Curious about what flexible office options actually look like?
First, an overview of what they offer for the corporate user (for individuals to small teams - more on larger groups below).
- A turn-key office solution that can support an individual as well as small teams. Corporate employees can get out of the house without having to worry about an office manager, setting up Internet service, how to get good office coffee, etc.
- Private networks: If a flexible workspace offers private or team offices/suites, they can often provide an additional layer of security for Internet access such as a VLAN.
- Printing: Shared workspaces generally have central printers for members to use but if you take an office, you can generally bring in your own printers if confidentiality is a concern.
- Meeting rooms - most spaces offer meeting rooms of varying sizes for team meetings, private phone calls, etc. One of our members, 25N Coworking, outside of Geneva, IL, shared this recently:
“Our meeting rooms are, frankly, some of the most versatile and beautiful (impress your clients!) meeting rooms in all of Chicagoland. Rentable by the hour, each of our locations has at least 6 meeting rooms to choose from to suit your style and requirements—from 1–20 people. All meeting rooms come equipped with LED presentation monitors and other AV services, in-room coffee and water, and select rooms include dry-erase brainstorming walls, overhead projectors, and x-large pull-down screens, and/or outlets built right into the table. Check them out here.
- Company signage - some spaces offer lobby signage, but not all.
- Security - if your team has an office, then they can lock belongings/files, etc. behind a door. If your team takes “coworking” memberships, they will need to take all belongings home with them at the end of each day.
- 24/7 access - This is common for most shared workspaces that have private/team spaces and will support flexible schedules for your employees.
- Professionalism - Let’s throw the myth out the window that most spaces are “bro-working.” Today’s spaces meet the market’s demand for professional, client-friendly workspace. Our member survey cites “a professional environment in which to meet my clients” as one of the top reasons that members use their workspace.
- Built-in receptionist - 25N Coworking shares this about their front desk staff:
“Greet your guests and clients with a thoroughly-trained, sociable, real-life human and never receive a “surprise” visitor again! Our spaces also include waiting areas and refreshments in the event of an early arrival. Bonus: our team is well-informed on all of our facilities, events, programming, and member happenings, so it only takes a short conversation on Slack (our inter-community comms platform), via email, or in-person to get your questions answered.”
Shared workspace environments will range from entirely open space to a mix of open/private to mostly private.
In the Boston area is an example of a suburban coworking space that can serve the needs of mobile corporate employees that is entirely open. Located inside of Staples locations in suburban Boston, they can be leveraged by sales professionals that need a drop-in spot to get some work done in between calls or employees that want to cut their commute but don’t want to be stuck in their home office.
Is a great example of a national brand that has a mix of offerings for individuals, teams and larger groups as well as open space, meeting rooms and private/team offices.
Is an example of a regional brand in Florida that offers mostly private space with a high level of service and a contemporary approach to workspace design.
There are models that can accommodate large teams, an entire department or even a small company. Knotel, with 22 locations in NYC, will give you a branded, fully-furnished floor all to yourself. Their market is primarily growing start-ups but we’ll likely see them and others expand to the corporate audience.
Liquidspace, as we’ve mentioned in other posts, will also find space for up to 200 people and furnish the space with a “hackable” system that your employees can personalize for the way they work.
The flexible office options are expanding quickly. Landlords are adding flexibility to their portfolios that will meet the increasingly dynamic needs of their customers.