29th July 2020: Flexible office space provides Glandore have revealed they’ve seen a huge spike in interest from both Irish and multinational companies seeking to reduce the size of their office units as increased employer flexibility and remote working looks set to be a huge part of businesses transition to the new normal.
As the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation conducts a public consultation to inform the delivery of guidance on remote working for both employers and employees, Glandore have said they have been receiving a number of enquiries from indigenous and foreign businesses seeking to downsize their property footprint in Dublin, Cork and Belfast.
The company, which is the longest serving provider of flexible serviced offices and coworking spaces in Ireland and services the likes of Facebook, Twitter and State Street, has said it is welcoming the increased interest in what remains a small industry but growing industry in Ireland.
Studies and surveys conducted in recent months have suggested that the overall productivity and output of employees across the island of Ireland has improved across the board over the past number of months, which has now led to companies reconsidering the amount of capital that is being put into rent on an annual basis for larger properties.
Glandore’s Head of Marketing Henry Daly commented that while the evidence strongly suggests remote working is effective, Glandore’s experience working to provide serviced office spaces in recent years has illustrated to them that companies also need to be able to create a culture for employees to buy in to.
He also added that the importance of having an office environment “cannot be overlooked.”
He said: “As one of the larger serviced office providers in Ireland we understand the importance of office culture but we also understand the importance of flexibility, something that businesses and their employees now want and need more than ever.
“The terms on licence agreements for serviced offices are and can be a lot shorter than those of traditional leases and that in turn, frees up capital for companies to invest in their products and employees,
“Some businesses that may have been traditionally inflexible have had to adapt and adapt quickly due to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, their ‘new-normal’ is now to be flexible and to provide their employees with the support to do so,
“Downsizing office space does not mean downsizing your company. In fact, it is quite the opposite. It will allow some, not all, companies to expand that bit quicker,” he added.
Glandore’s office spaces can be set up in a way that allows a company to have a base, a HQ, a home and create a culture that those that are working remotely can tap in to, but can also be apart from, where necessary.
Mr Daly said that going forward for businesses, it would be important to provide employees with options for their working environments – have enough space that those that want a desk in an office can have it, but for those that do not need it, the company does not have to spend the money on it, instead, they can invest a small amount to help their staff member get set up at home.
He continued: “The future of work is flexible, companies will have to accommodate for the lack of childcare, the risk of a commute on public transport, the risk of another pandemic and the even grimmer risk of another economic crash.
The safety of serviced offices is that companies can sign up for 6 months, 12 months, 18 months or more and at the end of said terms they can extend, renegotiate, scale up or scale down based on the needs of their business and the ever changing economic landscape.
Our own experience as a serviced office provider over the past 20 years has taught us that company culture is key, both for our own staff but more importantly for the companies that we house.”
Recently, he said, Glandore staff have noticed a significant amount of office space being made available on the ‘grey market’, where business owners and tenants are deciding to try and exit some or all of their current accommodations, following a reassessment of their business needs in light of the pandemic and the current economic climate.
With remote working having proved effective for most businesses in Ireland, Glandore have said they anticipate many of them will be announcing to their staff in the coming months that they are ‘remote first’, but, as mentioned above, they will have a need for smaller spaces which their employees can use on a first-come first-serve or pre-book basis.
Mr Daly concluded: “The future is serviced and it is a win-win – for us, and for other providers, it is now more important than ever that we focus on the actual services provided as well as the bricks and mortar and that we ensure that all businesses and their employees are coming into a safe workspace, the same workplace but in a different work-space.”