Is the City Going Out of Fashion? Rethinking your Office Location in 2021
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” – Charles Darwin
While we know that the office space post-COVID-19 is more critical than ever. It’s also clear the way in which people work has changed. Additionally, many businesses are offering more flexible work arrangements. With some re-thinking how their office space is used in the light of recovering from the pandemic.
At A1 Office we have seen a reconsideration around how much space is given to desks and how much is given to collaborative areas. More recently; those businesses wanting to move out of offices in the heart of Melbourne and take up residence in the suburbs.
A report from Smart Property Investment supports our finding. Saying that a shift in tenant preferences and space requirements have resulted in the movement of tenants out of the city’s CBD and into the city fringe and inner suburban locations.
Regional Office Location Arrangements
To add to this upheaval, a recent study found that one in five city dwellers are actively considering a move to regional Australia in the next year. A fascinating finding which begs the question, why? Well, the evidence suggests that the main consideration is; better mental health.
Put simply, imagine your living in a two-bedroom flat with a roommate. There’s one living room, three windows, thin walls and if you’re lucky a tiny balcony that barely fits two people. Now picture six months locked down in that space. Suddenly remote work doesn’t seem so attractive, does it? Unfortunately, for some employees this was a reality, affecting both mental health and creativity.
As we’ve only just reached a COVID-normal, a lot of industry thought leaders are trying to rethink the workplace and move to virtual office environments. Some businesses are keen to adopt more flexible arrangements and downsize their spaces. Others wish to upgrade to ensure they’re complacent to social distancing measures. This new shift in employee attitudes towards regional Australia is exciting yet daunting to the modern manager.
The issue of some workforces moving into regional areas begets the question of how will this shift affect finding the best talent for your business?. With modern problems come modern solutions; the most obvious of course being flexible work arrangements. See our article ‘Flexible Work Explained,’ for more information on this topic.
A solution to all issues of workspace transformation is to be adaptable and vigilant, monitor progress and production, listen to your people and rethink your operations. Most importantly make swift decisions of change once it is clear if recent changes aren’t working for your business. As Charles Darwin has said; it is not the most intelligent species that survives, it is the one most adaptable to change.
The Move Away From The CBD
In the wake of COVID-19. Many workers have decided there aren’t many reasons to stay in the expensive city. With technology evolving, it’s no longer necessary to stay geographically close to your clients. Yet other businesses are cherishing the return to the office, and are asking staff to return with gusto. In some cases, there’s a rise in interest for large businesses to no longer have just one corporate Head Office and instead adopt smaller regional hubs. For instance, having offices in Byron Bay, Mornington, and Warragul and allowing employees to choose beach or bush for their lifestyle.
Moving to regional locations for many people has many benefits including broadening the talent pool and lowering monthly rent. If you’re considering setting up multiple smaller regional workspaces there’s the added benefit of easier COVID safe procedures, increased mentorship, increased collaboration and a stronger trust in management as there are fewer people to manage so there’s more attention given to individual employees.
Another option is to join those businesses that are shifting their workplace from the CBD to fringe and inner suburb locations. Lots of businesses are considering this type for ease of accessibility by car and public transport. Making the office closer to your people means in the age of flexible work there is more of an incentive to be coming into the office to collaborate.