With more and more people working remotely, many companies are downsizing their headquarters in the downtown areas and choosing to rent smaller satellite locations in the suburbs.
Instead of having a single location for all business activities, including meetings and events, firms are decentralizing with a regional network of offices.
This concept has come to be known as the “hub-and-spoke model,” and its chief aim is to enable employees closer drive-to office destinations while reducing real estate costs for the organization.
Flexible workspace is the new office standard
As COVID-19 restrictions lift worldwide and organizations welcome their employees back into their offices, it’s becoming evident that the traditional, 9-5 workday model will no longer be tenable.
According to a 2021 Work Reimagined Employee Survey, 54% of employees prefer flexibility where they work, making a solid case for the hub-and-spoke model. The same percent of employees surveyed said that they’re likely to quit if they’re not offered the flexibility they want.
Despite the recent hype surrounding the hub-and-spoke model as a response to the rise of hybrid work, this concept is nothing new.
It’s been around for years in regulated industries such as healthcare, financial, pharmaceuticals and auto manufacturers, where companies relied on satellite branches to sustain a coordinated business.
Why the hub-and-spoke model could become the office of the future
According to co-working company ShareSpace, the hub-and-spoke model is an important concept that can help companies accrue significant benefits, including:
- Addressing employee needs. The hub-and-spoke model is responsive to the needs of job seekers who expect more flexibility from their employers. As hybrid work gains more traction, the hub-and-spoke model is a plausible solution for organizations looking to adapt to the new working culture. It also enables them to customize their workspace to meet employee preferences and gain a competitive edge with workers.
- Gaining access to a larger talent pool. With a hub-and-spoke model, companies aren’t limited to hiring local talent and can search for candidates in different cities or regions. Being able to offer flexible work arrangements can be a great asset when seeking to attract new talent, especially young professionals or parents who have to balance their work with taking care of their kids.
- Pursuing new market opportunities. When organizations rent offices on flexible terms, they can scale and expand more efficiently. If a new market turns out to be less receptive than anticipated, companies can downsize quickly at a minimal cost. They can also test out what makes the most sense for their business model, whether it’s a month-to-month contract or a pay-as-you-grow lease agreement.
- Cost optimization. The hub-and-spoke office model can prove to make more sense from a cost perspective than paying for a centralized office location. Flexible space options help companies optimize their budget because they pay only for the space they use. When firms aren’t locking into lease agreements, they can respond to industry changes quicker and boost their scaling potential.
It remains to be seen how many companies move towards the hub-and-spoke model in the post-COVID workplace, but a number of firms are exploring its possibilities, including Deloitte, KPMG, and the Bank of Montreal.
Conclusion: Hub-and-spoke model empowers organizations and their employees
The pandemic has fast-tracked the pivot from physical to the digital workspace, and the way people use their office is unlikely to remain the same.
COVID-19 has proved that the traditional arrangement of a corporate headquarters where workers assemble every day is not a make-or-break for productivity.
With the rise of hybrid work, staff’s expectations of their office are changing, and an era of offices as grey, drab, and generic spaces is coming to an end.
This is why today’s offices are much more friendly, functional and eclectic.
As Forbes pointed out recently, offices are becoming more exciting and dynamic. People no longer go to the office to work but leverage it as a hub for engagement and activity.
For this reason, it’s not surprising that the hub-and-spoke model is emerging across the corporate sector as a solution that adds enormous value for the company and its people, regardless of where they live.
EAIGLE is on a mission to empower organizations with AI-powered workspace management solutions so they can build modern offices that reduce real estate costs and retain top talent. To find out more, visit eaigle.com or schedule a demo below: