Moving to a flex office: how to choose the right office

Flex Office
February 17, 2023
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With the advent of the remote work web site, some employees work remotely, which has a direct impact on offices and office space. Companies often find their premises half-empty, or even deserted on certain days.

To counter this phenomenon, the transition to the flex office accompanied by adequate tools, is a growing trend. But what is the flex office? This system of flexible offices allows to rethink the layout of the premises to adapt to the needs of the teams. The company thus offers a greater flexibility in its work organization and its spaces.

To make this transition successful, it's important to choose the right office space for your specific needs. In this article, we offer practical advice on finding the right office space for your business.

The advantages of the flex office

Improving well-being at work

You may have heard of the flex office under the name of desk sharing, flex desk or flexible office? The principle is the same: employees no longer have their own workstation.

Flex office is often introduced in return for remote work, to optimize office occupancy. Employees can work remotely on certain days. This enables them to manage their time more effectively and reduce their stressful commuting. Thanks to management tools such as Deskare, when employees are in the office on certain days, they can find an environment and spaces that suit their current needs and constraints.

An argument for recruiting new talent

Candidates are looking for companies that offer responsive management and flexible work environments that take their expectations into account. The workplace is therefore a key factor in recruitment strategies to stand out from the competition.

The flex office offers a shared workspace, more pleasant and stimulating. It encourages creativity and collaboration, which improves productivity and motivation.

Not to mention that with flexible offices, recruiters have access to a geographically broader pool of talent, as employees don't have to be on site every day.

More autonomy for employees

The flex office allows you to gain autonomy and freedom by choosing, according to your needs, the space in which to work:

  • A shared area for team collaboration
  • A quiet space to concentrate and complete individual tasks and projects
  • A phone box to isolate yourself for phone calls or video conferences

The freedom to choose your work location allows you to better adapt to fluctuations in workload according to your projects and preferences.

The impact of the flex office on real estate costs

Offices adapted to the size of the teams

The right space allows for more efficient use of space. If they are too large for the size of the team, this can lead to unnecessary waste of space and increased costs for renting or buying space. Conversely, if they are too small, the lack of space will be an obstacle to good management and teamwork.

Before choosing your office space, assess the needs of your employees. Ask yourself the right questions: What space do you need? What equipment do you need?

Think of the flex office as a (new) form of workstation allocation that promotes collaboration. Employees have more opportunities to meet, exchange and work together. This stimulates interaction, innovation and strengthens bonds!

Savings for the company

Real estate is the second largest expense item for companies, after payroll. For a long time, its optimization was put aside. Since the desertification of offices during the health crisis, financial and workplace departments are taking control of these costs. It is in this context that the flex office has come into its own.

When employees share workstations, space and infrastructure expenses (rent, energy, heating, cooling, etc.) are reduced. Some companies reinvest the savings in the employee experience: services, equipment, events, etc.

➡️ Which office in 2023? Discover the new expectations of employees in the office!

How to choose your new offices for flex office

The search for office space is a complex process, especially when it involves a change in work patterns. Being accompanied in this process allows you to benefit from local expertise. This is what Leosquare offers in Paris. Its teams take care of your search (coworking, services or 3/6/9 lease): from consulting to fitting out, thanks to a large network of partners!

Here are some practical tips to help you define your real estate search.

Choose a location that is easily accessible to the greatest number of people

Location is an important criterion in choosing an office. Choose a location that is easily accessible by public transportation, car and bicycle. Also take into account the proximity of shops and services to facilitate the life of your employees.

With flex office you can reduce the total office space. Because of this savings, companies often ask themselves whether they should choose smaller but better located offices. To answer this question, involve your employees in the reflection and ask them. We have created a questionnaire to help you.

You can consider these three elements to find the best location:

  • The nature of your activity to be close to the actors who look like you
  • Your customers to position yourself in relation to them
  • The places where your employees live to facilitate their movements

Evaluate the space needed

The Labor Code does not specify a minimum surface area of a workstation per employee. However, it does require companies to comply with health and safety regulations (see article R 4214-22).

The standard NF X 35-102 of the AFNOR (French Association for Standardization) provides some recommendations:

  • 10 m² per person for a private office
  • 11 m² per person for a shared office
  • 15 m² per person in a noisy collective space

Companies often rely on the rate of expansion to optimize their spaces. For example, Bic has chosen to keep a rate of 80% to ensure a certain comfort for its teams.

Opt for already furnished or empty offices

By choosing furnished offices, companies have access to basic furniture: workstation, chair, storage, printer, etc. They also benefit from common areas with a dining area for breaks, a microwave and coffee facilities. But what they are looking for most of all are meeting rooms and phone boxes, which are very much in demand by employees in flex office for more flexibility.

With empty offices, companies have more freedom to adapt spaces to their activity, to the needs and specific projects of employees without a dedicated office. This option is advantageous when the organization already has the necessary equipment.

Define the budget

A company that moves to a new office must consider several expense items: rent, utilities, taxes, and costs related to the signing of the agreement, the fitting out and the installation.

To help you see more clearly, Leosquare has analyzed the average rent of an office in Paris per m²:

Rental value in Paris - January 2023

Create offices that reflect your corporate culture

Culture and values live on through the workspace. An environment that reflects the company's DNA helps build employee engagement and a sense of belonging. In some companies, such as Stuart, the office becomes an employee benefit, just like the meal vouchers or the gym.

To summarize, the choice of offices and work organization models have an impact on employee collaboration. By creating areas that encourage teamwork, you can help your employees collaborate more effectively!

FAQ on choosing a flex office

Why choose the flex office?

The flex office is an office organization that offers several spaces according to the needs of employees. It is also a good way for the company to optimize its costs and to offer a better experience to its teams.

Why is it important to make work flexible?

Flexible working brings many benefits to both employees and companies: work-life balance, increased productivity, attraction and retention of talent, reduced costs and strong adaptability to crises.

How does the flex office work?

The flex office is a work organization model that offers employees the freedom to choose and reserve a workspace according to their needs and preferences through adapted tools. The flex office is designed to be adaptable to the changing needs of the company and its employees.