As Cardiff’s workforce returned in their masses, the office market recorded a year-over-year increase of more than 80% in 2022, its best take-up since 2018.
But if the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that situations can change drastically overnight. Covid-19 may be behind us, but there are many challenges ahead and businesses must take steps to protect against future disruption. The solution lies in flexible workspaces — a growing trend that Cardiff has been quick to embrace.
The city’s demand for flexible office space was previously tipped to double between 2019 and 2023. With more businesses than ever seeking out office space that they can shrink and scale to keep up with the ever-changing market, the city is on track to not just achieve this target, but surpass it in the coming years.
Providing a hub for innovation
Approximately 60% of UK startups fail before they really get started. Undoubtedly, many of those that fall short possess world-changing ideas, but lack the budget to see them through those challenging early stages.
However, Cardiff’s flexible workspaces have been a game-changer for the city’s entrepreneurs. Providers such as Office Space in Town (OSiT) offer high-speed connectivity, collaborative spaces and a community of like-minded innovators — everything a growing business needs to get off the ground, but without the debilitating overheads that come with traditional office space.
Having embraced the flexible office, it’s really no wonder that Cardiff ranks as the best place to start a new venture, recording the highest positive margin between startup launches and failures in the UK.
Supporting the scaling business
As Cardiff’s growing number of startups mature, flexible workspaces will offer plenty of room to support their growing needs. However, these are benefits for businesses of all shapes and sizes, particularly during these trying economic times.
Should a business opt to lease office space, they face paying upfront costs such as agent and solicitor fees, as well as a large deposit. Then there’s buying furniture and decorating, and kitting it out with expensive equipment. On top of that, there’s ongoing expenses such as cleaning, maintenance and security. Alternatively, a flexible workspace, where all services and facilities are provided by the management company, can provide the same environment and amenities for just 30% of the cost.
Whereas leased space typically requires a commitment of three to five years, flexi space allows businesses to scale and shrink to meet their capacity needs and budgets on a month-by-month basis. The benefit of this cannot be overstated, particularly so when 26% of SMEs are concerned they won’t be able to pay their bills this year. Businesses do not know what tomorrow holds, let alone how many desks they will need in half a decade’s time.
Keeping teams connected
Many of us dreamed of working from home prior to the pandemic. Yet, as we discovered, the grass isn’t greener outside of the office. Working out of our bedrooms and garden sheds offered novelty, but it failed to provide the camaraderie and collaboration that teams need to thrive.
Where almost a third of us experienced feelings of loneliness as a result of remote working, the flexible office offers no shortage of opportunities to connect. These shared environments bring individuals from a vast range of businesses and backgrounds together, offering abundant opportunities to learn, network and collaborate.
However, there is no denying that remote working has its perks and many remain reluctant to give them up. With 54% of UK businesses actively struggling to get employees back to the office, the flexible workspace could offer some much-needed encouragement. With competition growing in the serviced office space, often you will find amenities that are less common in the traditional workplace, from gyms to bars and even hotel rooms. These services bring life a little closer to the office and, suddenly, that commute doesn’t seem quite so bad.
Prioritising workplace wellbeing
Each of OSiT’s serviced offices have been designed to support the physical wellbeing of those that use them, offering ergonomic furniture and an abundance of airflow. However, businesses must not only consider the physical wellbeing of their employees, but also the mental.
White walls and endless rows of desks offer little inspiration and studies have shown that ‘boreout’ – chronic boredom – can lead to health issues such as stress, anxiety and depression among workers. A top priority for OSiT, we offer a range of work areas, from open-plan seating to private offices, that provide every worker with an engaging environment that suits their work style.
This strong emphasis on wellbeing goes beyond improving mental health. Providing a comfortable, healthy and inspiring work setting, it also unlocks maximum productivity that fuels career progression and business growth, which is helping Cardiff’s businesses and talent to thrive in the post-pandemic world.
A leading example of pandemic recovery
In a post-pandemic landscape where many cities continue to struggle, Cardiff has effortlessly transitioned back to office life, with take-up in 2022 above pre-Covid trend levels.
However, with yet more uncertainty ahead, the city has recognised the immense value of flexible workspaces, which offer affordability, scalability, and a strong sense of community. By embracing this trend, Cardiff has positioned itself as a hub for talent and growth — and its success in adapting to the evolving work landscape serves as a shining example to other cities hoping to thrive during times of turbulence.
To find out more about Office Space in Town, please click here.