention tool and how as a real estate investor, you can make good by investing in them.

What are flexible workspaces?

  • A regular office space is owned or rented by the organisation or corporation you work for. Each department has a designated floor or part of the floor, and each employee has a specified desk. The services like copy machines, cafeteria etc., have a particular space, and this remains unchanged over a long period of time. A flexible workspace makes it possible to optimise the resources by offering the desk or the workspace to anyone who needs it at the time. There can be several different types of flexible workspaces. Here are some –
  • Hot desking facilities – This is an office space that is owned or leased by the corporation, but the desks of employees are not fixed. Employees find available desks and use them for the day or hours they need them and pack away all their belongings at the end of their shift. The desk allocation, in this case, is usually done on a first-come-first-served basis.
  • Desk reservation or hoteling – In this set-up, an employee can choose days or periods of time when they will be working from the office space and can request to reserve a desk. A department as a whole may reserve a space for the duration of a project and then go back to remote working when their reservation ends.
  • Co-working spaces – In this type of flexible workspace, the organisation or corporation does not own the office space, but the employee chooses a co-working space that offers all the resources that a regular office would. These are commercial spaces that are privately owned and offer a desk to any employee, entrepreneur, freelancer, or anyone who wants a professional office environment. They offer infrastructural support such as IT support, printing, copying, internet, food and beverage, and conferencing facilities and sometimes allow the customers to use their address to receive official mail as well. Employees of organisations can reserve a co-working space near their homes and be reimbursed by their employers.

What are the advantages of using flexible workspaces?

  • Advantages to the employees

  1. Optimising productivity – Using a flexible workspace allows employees to choose their own hours and resources depending on the project they are working on. It allows teams to choose hours suitable to clients in case of overseas networking. A change of setting also allows the creative juices to flow and employees to claim the resources they need without sharing.
  2. Minimising expenditure – Travel, commute, and time lost in traffic take a massive toll on employees' time, money, and work-life balance. Flexible workspaces and co-working arrangements offer employees multiple options for a professional environment and resources without the associated expenditure.
  3. Work-life balance – Most organisations and corporations have offices in major cities like Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore. The time and effort required to commute in these cities, the high demand and the low housing availability make employees opt to live in the suburbs. Employees can enjoy a rich and fulfilling work-life balance by availing of flexible work environments.

Advantages to the organisation 

  1. Optimising resources – Flexible workspaces offer organisations an unprecedented advantage, allowing them to maximise available space, energy, and resources. Organisations can now function in a leaner, more efficient capacity.
  2. Employee retention – Offering distance and flexible working options is a great employee retention tool. It shows employees that their employers value their skills but also care about enriching their lives. By making this new hybrid work model a part of the work culture, organisations offer employees more time, money, and well-being.

Owning a commercial space

This is indeed the best time to own a commercial space that can be used as a co-working space. The awareness of flexible working is at an all-time high, and businesses and employees are discovering the joys of flexibility. Working from home has its own downside, as most cannot dedicate a professional space for work. It is highly likely that the demand for these co-working spaces and hybrid offices is only just taking off. As a prospective real estate investor, it is a good idea to research the ideal location and service delivery needs of these offices before you invest.