Just a few years ago, being employed generally meant you worked in an office that’s exclusively used by the company. The whole space is divided by department, with each section occupied by a team of your colleagues who work together for a common goal: growing the business.
It’s a common sight to see desks or cubicles positioned strategically across the room to maximize space. There’s a specific area for the copier machine and another for the coffee maker, with the boss’ office located in an area where he or she has a full view of the whole floor. This is still what you’ll frequently see in both small and big companies, however, there’s now this growing popularity of working in a flexible workspace.
The Rise of Telecommuting
A flexible workspace is a shared office space used by professionals who work in different industries. This is actually an old concept that started in the mid-60s, but the term was only coined in 1999. And when the new millennium came in, the internet became a huge factor in how businesses were run, giving rise to telecommuting.
Many professionals are able to work in different locations and complete their tasks through a computer connected to the internet. This has revolutionized the way we work and where we can work, which helped in popularizing the concept of flexible working space.
The Startup Revolution
Telecommuting is not only convenient but also cost-effective. Transportation expenses are eliminated and the need for office space is taken out of the equation. However, there are times when working at home or at the nearest coffee shop isn’t enough, particularly if you’re working in a startup company.
There has been a growing trend of entrepreneurs putting up a repeatable and scalable business model that aims to address a need. But in the process of starting and growing this business, everyone involved is limited by the amount of capital they have. This is the reason why many startups were born out of the founder’s garage.
Now that more startups are coming out and are trying to make it big in their specific industry, there is a growing need for office spaces. Fortunately, flexible workspaces are starting to pop up to address this need. Employees from a startup company now have access to the basics of having a proper working space without spending capital just to acquire their own office space that they’ll eventually have to move out from once they start growing.
The Pros and Cons
Ticking off tasks at a flexible workspace has its pros and cons. But if you’re looking for a place where you need the right equipment and office features to complete tasks, it beats staying at home. You’ll be able to able to communicate with remote workers effectively with a more stable internet connection, with conference rooms that can help you focus on what needs to be discussed.
Aside from making use of modern facilities at a fraction of the cost, you can be flexible in case you need to expand or cut down on operations. You’ll be paying only for the space that you need. However, you won’t be able to customize your working space according to your taste.
Distractions are also part of the package since you’ll be sharing your ‘office’ with others who don’t work in the same company or industry. This also presents a risk in terms of information security. But if you have a way to work around these pitfalls, you can find comfort in a flexible workspace.
For more information on the subject of flexible workspace, you can check out this handy infographic detailing its evolution and its potentially bright future.
About the author: Betina Tañedo works as an account manager for Figari. She’s passionate about providing competitive, world-class facility management services and solutions. In her free time, she regularly visits her favorite coffee shops around the metro.