Furnishing Flexible Office Space
Today's workplace is anything but typical. Some businesses still rely on the traditional office model — e.g. one central office hub for the majority of its workers — but the way people work has evolved over the past few decades.
The needs of the workforce are changing. More companies have begun hiring remote employees, and as a result, the need for traditional long-term office leases for a large pool of employees has shrunk. Instead, flexible workspaces have grown in demand — providing quick, turnkey solutions for businesses with a distributed workforce.
This ever-growing need for flexible working office space is driven by the rise of numerous types of workers, including the following:
- Those who move in and out of shared office spaces
- Startups and other businesses trying to safeguard capital
- Commercial leasing businesses that want to leave "move-in ready" office space for coworkers, project teams, and businesses who need on-demand options
That's where furniture rental really shines, offering flexibility and scalability on an unprecedented level. Melanie Jones, Regional Business Development Executive with CORT Furniture Rental, has a unique vantage point after years of working with all types of businesses to meet their needs. After watching the trend grow, she coined the term "Furniture as a Service (FaaS),"which could be the mystery factor in boosting the bottom line for any business.
Furniture as a Service (FaaS) Explained
You've probably heard of SaaS (software as a service), but if FaaS is new to you, you're not alone. Jones explains, "It represents a model of access to furniture on an as-needed basis. The model perfectly supports the changing landscape of businesses and consumers preferring to use things as needed. Access over Ownership, the ol' Netflix model of 'Select. Order. Use. Return.' still holds true in the evolving subscription economy."
That same subscription economy is changing the business infrastructure for many enterprises. Access is becoming more important than ownership, which is why flex space is becoming increasingly important, while also providing a host of benefits.
FaaS Offers a Trifecta of Benefits
Furniture on demand: It's proving to work for everyone from startups to remote workers to commercial real-estate teams. "The FaaS model benefits clients in three key ways: flexibility, speed, and access," notes Jones. "The upside potential for businesses and building owners to add dollars to the bottom line is tremendous."
For so many businesses today, the more flexibility, the better. Jones explains, "When conserving capital and allocating funds to operating expenses is coupled with the necessary flexibility that today’s business environment requires, our clients are able to invest a bit more in talent, and create a flexible workplace that meets the demands of the day with projects, employees, space, and vision.” And really, that's one of the keys to staying afloat in any competitive arena.
In addition to the agility to meet the demands of the modern workplace, businesses also have to be able to roll quickly with the changes that come along. This is particularly true in commercial real estate (CRE). As Jones notes, "The commercial real estate landscape is changing. Lease lengths are decreasing in duration, and remaining nimble and flexible continues to bubble up as a top priority for leadership in most organizations."
For those in CRE, flexibility is great, but fetching a higher price per square foot is even better. Offering increased access to commercial spaces allows brokers to generate higher revenue overall, boosting their bottom line.
For instance, Jones and the CORT team have worked within the CRE industry quite a bit, which has provided them a unique perspective. As Jones notes, "Brokers have new strategic tools to accelerate leasing options that ultimately garner higher rents. Think Space as a Service, furnished plug-and-play spaces, strategic flex spaces, and spec suites. Additionally, building ownership teams are turning to CORT daily for help in competing with coworking spaces and keeping some of the revenue in their own pockets."
Flexibility is Key for a Bright Future
Flex space partnered with FaaS is a practical solution to help commercial real estate owners remain competitive in a market that has seen huge shifts in recent years. As new office buildings go up everyday, and the working styles of the tenants who inhabit those buildings change, remaining flexible — in lease terms and furniture solutions — is key to keeping occupancy high.