During the last year and even more so in the last couple of months, many have seen a big shift in the way people think about the best environments for work and productivity. Remote working or a flexible workspace has quickly become a necessity for most people in the world.
As companies ease back into the workplace, many are using this opportunity to reassess their workspaces. Some are developing hybrid models of shared workspaces and private offices, while others are moving away from the traditional office space entirely and opting to work from home having complete control over their environment.
In this article, we will dive deeper into the pros and cons of both a flexible workspace vs. a work from home setup to help you decide which will best suit your needs.
What Are Flexible Workspaces?
A flexible workspace is a shared space that offers membership to multiple companies and individuals.
The types of people and companies who use shared workspaces include startups, small or medium businesses, large national or international companies with a small local presence, freelancers, digital nomads, or anyone who happens to need a desk to work from on any given day. People from different businesses and industries work side by side. Whether it’s private offices next to one another or hot desks in the coworking areas. Flexible workspaces range from large, communal open space environments with individual or group seating arrangements to a 1-person private office or larger office area for dozens of people.
They often have varied working areas as well as “hang-out” spaces designed to foster a community environment, and share resources such as the internet, reception area, and meeting rooms. A good flexible workspace will offer a great environment and culture that fosters productivity, creativity, and inspiration, and encourages networking and collaboration.
Advantages Of A Flexible Workspace
Most companies and individuals will benefit from the countless networking opportunities that shared workspaces provide. Working alongside a varied collection of individuals, businesses, creatives, and niches makes it easy to build your network, collaborate and find new clients. This is why working in a flexible workspace is the go-to solution for individuals and organizations who would like to have the feeling of being in a professional environment that they can grow in.
2. Office Admin and Management
One of the best things about shared workspaces is that all of the tedious and time-consuming tasks of running an office are taken care of for you, leaving you more time to focus on your work and business. The in-house administrators and office management take care of everything to maintain the workspaces orderly so that all of the mundane tasks are taken off of your shoulders.
Many flexible workspaces are located in highly desirable buildings in the Makati Central Business District, or creative/business hubs in the Philippines. These are areas that would traditionally be very difficult for individuals or small businesses to afford building their own office. A lot of flexible workspaces companies have locations in different areas or cities that you can use while traveling or to easily expand your business into new areas. Having a prime location also means that amenities and everything you would need throughout the day are only a few steps away from you.
The Disadvantages Of A Flexible Workspace
1. Long-term Cost
Flexible workspaces are normally a cheaper option for smaller businesses, however, it may not be as cost-effective in the long-term for both larger companies and individuals compared to renting the whole office space or better yet, working from home. If you are an individual freelancer or consultant, flexible workspaces are more expensive compared to alternatives like working from home or even from a café.
2. Lack Of Privacy
Depending on the nature of your business, there may be some privacy or confidentiality concerns when sharing a workspace in coworking areas with other companies and individuals. The open nature of flexible workspaces means they may not be as suited to people or businesses who often have to hold private conversations or meetings.
3. Schedule Concerns
Having to share meeting rooms with other businesses may lead to scheduling clashes and possible disruptions to your business. Another concern is that if the flexible workspace provider is a well-known brand in the area, it may lead to having unexpected dates being in full capacity. This could hinder the daily productivity of an individual or business.
The Growing Work From Home Trend
Working from home in a general sense represents a significant change in your normal work pace, which can be a good thing for many people. It is different from the normal way of working, but it is also very effective. Working from home for a prolonged time also requires more adjustments than working from an office or a co-working space. Not only do you need to create a dedicated workspace, but you also need to create clear boundaries between work and home life.
Since the pandemic forced almost all public places to close down, including offices, cafes, and coworking spaces, most people have had to work from their homes. As things open up post-lockdown, many current work-from-home employees may start to go back to the office or a flexible workspace to experience a sense of normalcy.
Advantages Of Working From Home
1. No Commute Time
The average worker in the metro spends at least 45 minutes on their daily commute to work, and it is getting worse. While provincial workers typically spend around 1 – 2 hours commuting to and from their offices. That’s a lot of time you can save by just working from home. By doing things remotely, people have the chance to save some money spent on gas and other fees. This amount of time saved would be better off spent on yourself or your family and loved ones.
In a survey from Workfest, 47% of employees said they strongly agree that flexible work arrangements “would or do allow me to be more productive” and 31% said they somewhat agree. This is linked to fewer interruptions, less stress, minimal office politics, and a personalized, quiet environment. Consistent research has also shown that remote workers usually log longer hours than their office-bound counterparts.
3. No Cost At All
A key benefit for organizations choosing to have their employees work from home is that it helps them cut down on some otherwise essential costs. This goes for the individual employees as well. Both the employees and companies can save big on transport costs and the expenses of maintaining a formal wardrobe and the heavy costs of maintaining an office on a day-to-day basis.
Disadvantages Of Working From Home
1. Sticking To A Routine
The order you do things at work is almost never the order you do things at home. It can be tough to mirror your schedule and processes once outside the office. That is why most people who were used to working in a dedicated office or a flexible workspace would take longer to adapt to the difficulties of their daily routines in the office.
2. Unpredictable Internet Connection
People have gotten used to having a 24/7 internet connection in the office. Some spaces even offer redundant connections for backups in the case of an issue or emergency. These privileges aren’t at every employee’s home. There will be a time when you will come across an internet connection issue during a busy day of the week and you will just have to deal with it.
Whether you have a super quick question but you need to wait for hours before someone replies to you, or having trouble chatting with someone from your company without having what you say get taken out of context, communication is a big barrier when it comes to working from home.
Should I Go To A Flexible Workspace? Or Stick With Working From Home?
When choosing between a flexible workspace vs. working from home, the best option for you will depend on factors like what makes you more productive, the size of your team, and the type of work you do. Look at the various pros and cons of both flexible workspaces and working from home and consider what is most important to your business or self.
There is no right or wrong choice. The important thing to consider is which option is best for your team and the current stage of productivity that it’s in. And if you’re looking for a flexible workspace solution that’s fit for your needs, get in touch with us and we would be happy to help you.
Leslie is a passionate writer who creates highly engaging content to help promote businesses. When she isn’t working, you will find her playing the guitar or watching great films with her family.