[This article was written in collaboration with Colony.]
As a nation, we’ve become very familiar with the concept of working from home the past few months. At Vulcan Post, our Malaysian office has been closed for more months than it’s been open in 2020, and we probably won’t be going back in until 2021 comes about.
That’s at least 6 months of us having an unused office while still paying rent.
Savills, an international property agency believes that offices will still be needed in the coming months, but the leasing volumes would be significantly lower compared to 2019.
Offices as we know them are due for a change.
Are Long-Term Offices Still Relevant?
Although the workforce in general has become very familiar with working from home, Savills concluded that offices will still act as a hub for in-person brainstorming sessions or as a ‘break from the usual’.
Because let’s face it, meeting up with a fellow colleague feels more efficient than talking to them through a Zoom call. Companies have also realised that the WFH situation has resulted in a loss in productivity, with 70% of employees saying that they’re less productive at home.
The whole situation has made businesses realise that they need to be on the lookout for alternatives. Take for example, a flexible workspace arrangement. This offers businesses a space for employees to work in, without the looming presence of a long-term contract.
When the pandemic is over, experts envision that offices will still be utilised, but with an increased focus on flexibility, wellness and collaboration.
Getting Down To The Bottom Line: Pricing
In this climate, many companies are looking for ways to cut down on unneeded overhead costs to ensure that they’re able to focus on what’s more important, such as paying employees.
Like us, if you have a long-term space, even if the office is unused, you’re still forking out money to pay for rent, electricity, water and even internet bills.
Sadly, for companies in a permanent office situation or a year-long contract, terminating a contract can be a costly decision with no easy exit strategies nor freedom to react to current economic demands.
A flexible office could serve as a solution here. But even flexible offices usually require the company to serve a 30-day notice, and after that, businesses wouldn’t get their deposit back immediately.
This would mean that cash flow would still be an issue. Even if you do opt for a flexible office, you might not have the money to immediately transition into one due to its demanding deposits and high monthly fees.
Looking to address the issues mentioned above, Colony, a Malaysian co-working space is now offering companies a solution called Ultra Flex.
A True Flex Office Option For Businesses
With Colony’s Ultra Flex, employees are still able to meet up and work together safely in an office space, while giving the businesses the opportunity to retain cash flow whilst prioritising ultimate flexibility.
When your company opts for Ultra Flex and runs into a cash-strapped period, you could terminate the contract with Colony within 1 working day, and your deposit is returned within 7 working days.
Compare that with normal leasing, whose deposit refunds could take up to 60 days or completely forfeited.
But if your company falls on tough times and doesn’t have cash in hand urgently, but still requires an office to work out from on certain days, or you now find shifting your workforce to e WFH temporarily, you could opt to freeze your membership anytime, within 1 working-day’s notice.
Example: If another wave were to strike again, you could freeze your membership with Colony and resume when the wave clears and it’s safe for your employees to return back to the office once more, without any incurring additional charges.
With Colony’s Ultra Flex solution, you can opt for different office types too. If you wish to have a private office, you can do just that. Or for smaller teams, you could request for a Reserved Desk instead.
For those who are looking into a more leaner plan, you can customise your workplace with Colony based on your requirement with a mix of private offices and reserved desks.
As for deposits, Colony will require RM500 per workstation, if you’re taking a private office. If you’re taking Reserved Desks instead, you won’t even have to pay any deposit.
Compared to other lease or tenancy agreements that require a deposit of 2-months lease, this seems like a better choice.
- For more information on Colony’s Ultra Flex solution, click here.
- Read up more on what we’ve written about Colony in the past here.
Featured Image Credit: LYCS Architecture on Unsplash