Financial Data
Updated 25 Feb 2020

Office space: In the future, you might not need it

Driven by tangible benefits for businesses of all sizes, state-of-the-art virtual offices, shared office space and co-working are rapidly reshaping the concept of office space in the new gig economy. 

Sibongile Booi, 19 June 2017  Share  0 comments  Print

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The way people work is changing. The economy is shifting towards smaller businesses, start-ups, self-employed consultants and professional freelancers. Corporates are realising that workplace flexibility is a priority for the increasingly mobile, on-the-go workforce of Millennials.

Enter the gig economy

In fact, access to mobile technology and the impact of the recession are driving the new “gig” economy, in which increasing numbers of workers are paid per “gig” (or task) as opposed to being employed full-time.

Employers too are embracing the flexibility of the gig economy in which they can hire on-demand, and at lower costs from an extended talent pool. An estimated 5 million workers are already employed in the UK’s gig economy, and 40% of Americans are predicted to be part of the gig economy by 2020.

Related: 10 Questions to ask before choosing an office space

Reshaping the workspace 

These shifts in workstyle are reflected in workspaces globally. The traditional concept of office space is being reshaped to meet the increasing demand for flexibility from corporate employers and employees, as well as from start-ups, consultants and freelancers.  

The result is a rapid growth in virtual offices, co-working and shared office space, which offer not only exceptional flexibility, but also a myriad of tangible business benefits.

Tangible benefits

Today’s virtual offices are a complete solution, offering fully furnished offices, boardrooms, meeting spaces and workspaces with state-of-the-art office equipment and secure Wi-Fi, and a range of amenities and administrative services, all available on a flexible hourly, daily, weekly or monthly basis.

‘Well-located’ virtual offices provide the professionalism and enhanced productivity of a traditional office, without the costs of buying or renting space and furnishing, equipping and staffing the office, or the inflexibility of long-term office rentals, equipment leases and employment agreements.

A further evolution is "shared office space" or “co-working space” – essentially a virtual office shared by a diverse community of independent business owners. These workspaces deliver even more benefits, most notably a shared community, allowing for collaboration, networking, recommendations, referrals and feedback from like-minded business people in real-time. 

Related: The 3 things your tenants really want in their office space

The reshaping of traditional office space into virtual offices – and now into shared office space or co-working space - has brought cost-effective and flexible solutions for freelancers, consultants, entrepreneurs, travelling professionals, start-ups, small businesses, companies exploring business opportunities in new areas, businesses that are downsizing or looking for temporary space, and corporate workers and employers requiring more flexibility.

It’s a modern approach to workstyle in the growing gig economy, delivering professional workspaces with the exceptional flexibility, cost-savings and increased productivity conducive to growth and success.

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About the author

Sibongile Booi

Sibongile Booi is the founder of Second Office, the first virtual office solution in the Eastern Cape that offers cost-saving, flexible business and serviced office solutions. She’s been recognised as one of the Top 100 Women in the Border Kei Region and her company has been recognised on various platforms, including achieving First Runner Up in the 2016 Eskom Business Investment competition and becoming a recipient of the SAB Foundation Tholoana Fund. Sibongile is a big life enthusiast, a long-distance runner and a pilot in training.  Twitter @sibbooi or email [email protected]

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