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From urban to suburban: as the business world embraces remote working, here’s why suburban offices are the solution to our new working needs
If there’s one thing Covid-19 has shown the business world, it’s that flexibility is key to a company’s survival. As the global workforce grows more accustomed to remote working, many businesses in the current climate could well be reimagining the traditional office set-up in the future.
Back in March, global corporations including Google and Facebook told their employees that they could work from home until at least the end of the year, while Twitter extended that offer to “forever”. But it’s not just tech giants embracing the new remote world order. Other big-name companies such as Hitachi, Mastercard and Reuters have all swiftly followed suit in order to keep their employees feeling safe while they keep the wheels of industry moving.
While many companies will continue to let their employees work remotely at least some of the time, others will welcome them back into the office environment with open arms. But there is a solution that can offer businesses the best of both situations – mixing remote working with the more traditional office set-up – the suburban satellite office. Companies are increasingly moving towards using flexible workspace providers like Regus as their main and satellite office base.
From urban to suburban
As employees across the world are working remotely – enjoying cutting out the daily commute and gaining a better work-life balance – the need for corporate offices in built-up city centres seems to be lessening. However, not everyone is cut out for home working, and this is where suburban serviced offices and coworking spaces could be the right fit. The benefits for businesses are many, with flexibility being the biggest one. Without being tied to a rigid fixed lease, companies can change their workspace set-up in line to their current needs, which is better for their bottom line.
As well as the financial benefits of choosing a suburban office over one in a city centre location, another plus is accessibility. It means no more hours lost in rush-hour traffic jams, as well as ample parking and quicker access to airports and other towns and cities.
Socially distanced solutions
Across the world right now, people are moving out of densely populated major cities in favour of either working from home, or finding alternative office space outside of central business districts. Bosses don’t want their staff on crowded trains, in cramped elevators or mixing in busy open-plan offices. Instead they are looking for more spacious premises in the suburbs to help their employees stay socially distanced.
However, teams still need places to come together and safely connect with their colleagues and clients. With the advantage of having much more space, modern office complexes in suburbs often benefit from roof terraces and gardens. Many also have bike storage facilities, so staff can cycle from their homes, enjoying the exercise and fresh air.
Satellite suburban offices
Now that employees have had a taste of commute-free days, the thought of cramming on to public transport or taking several trains to trudge into the central business district is less inviting than it ever was. Satellite offices are becoming an ideal choice for corporations who still want to keep their headquarters in a prime city location, but also want more office space in outer city areas.
Aside from being more cost-effective – rent is cheaper in the suburbs – moving a business into other neighbourhoods can also have benefits for the local community. When a company moves to an area, it brings in a raft of people – employees, clients, suppliers and customers – which in turn will help the location to grow and prosper, with new facilities, shops and restaurants that bring economic growth to outer areas of a city.
Attracting prime talent
While working from home is not for everyone, what it has shown is that almost all employees benefit from having a shorter commute. This can make your company a more attractive prospect for new talent who are reluctant to spend hours commuting to the city.
It makes sense for companies to move towards flexible office space in suburban locations, which offers the best of both worlds for their employees. And, if anything, this year has shown the business world that the corporate wheels can keep turning even if you’re not in the heart of the business district.
While the future could see more companies opting for a smaller head office in a central location, alongside a clutch of well-placed satellite hubs, the need for smart, modern office spaces with cutting edge facilities will always stand true.
Find out how Regus can offer suburban office solutions for your workforce