Business benefits of flexible workspace

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Flexible office design is gaining popularity among UK firms

The setup of offices across the UK has changed considerably in recent years, as gone are the days of partitions and individuals cubicles for staff and ushered in has been an era of open plan working and integration.

However, a new phenomenon is now being witnessed across many companies and that is the introduction of new, flexible work areas that have a multitude of uses and can help to improve productivity and overall efficiency.

New research published by QualitySolicitors has revealed more than two fifths of UK business leaders (42 per cent) believe flexibility in the workplace is more important than the location of offices, meaning companies are increasingly focusing on maximising layout efficiency.

The main reasons given for wanting to switch to a flexible, multi-purpose approach to the set up office space were the ability to enable to staff to interact and share ideas more easily, as well the creation of more opportunities for networking.

In addition, the research showed that many firms are now also switching to more flexible leases, with a focus on short-term lettings and an increased inclusion of break clauses in contracts.

Michael Sandys, commercial property conveyancing expert at QualitySolicitors, commented: "SMEs now want a different kind of workspace, which offers flexible space and networking opportunities to boost efficiencies and maximise the space.

"They don't want to be tied down, so we're seeing more and more businesses demanding shorter, less restrictive leases to give them the freedom to move around if they need to."

Overall, the main stumbling blocks for UK firms in office layout upgrades at present were shown to be the costs associated with doing so (47 per cent) and difficulties in finding the right place to move to (30 per cent).