What are flexible offices and how do they differ from traditional rental offices?

Are you looking for a space to work for yourself or you are the person responsible for finding an office for the entire team. You consider flexible offices as one of the alternatives. Below we systematize the view on this solution.

Flexible offices, also known as flexible spaces or flex spaces, are places to work, the characteristic feature of which is the rental period (or the time of using a workspace). In the case of the traditional model, the office is usually rented for a period of 5 years. Brand new office buildings will not agree to a shorter lease period. Slightly older buildings allow rent for 3 years, but most often a limit will be set here. It is the result of perceiving the office building as an investment product, the value of which is determined by the guaranteed future rental income. Thus, the longer the lease contracts, the better in terms of the value of the building. For many tenants, with the current dynamics of change, such a long horizon of planning the demand for space may be impossible to implement (or at least very difficult and subject to the risk of a large error). That is why flexible offices are so popular. The advantage of this solution is that such offices can often be rented for as long as one month or it will be an agreement or subscription for an indefinite period with a one-month notice period.

Flexible space is primarily a flexible lease period

What are the types of flexible spaces?

There are at least 3 types of solutions under the concept of flex office spaces. Generally, we are talking either about desk to work in a shared open space or about a private office for larger teams or the entire company. You will learn more about them in our next posts: “What are the types of flexible work spaces?”

  • flexible desks (hot desks),
  • fixed desks (dedicated),
  • serviced offices.

What is coworking?

A common concept that appears in the context of flexible offices is coworking or coworking space. The concept is often used interchangeably with venues providing flexible workspaces, but note that it is not the same. Every coworking space is a flexible space, but not every flexible office will be coworking. As the name suggests, coworking is a space or, more broadly, a way of working which is connected with sharing space with other people. They don’t have to be employees from one organization. “Working together” allows you to make new acquaintances and business relationships, it disciplines and inspires. Often the feeling of sharing and community is supported by the activities provided by the venue operator, e.g. through networking meetings, shared breakfasts or other engaging actions. Most often the space where coworking takes place are open spaces intended for flexible desks (hot desks), dedicated desks and common spaces in the vicinity of these places, e.g. kitchen, relaxation zone, game rooms, where people interact.

Coworking space and hot desks
WeWork Browary I, Warsaw

Therefore, not every flexible office will be a coworking space. There are venues that provide only serviced offices, and the element of “sharing” is minimal and most often comes down to a shared kitchen, and the operator does not organize activities that build relationships between members. Of course, such way of utilizing space is just as good for the job. It is an individual approach of users, where they feel better and what way of working suits them more.

What additional services do flex spaces provide?

As mentioned above, the flexibility of aforementioned flex spaces, is primarily about the flexibility of the lease (use) period. Thanks to this, you are not bound by a long lease agreement, so you can easily react to changing conditions.

However, flex spaces offer much more. In venues offering flexible offices, apart from the possibility of using a furnished, ready-to-use work space, you will get additional services. The range of services offered varies depending on the operator, so when looking for your place to work, be sure to ask about all the issues that interest you. Our guide will come with help soon.

Most often, in one monthly fee, you will get:

  • cleaning,
  • fast Wi-Fi,
  • space for relaxation,
  • possibility to use the shared kitchen, and there,
  • free coffee and tea.
Common kitchen in coworking
Common kitchen in Mindspace Koszyki, Warsaw

In addition to the above, you can often expect the following for the monthly fee:

  • reception service,
  • access to the conference room,
  • possibility to participate in networking meetings.
Meeting room for rent
Meeting room in Solutions.Rent Coworking Plac Malachowskiego, Warsaw

The variety of venues providing flex spaces is immense. The interest in adapting flex spaces in business model is growing every year and this is due to the benefits you get working there. You can read more about these benefits in the following articles in our Knowledge Base. At Deskpicker you will find locations that are operated by large international companies and their venues are also quite significant. It can be from several hundred to several thousand square meters, which translates into even several hundred workplaces in one location. Most often, the larger the venue, the more various services and amenities it can provide to you and your company. Some of these services, as mentioned earlier, are free, others are an additional cost that will be added to the invoice if you use them. Among those additionally payable you can find:

  • printing beyond the subscription limit,
  • using conference rooms beyond the subscription limit,
  • using the address for company registration – virtual address.

An alternative to big scale venues are smaller, often more local ones, whose owners are personally involved in running them. They may not provide so many services, but they are often chosen because of their intimate nature and more individual approach to users. They are also usually a bit cheaper.

Coworking workspace in Warsaw, Praga
Praga Pracuje Coworking – workspace located in Warsaw Praga district, Warsaw

The above breakdown, of course, is a big simplification and many locations differ from these characteristics, so be sure to review all possible options. You will find the most interesting ones on Deskpicker.

Flexible space is a flexible lease period, but also the resulting great freedom in managing the amount of space you pay for and use. Do you need more space for an additional project team? Due to an unexpected situation you need to reduce the space and thus costs? Talk to your flex operator. It shouldn’t be a problem to meet your expectations. Operators will do all their best to answer all your needs. Most likely there will be a team to assist you if you need anything.

The more space you rent, the more the operator can offer you for the one monthly fee. Often, however, additional services also involve costs for the operator, which may result in a minimum rental period of several months. For example, if you need 40 workstations, but want an additional separate internal office or meeting room, the operator will most likely meet your expectations, if it is technically possible in the building. For you, however, it will involve a longer commitment, which will allow the operator to amortize the costs of adapting the office to your specific requirements.

If you have any questions related to flexible spaces, you have doubts whether to adapt serviced office model, please contact us.

If you are already convinced of flex spaces, start looking for them on Deskpicker.