Flexible Office Space: Why Boston businesses need to flex out to the suburbs

Written by Lisa Huffman

18th Feb 2022

Prior to the pandemic, employees were increasingly wanting more flexibility and choice. Now, two years into it, those wants have become needs. Flexible workspaces meet those needs while simultaneously bringing people together (getting them out of the isolation of WFH)  and promoting collaboration. They allow for knowledge recombination—the process by which accessing new knowledge while sharing existing knowledge is combined in novel ways fostering innovation and understanding.

“Creativity arises from being near other organizations that are very different, not just in technical skills and target markets, but also in demographic background. This allows people from different companies to socialize face-to-face and build trust, comfortably sharing mutually beneficial knowledge over time so both organizations can thrive.” ~ from What’s the Optimal Workplace for Your Organization? by Maria Roche and Andy Wu (Assistant Professors at Harvard Business School) for the Harvard Business Review.

The positive impact of having two work locations gives employees the potential to bounce ideas off coworkers within their organization as well as people from other industries, backgrounds, skill sets, and cultures whom they encounter in their flexible workspace. Whether they are brainstorming in the conference room, hallway, bathroom, or kitchen, this collaboration stimulates innovation and imagination and can be shared with other coworkers back at the central office during time spent there. Let's face it, there are going to be some positions that are simply better-suited for work in the central office. Flexible space allows those with certain roles and responsibilities to collaborate from there when they need to, while employees whose responsibilities are more independent (like designers) can continue to have the option to work remotely from your off-site flex space.

While it may sound like the benefits of a flexible office are solely reaped by the employees, that is not the case. They extend to the employer as well. First and foremost, there are huge cost savings. All utilities, maintenance, and repairs are covered in the cost of the flexible space. The infrastructure (furniture, Wi-Fi, meeting room, kitchen, etc.) is already in place…saving time, money, and a huge headache for your HR staff. This “plug-and-play” concept allows employees to seamlessly move into an office and perform their tasks—keeping productivity moving forward. If business growth or downsizing means your business is moving, flexible space is a great option to bridge the gap so there is no stoppage of work and employees can maintain a stable schedule. Perhaps most important, the flexible terms that flex space providers offer are less risky than a conventional lease, allowing employers to switch things up as needed if the business grows or if an unforeseen global event (like a pandemic) necessitates closing the office or reducing its size.

“After years of apparent but variant trends towards urbanization, the pandemic universally caused a movement away from urban cores, particularly for those with higher incomes who could afford to move and for lower-income individuals seeking lower costs of living.  Most of these relocations remained within their original region—84%—and, while some are returning, it is unknown as to the permanence of these movements or whether they represent a true urban exodus.” Thirumal Govindraj, Senior Managing Director, RMZ Corp. 

Let’s say you have a new client/customer on the South Shore. You could set up a satellite office for your team at WORKSPACE to help cultivate and sustain the new partnership. Each of our three locations has plenty of accessibility options for your employee’s commute—whether they're coming from Boston or the ‘burbs. The cost-efficient benefits our flexible space offers give businesses like yours the opportunity to open additional offices risk-free.

“In the coming years, agility will be more crucial in making businesses succeed, and flexible workspaces will help them expand and align their workforce efficiently. They can scale up or down at speed, mitigate risks, and reduce expenses with flexible offices.” ~ from Crucial Reasons Flexible Workspaces Help Grow Your Business, by Michelle Dionaldo, Marketing and Business Development for Figari