Between the popularity of remote work, open office plans, and shared coworking spaces, flex desks have become a staple of modern working life. These are much more than a trend, it allows people to work when and where they want and is a tool used by self-employed individuals AND established companies to stay productive and connected, wherever they live or travel.
Flex desks have a myriad of benefits, from convenience and flexibility to community and creativity. But how do they work and are they right for you?
What is a Flex Desk?
A flex desk is a workspace where desks are used by different people at different times, on an day to day basis. Typically, the aim is to maximize space efficiency and lessen real estate risk by reducing redundant office space. Flex desks can be implemented in private offices as well as coworking spaces. The flexibility associated with flex desking is often linked to an increase in employee innovation, while the social aspect is shown as a way to encourage collaboration.
How does a Flex-Desk work?
Find a desk, plug in, and get to work: flex desks provide space for professionals to work as needed, in both private and shared office spaces. That means that the specifications for flex desking may vary depending on the environment, but here are the primary factors to consider.
Access to power outlets and phones
Hot desks typically come with their own power outlets and WiFi connection. In shared coworking spaces like Mesh Cowork, there are dedicated spaces away from the desk for taking calls— patios or in shared lounges, for example. In private office environments, particularly in sales companies, a permanent phone is likely attached to the desk for different employees to use as needed.
Bookable meeting rooms
Most flex desk arrangements in shared coworking spaces allow you to book meeting rooms through an app or a web log-in. Printing facilities similar to booking conference rooms, flex-desk often have a central printer that workers can use through an app or web log-in. These printers are managed by the community team in shared workspaces and internally by office managers in private environments.
Technology and internet
Flex Desk wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for laptops, tablets, and smartphones—and all offices with flex desk arrangements should provide WiFi to accommodate. Some users, however, need more than their laptops to work effectively. For this reason, some flex desks come with a monitor and a VGA, DVI, or HDMI connection, allowing users to plug in and use a second screen temporarily.
Bathrooms, kitchens, and other common areas
As in most office environments, amenities like bathrooms and kitchens are included in a flex desk arrangements and are cleaned, stocked, and maintained by office management. In all-inclusive solutions like Mesh Cowork, flex desk agreements also give you access to free coffee as well as perks like community meals and networking events.
Private space when needed
Most professions call for some privacy during the workday, whether it’s for attending meetings, strategic planning, or discussing finances. These conversations are likely too sensitive for a flex desk especially when you’re surrounded by people from other teams or other companies, and require a more private space.
Both private offices and coworking spaces provide bookable conference rooms for holding private meetings or taking sensitive calls.
The advantages of flex desks
The benefits of flex desks vary depending on your work style and what you need from the arrangement. Where freelancers appreciate having a place to work and meet potential clients, business owners like the flexible lease terms and the ability to hire or send employees to workspaces in different cities.
Hot-desking for self-employed workers
If you’re a consultant, freelancer, or entrepreneur working at the same location, flex desks are a flexible, cost-effective solution to finding office space—without the commitment or rigidity of long-term office leases. It helps combat the isolation of working from home, and surrounds you with a network of professionals who are also working remotely or freelancing for themselves.
For self-employed workers juggling multiple projects in various locations, flex desks also allows you to find a workspace and stay connected—even while traveling. This convenience fuels productivity and provides the perks of office space (a dedicated place to work; a professional setting to meet with clients) wherever your work takes you.
Flex desks for enterprise companies
Flexibility is key when it comes to growing your team and scaling your business—and flex desks gives you the flexibility to hire remote workers without a major investment. Monthly, individual agreements allow you to grow into prime markets quickly and withdraw when necessary, while eliminating the risks associated with opening your own office.
Alon with scale and growth, the cost savings that come with flexible rent agreements and the outsourcing of office staff, cleaning staff, and the cost of amenities are a major cost for big businesses. According to a recent survey of more than 550 commercial real estate executives, one-third of the companies using flexible space reported occupancy cost savings of more than 5 percent.
Flex desks are linked to increased collaboration and innovation
Whether it’s in a private office or a wider coworking space, flex desks brings people together from different teams or companies, creating a diverse group of professionals. This connection often leads to new opportunities, in which new clients, partners, or employees are gained through flex desk introductions.
According to 2018 research, coworking spaces are particularly valuable in forging relationships between “entrepreneurs, other businesses, startups, and innovators.” This is achieved through intentional, data-driven workspace design that includes shared spaces and infrastructure, and technologies like apps or online coworking communities.
Many studies have linked flex desks to an increase in innovation and entrepreneurship. This comes from the flexibility afforded to flex desk users—they can work where and when they find inspiration.
More flexible solutions
To serve the growing number of people in the remote workforce and companies using hybrid workplace models, Mesh Cowork has made access to flex desks, as well as other workspaces like meeting rooms and private offices, much more accessible and flexible. The flexibility and accessibility don’t come at the cost of safety and social distancing measures as Mesh Cowork continues to prioritize the safety of our community with enhanced cleaning measures and reimagined spaces for effective workplace distancing.