Now I already know what you’re thinking- ‘Um, what is hybrid workspace?’ The answer is simple, a combination of private offices and open coworking space. While there have been objections for both styles of workspace – private and open plan, a hybrid space offers room for both. This maximises interaction, but also offers private spaces for confidential work and meetings. Since 2013 Hybrid space has doubled across the globe, and this is for more reasons than one.
Not only are SME’s taking advantage of the more flexible leasing terms, but larger corporates are as well. This could be due to a variety of reasons such as volatile markets and changes to commercial lease standards. As of January 2016, almost all leases must be capitalised on, adding to liabilities on a company’s balance sheet. Therefore, if a company is signing on for say, a five-year lease at $50,000 per annum, a $250,000 liability is placed on their balance sheet. Conversely, the same per annum lease amount could be signed, however a shorter term lease, for example 12 month term, only strikes up on a balance sheet as a $50,000 liability.
In the last three years alone, small business start-ups have increased by 750% in Melbourne. Entrepreneurs are now seeking established locations as their touchpad, as they allow a swift move-in, accommodate rapid growth and absorb much of the risk associated with long-term contracts.
Convenience of these spaces aside, there’s one thing business owners may not have thought of when it comes to operating out of a shared lease space, and it’s the thing you stare in the face every day, people.
Of all the statistically proven factors that influence employee attraction and retention, all are relative in a hybrid workspace and I don’t know why I haven’t read an article specifically addressing this correlation before.
Allow me to elaborate…
According to a study from Hassell and Empirical research, combining attractive workspace facilities and an appealing culture can outweigh salaries when it comes to attracting candidates. Now don’t get me wrong, not all shared lease spaces are beautiful, but with coworking and hybrid space accounting for 33% of all flexible space globally, you can be sure that service providers are finding their edge in a variety of ways, one of which is modern and functional design. Qualitative feedback in their study also showed a very strong link between attractiveness of the workplace and attractiveness of the job offer. When asked to describe the ‘best place they had ever worked’, respondents often noted the physical space and facilities despite not being prompted to do so.
Accessible facilities are also important (see below graph), with car-parking and on-site gyms topping the list of the most influential facilities on accepting a job offer. The Melbourne CBD has the highest prevalence of serviced offices across Australia. You can bet your bottom dollar that you could throw a stone from anyone of them and find access to these facilities if they are not already existent in the building itself.
Corporate Social Responsibility
According to Sodexo research, sustainability is a core element for Gen X and millennials with regard to corporate social responsibility. ‘Initiatives that represent the passion and commitment of people who choose to live their values through their work’ relate closely to morale, intent to remain with an organisation and overall satisfaction at their place of employment Sodexo suggests. Furthermore, ‘organisations that inspire people to connect with their community and create meaningful, sustainable work environments can retain top talent, especially among the younger generations’. When it comes to attracting millennials, sustainability is imperative.
With the coworking and hybrid workspace market becoming increasingly competitive, service providers are really keeping an ear out for customer needs, and are popping up in exciting new locations such as the Barangaroo precinct in Sydney.
As we continue to support small business growth, it’s important to offer more influential factors that can improve business culture, performance and understanding. Diversity in the workspace is an excellent way to add new perspectives and increase innovation within the company. How does a small business with less than 10 employees get much of a chance at experiencing diversity? You guessed it – in a coworking or hybrid space. One shared workspace could house up to 200 individual tenants – or more, and with most if not all arranging regular networking events, the interaction with different demographics is limitless.
An article from Hays Recruitment describes four key benefits of diversity including increased innovation, improved attraction and retention, creating a meritocratic culture, as well as improving financial performance. The latter, being primarily focused around gender parity.
So whether you’ve thought about going into a Hybrid workspace, Coworking or Serviced office or not, when you’re ready for a change of scenery, keep shared workspaces in mind. They do more for you than you think! Check out our available workspaces here.