Exploring Flexible Workspace Options

By Abigail Burt
Charity • Thoughts
22nd March 21

RIP ‘business as usual’. 2020 successfully buried any semblance of work routine. The result? The WFH boom and a gaping opportunity to refashion the office. Enter flexible workspace and hybrid working. The convenience of Zooming from your sofa combined with cushty workplace perks: win-win. 

Returning to the workplace_

At TSP, we’re helping charities to navigate this transition, advising them how to balance the tight-rope act of home and workplace management. And if effectively implemented, a flexible workspace solution will be the driving force of future success. 

Here are challenges and solutions to be aware of when adopting flexible office space – so you can flex it and ace it.

The Space

For some, occupying property will be passé. For others, less frequent and remodelled. Less space could be needed – and that kept will be more creatively planned. 

Managing Staff

Your staff are your primary asset. Out of sight does not mean out of mind. If your team is WFH you must make the extra effort to maintain connection and regularly check-in.

A Cohesive Team

To sustain team cohesion and motivation you’ve got to get inventive. Water cooler chats need to be replaced. 

Relationships with Service Users

Historically, most charity services were carried out face-to-face, but changes in legislation mean that many are now remote. This may pose issues with service user engagement and perceived value of the service. Impacts need to be fully reviewed. 

Infrastructure

WFH is reliant on your infrastructure. This can be costly but is essential to ensure everyone is able to work efficiently. 

The Balance

Balance does not just happen – it’s carefully orchestrated. To adopt a hybrid office as a long-term solution, day-to-day practicalities such as desk rotas and office set-up must be carefully considered and managed. And don’t forgot the most important equilibrium: work/ life balance. 

Next Steps:

If your space is redundant: First step: review. Second step: get rid (if possible).

Many charity workplaces have decided it’s time to change. If you’re planning to fully embrace WFH and the online sphere (you gallant, futuristic people), first, comprehensively review whether this is the solution for you. The same applies if you are thinking of utilising the hybrid model to dispose of property and condense your portfolio. 

In terms of disposing the property, options depend on your lease. If you have an upcoming break or lease end – seize it. But don’t forget about sneaky property exit costs, including dilapidations. Alternatively, consider subletting and sharing as a highly efficient means to dispose of space and save costs.

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