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Flexible workspace spend: What you need to know

Flexible workspace spend: What you need to know

Feb 13, 2024

5 mins read

Workspace Spend Management

As the way of working continues to evolve, many companies are embracing flexible workspaces to help provide employees with a different option for returning to work. This shift from a permanent physical location to more flexible options for employees can impact the way businesses allocate resources. With that in mind, companies need to understand the concept of flexible workspace spend, and what they need to consider when planning their budgets. 

What is flexible workspace spend? 

Typically, “flexible workspace spend” refers to the amount of money that a company is allocating for flexible workspace solutions, like on-demand coworking spaces. From flexible office space leases to collaborative tools and systems, flexible workspace spend encompasses the expenses required to cover the specific needs of employees utilizing those spaces. 

With the growth and acceptance of hybrid work as a viable option for companies, the need for access to flexible workspace spend has increased. Whether a company is using a flexible workspace as a full-time replacement for a physical office, or they’re tapping into flexible workspaces as alternative office resources for their teams, companies need to ensure that they have planned for potential expenses related to this new expenditure. 

Considerations for flexible workspace spend 

When companies are thinking about what to evaluate as part of a flexible workspace spend, several considerations can factor into a potential budget.

1. Who will be using flexible workspaces?  

A flexible workspace spend hinges on the type of job an employee does and how they’ll be using it. Consider these examples: 

  • A C-suite executive might be using the space for client meetings or in-person conferences.
  • A salesperson selling a product or service to potential clients might just need access to a lounge or open meeting space. 
  • A software designer may need a desk and dedicated space so they can do their work. 

Once you have a full understanding of which team members on your team will be using flexible workspaces, and how they will be using them, you can better understand what needs to be allocated for a flexible workspace spend. If you’re unsure as to how team members might use flexible workspaces, a simple approach is to use a survey to collect information directly from employees about their projected needs. It’ll also be important to connect with managers to understand when and how they’ll need to bring their teams together for collaboration. 

2. What kind of flexible workspaces will employees need? 

“Flexible workspace” is a board term that encompasses several different types of spaces. From meeting and conference rooms to on-demand coworking spaces and hot desks, understanding what type of flexible workspaces your employees will need will help you determine flexible workspace spend. 

For some companies, the flexible workspace is doubling as their primary physical location, while for others, the flexible workspaces might just be used for overflow conference rooms or meeting spaces. In yet another circumstance, employees might just be offered the option to work in an on-demand coworking space as a way to get out of their house or collaborate with team members in an in-person but still informal setting. Once you know what kind of flexible workspaces your teams will be using, you can get a better sense of flexible workspace spend. 

And again, it might be helpful to survey your team members and offer them various options, because flexible workspaces are rapidly growing and evolving to where some members may not be familiar with what they offer.

3. Where does your team live? 

The beauty of remote and hybrid work is that it opens up the talent pool to people all over the world. And with that in mind, where an employee lives can greatly affect the cost of flexible workspaces. 

For example, an on-demand coworking space or daily meeting room in a larger metropolis like Paris or Manhattan is going to cost much more than a similar space in Houston, Texas. And if you have team members who travel and need access to multiple locations around the world, companies will want to get as much of an understanding as possible as to where they may potentially be traveling to and what their needs will be when they arrive so a flexible workspace spend can be determined.

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