In our introductory post to Flex space solutions post “Flexible Workspace what is it and who benefits?” we explained flex space refers to office space provided outside the “conventional lease” markets. In Toronto, this includes coworking space, most business centres and shared office space providers.
As corporate businesses learn more about how the flex space networking culture and entrepreneurial environment affects their employees and see the results, flexible workspace has the makings of becoming a long-term trend in this segment of the office space market. When you dig, you see there is far more driving the move to a flexible workspace by corporations than to a cheap office space.
Why Flexible Workspace is Tailor Made for Satellite and Branch Offices
To move employees from corporate headquarters to a satellite or branch office requires a lot of time and energy from managers and support workers to procure, furnish, decorate, and outfit an office space with business equipment. Not to mention business support staff like a receptionist. This all adds up to a lot of expenses before the company has even seen its first client.
Consider if the company decided to use a coworking space or business centre. All of the above is in place with one call. The advantages to the corporation are:
- Costs are low and for the most part, fixed
- Support staff is in place
- Business machines are provided at no cost (some charge for consumables)
- Set up is as easy as a phone call to the provider and email to each employee
Corporations are increasingly looking to flexible office space for satellite offices, special projects, and branch offices as it mitigates risk with much lower entry and start-up costs.
Why Corporations Use Satellite Offices
Corporations have used satellite offices for special projects over the years because they have learned that there is a culture change created by the removal of the managerial hierarchy, where managers are working side by side with subordinate workers. The change in culture makes managers seem more approachable with input from “the team”.
In the usual corporation, culture managers are delegators of tasks, while in the satellite office the manager is a member of “the Team”. “The Team” environment fosters collaboration that often leads to innovative ideas and solutions from “the team”.
Corporations See the Benefits of the Flexible Workspace Environment
Corporate culture creates a single corporate vision that employees work hard to realize. Corporations create satellite offices for many reasons, however, the hope in creating a satellite office is that it fosters a team environment that is conducive to innovation and “getting things done”! The employees in the satellite office become a close-knit sub-culture within the corporation.
Where corporations are starting to see the benefits of flex workspace is in the exposure the satellite office workers get to startups, growth companies and market disruptors. One thing that is common to most coworking and flexible office space users is the “hustler mentality” and work ethic that fuels the growth of viable startups and growth companies.
Another benefit of the flexible workspace environment is the knowledge corporate employees gain from exposure to other industries, entrepreneurs, and personal backgrounds — all of which provide insights and new opportunities for collaboration that create new business and company growth.
For the corporations, their employees’ flexible workspace creates a more interesting place to work, leading to a culture that is more open to, and recognizes, possibilities that would not be available in the traditional corps culture.
Flexible Office Space Provides Networking and New Business Opportunities
One of the myths you often see is that coworking workspace provides better networking opportunities. In general terms this is true. However, most coworking centres were once business centres that did nothing but add a membership to the other office space products they provided.
When you are assessing coworking space, look at the number of events they hold because that is an indication of the real networking opportunities the corporate staff will actually receive.
Satellite offices in a flexible workspace create a culture of socialization, networking and collaboration that leads to new business relationships that may become leads. In addition to new business, the exposure satellite employees get from flexible workspace will help to shape the culture of growing corporations or add a touch of entrepreneurial spirit to more established companies!
It goes without saying that flexible workspace provides benefits to corporations that traditional office space can’t — especially US corporations and those looking to open satellite offices or branch offices offshore. Coworking and flexible workspaces are seeing huge growth as corporations are drawn to them to save on real estate costs, office support and business equipment expenses. It seems apparent that corporations are seeing that the flexible workspace environment enhances the value sought from establishing a satellite office.
Telsec Business Centres is Toronto’s longest established flexible workspace provider! Our team space has been utilized by many US brands expanding into Canada with branch offices. For as long as we have been a flexible workspace rental agency, Government Agencies, large and small corporations, and startups have utilized our workspace. More recently, our coworking space and shared office space have also worked well for smaller satellite and branch office operations.