9 January 2017 | Roger Amos
Every organisation is scrutinising its cost base and the continued search for the holy grail of the truly flexible working model is still sought.
Flexible working has not only seen most firms move to open-plan offices, it has also seen more hot desks or touchdown space introduced.
When an organisation considers its accommodation strategy, it also has a now well-established option for a managed service office to factor in to its appraisals. Some brands are popping up almost as frequently as the well-known coffee shops on the high street and this allows an organisation working in multiple locations to drop into those centres and work as well as having options for such things as a virtual address or remote reception service.
This all needs to be taken into account when weighing up options. The managed service option may seem more expensive but it offers flexibility and scalability, and it's hassle-free with no need to worry about arranging a cleaner, an electrician or remembering to buy loo rolls on the way in.
Then there is location; you'll find plenty of choices in most towns and cities.
We have two offices - one of each type and I can see the pros and cons to both arguments. I'm sat in the managed service office - clean, comfortable, but trying not to be put off by the conference call next door through the thin partition.
The other office is above a shop - when the gas board cut off the supply recently to the building thinking no one was in the offices at the top, it caused unrest among the staff as temperatures plummeted. Then there's organising the FM - yes, a busman's holiday to some extent for us. The electric, the gas, the business rates, the internet, the phones, the cleaning. The bottom line is that you need to provide something to meet your client needs and whilst sounding obvious - it's all too often forgotten in the quest for efficiencies.
Roger Amos is a director of Ayer Associates Limited