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Saturday, July 13, 2024

‘Hybrid hosts’ – The latest office movement that is changing business fortunes

There is a new office movement taking off where businesses are becoming ‘hybrid hosts’ and it’s helping to save them up to £250k on office costs, without damaging work productivity, collaboration or culture.

Office workers across the country are, on average, in the office for less than 2.5 days a week, leaving millions of desks deserted on certain days of the week. The new movement has seen businesses take advantage of this by becoming ‘hybrid hosts’ and adopting a ‘hybrid office’ model.

Becoming a ‘hybrid host’ means a business sharing their (hybrid) office with another occupier on the days they don’t need, allowing them to generate revenue from their underutilised office space. This revenue is being passed on to their employees by early adopters in the form of pay rises and in turn is helping them deal with the cost-of-living crisis.

The new movement is being led by Space32 and seasoned entrepreneur and flexible-working champion, Jon Dweck.

Jon Dweck, CEO and founder of Space32, said: “This new era of flexible working is here to stay and business leaders are turning to fixed office days for entire teams as the best balance for both business and employees. Team members know which days they are in and can plan their lives around that. Leaders can have entire teams together again, maintaining culture and collaboration.

“This leaves entire offices empty for a large proportion of the week and this underutilised space is not being viewed in the correct way by business leaders. Generating revenue from another occupier does not feel like a compromise. Teams still have an entire space to themselves on the days they are there and wouldn’t know another team was there when they are not.”

One of those businesses who have joined the movement is recruitment agency, Pod Talent. After the pandemic, 95% of the employees wanted to move to a hybrid way of working, which presented MD, Lucy Morgan, with a major issue.

For two days each week, 32 desks, 3 meeting rooms, a living room area and kitchen in their office would be empty and moreover, they were tied to an eight-year lease on the space.

Space32 brokered a deal between Pod Talent and PrettyGreen Group, a creative communications agency with a “Work From Anywhere” policy. Now, PrettyGreen Group uses the office as creative collaboration space on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and the Pod Talent team has meetings, team events and socials alongside doing the day job on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays.

The deal generated £100,000 in additional revenue for Pod Talent, and MD, Lucy Morgan, knew that a proportion of this surplus cash had to go towards helping the people at the heart of the business, the employees.

To help their staff navigate the cost-of-living crisis every employee in the business received a £2,000 basic salary increase, in addition to standard salary reviews. All salary bandings were increased by the same amount, so new employees also received the same benefit.

The remaining revenue allowed Pod Talent to invest further in its employees by ensuring staff continue to have all the right equipment at home, and furthermore, it means the business has extra profit to hire more people, invest in technologies and much more.

According to research and calculations by Space32, the 58% of businesses whose employees are in the office between two to three days a week, are losing up to £250,000 a year by leaving their office space deserted. Now Lucy Morgan and Space32 are encouraging London businesses to join the movement, become hybrid hosts and share the profits with their employees to help them through the cost-of-living crisis.

Lucy Morgan, MD of Pod Talent, said: “Once we had experienced home working, we knew we’d never go back to the office 5 days a week; it just wasn’t what our people wanted, and we had found lots of other benefits to home working as well. Our biggest concern was the cost of our office and that money spent on rent going to waste if the office was sat empty.

“It was a natural decision to pass on this benefit to our team, the cost-of-living crisis is a key concern right now as it’s a key concern of our employees. Businesses throughout London should be looking at our model and acting, employees are at the heart of every business and business leaders should be doing everything they can to ensure their welfare during this time of crisis.”

Jon Dweck, CEO and founder of Space32, continued: “Pod Talent recognised this opportunity and they have been able to generate revenue that has gone straight into the pockets of the people that matter, their employees.

“We know that 88% of London businesses are not in the office full time, therefore 88% of London business leaders have the power to make a decision that could positively impact their employees’ lives. In this uncertain period, where the cost-of-living crisis continues to impact people across the country, business leaders can pass a proportion of these savings directly onto their employees.”

To help businesses take advantage of their vacant office space, Space32 has created the world’s first automated office marketplace that offers part-time hybrid offices alongside full-time flexible solutions. Those looking for a new office solution can use Space32’s ‘Intelligent Match’ process that connects hybrid-working businesses to the workspace solution that’s right for them, saving firms hundreds of thousands of pounds a year.

Jon Dweck continued: “As an example, if the average sized London office team of 41 employees is in the office for the average amount of 2.5 days, they could save £153,750 each year by changing to the hybrid office model. Giving each employee a £2,000 pay rise from this additional income to help with the rising costs of energy prices and food would still leave more than £70,000 in savings for the business.”

Space32 currently has 1,300 office spaces across more than 200 locations in London. For those wanting to search for space and switch to the hybrid model, visit https://www.space32.com/marketplace



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