“When it comes to office space, things have changed a lot in recent years, writes Charlie Bastier, Operations and Strategy Manager, at HubbleHQ, “What used to simply be a functional area in which work took place has now evolved into far more – and the importance of finding the right office environment for every team cannot be underestimated. Work environment is intrinsically linked with many elements of a company’s success, and the one you choose can be the difference between success and failure.”
Two of the most crucial things that office space can impact for a business are talent acquisition and retention. We spend most of our waking hours at work, so it’s understandable that both current and prospective employees value companies who dedicate thought to creating pleasant surroundings to work in. Plus, a happy team is a productive team – so everybody reaps the benefits, including your employer brand.
So, what exactly are businesses looking to offer their teams in 2019? In our Flex and the City 2019 report, we used our exclusive search data to identify the key trends in office space last year. This included showing which office facilities businesses were searching for – which revealed some interesting results into what matters to teams in this day and age.
Which office facilities were in high demand?
Whilst demand for many facilities rose last year, certain themes emerged amongst the most popular, signifying larger shifts in workplace mentality. The most prominent revolved around flexibility for teams, and health and wellness.
- Flexibility for teams
The data reflected a real desire to find office space that recognises and addresses individuals’ different needs. For instance, in 2018, many more businesses searched for workspace comprising different types of areas – both communal and private – enabling employees to work and socialise in appropriate surroundings. This was evidenced in an enormous increase in demand for roof terraces, up a huge +238%, but also for phone booths – showing a growing appreciation for offices that give teams the opportunity to be both sociable and private when it suits them.
Another key trend we’ve witnessed over the last couple of years is the growing demand for pet-friendly office space (+14% year on year). Speaking to teams on a daily basis, we’ve seen first-hand the demand there is for offices that allow pets. From the flexibility they offer to pet-owning team members, to the impact that having animals in the office can have on other employees’ morale and stress levels, pet-friendly offices are a rising trend that we don’t see slowing down any time soon.
- Health and wellbeing
In response to popular demand, employers are increasingly prioritising the health and wellbeing of their employees – and an easy way of doing so is by choosing the right type of workspace. An 11% jump in searches for offices that offer free healthy snacks proves this, as does an 11% increase in searches for gym facilities. Being able to offer free snacks and exercise facilities to teams is a powerful recruitment incentive, especially in London where the cost of living is so high.
But it wasn’t just the increases in facility searches that gave insights into the shift in workplace mentality. Interestingly, we saw a significant decrease in the number of businesses looking for 24/7 offices: 2018 saw a 15% drop in Hubble users specifying a need for round-the-clock access – reflecting the growing trend towards more sociable working hours and a better work/life balance.
Finally, some things never change: the number of teams wanting free beer and wine remained stable, too – after all, we’re only human.
Don’t forget the essentials
However, before you get too fixated on installing beer taps and treadmills in your office, make sure you’ve got the fundamentals sorted first – there are certain indispensable elements that we have seen are the make-or-break elements for team welfare and productivity in a workspace. Without these, your workforce won’t be happy:
- Strong and fast internet
A strong WiFi connection is absolutely indispensable in an office space. The way that connectivity has transformed workspace is undeniable – but all of the benefits that it offers are futile without a stable connection. Internet that cuts out is guaranteed to aggravate your team.
- Ample meeting rooms
From internal standups to hosting clients, there’s nothing more frustrating than not being able to access meeting room space when you need one – or racking up extortionate bills booking them ad-hoc. Evaluate how meeting-heavy your team’s calendar tends to be, and use that to inform your office choice.
- Intelligent layouts
Workspace that provides different environments for varying tasks is by far the most effective – having private areas for confidential meetings and phone calls and breakout space for agile working, for example, is key for many teams. Consider this a priority when looking for your next office.
- Natural light
Having a bright and well-lit workspace is essential for teams in all industries, given its positive impact on team morale. A workspace could have all the freebies and yoga in the world…but if it’s too dark, it just won’t do.
How can my business possibly offer all of these things?
Traditionally, noteworthy and innovative office space has been reserved for the bigger brands of the world – those who can afford to build in their own roof terrace and pay for free drinks for everyone on a daily basis. But times have changed, and the rise of the flexible office industry has opened up these possibilities to businesses of all sizes. Thousands of serviced office buildings all over the world now offer their tenants all of the facilities listed above and more, making it far easier to offer these perks to your team without having to implement and manage them all yourself.
Looking to give your team what they really want in a workspace? Head to hubblehq.com to browse all of the options available to your business, whatever your size, budget, or requirements, and find your perfect office in the click of a button.
HubbleHQ is an online platform for flexible office space. The company was founded in 2014 in response to a rapidly changing world of business, with growing and shrinking SMEs seeking access to office space on flexible term contracts. Currently operating in London and Manchester, HubbleHQ has the largest, real-time dataset on the flexible office market and uses cutting-edge technology to deliver the perfect match for businesses. It is highly trusted, and has been used by companies such as Trustpilot, Trussle, and Citymapper.