6 Reasons Small Businesses Are Ditching Commercial Leases and Transitioning to ‘Flexible’ Workspaces


Small businesses have relied on commercial leases for decades – until the novel coronavirus changed the rules. With respiratory droplets as its main route of transmission, this deadly bug has undoubtedly caused a paradigm shift in how entrepreneurs maintain workplace health and wellness through the adoption of flexible workspaces. 

Designed for COVID-19-ready business practices and lifestyles, these private offices come with full functionality and safety measures, but how exactly do these translate to advantages for small businesses and their workers? Here are six ways: 

1. Flexibility

The first and most obvious benefit of flexible workspaces is none other than flexibility. For one, these spaces allow users to set their own daily, weekly or even monthly schedules, and offer various schemes for leasing desks, rooms or entire offices as needed. These spaces may also be rented for as long as the user desires, although longer-term contracts are rarely favored nowadays due to the uncertainties posed by the ongoing global health emergency. When upgrading to a bigger space, options are readily available and guarantee little to zero moving downtime.

2. Social Distancing

Social distancing plays a crucial role in containing the pandemic and is central to the design of COVID-19-protected workspaces. For offices that require multiple desks, increased distance between desks is a core feature, with users’ backs positioned against the others’ and physical barriers installed in between desks to block the passage of the virus. Conference rooms, kitchens, restrooms and other communal areas are configured to accommodate only half their normal capacity – all while giving users the satisfaction of social communication and interaction without risking their individual health. 

3. Daily Cleaning and Hygiene Maintenance

Aside from respiratory droplets from infected persons, touching contaminated surfaces is another known route of transmission of COVID-19. This means proper hygiene and office maintenance protocols are needed more than ever today in any type of work environment, with or without social distancing. In flexible workspaces, entrepreneurs and their workers can focus on what they do and leave the cleaning and sanitation to the space or building owner. Whether it’s emptying the trash can everyday or providing disposable instead of reusable cups and dishware, this particular advantage appeases users’ anxieties about contracting COVID-19 at work, which, in turn, can help boost their productivity. 

4. Privacy

Although an open, traditional workspace has its perks, a private office or even a well-distanced desk can provide a sense of privacy that can also help increase productivity. Distractions come in many shapes and sizes, but workers in a flexible workspace can remain oblivious to outside interference, making and taking calls or receiving visitors only when absolutely necessary, and concentrating on their most important tasks. Additionally, this privacy provides added security through less human contact and contamination of work equipment and other surfaces, and, therefore, may lower chances of contracting COVID-19. 

5. Architectural Fixes  

While short-term changes to private office or workspace architecture are focused on creating physical barriers, such as between work desks, long-term adjustments are geared towards expanded spacing. Over time, maximizing areas will no longer mean increasing their use but keeping them large enough to provide ample safety nets for workspace occupants. This includes designing hallways that allow single-way traffic and other parallel revamps of existing floor plans. 

6. Advanced Technology and Collaboration

Flexible workspace owners know the importance of technology as a tool for effective business collaboration. This is all the more important today, with the coronavirus limiting physical movements and connections among teams and individual workers. For this reason, flexible workspaces are fully equipped with computers, large monitors, projectors, virtual communication infrastructure, and other technologies that allow small businesses to conduct regular business and achieve their goals without putting workers’ health and lives at stake. 

While the potential for danger still exists for people who have to commute to work and be in contact with others, flexible workspaces could be the solution to the inevitable new normal that challenges different sectors of the world today. Whether it’s flexibility, social distancing, cleaning and maintenance, privacy, space-enlarging architecture, or technology and collaboration, flexible workspace packages offer the security of a thriving and safe environment for entrepreneurs and workers alike. 

Post courtesy of Unified Purchasing Group (UPG).

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