The office space buzz these days is for entrepreneurs and small business owners to look at coworking. But this is not the best solution for companies with more than 5 or 10 employees. The solution for some small businesses is to create their own private coworking office – called team space or open-office environments. This concept is not unique to small businesses. Even large companies like Google, Microsoft and Yahoo have embraced the concept of open-office team spaces.

Business owners and senior managers want to feel connected to their companies’ day-to-day operations – and they find open layouts and team space helpful to that end. It doesn’t hurt that open layouts also maximize square footage efficiency. But the criticisms of open-concept team space claim a lack of efficiency when it comes to workforce performance. They also claim that research suggests employees simply can’t concentrate in these “collaborative” atmospheres. But when done right, this is not true. The fact is that the willingness to rethink the workplace is usually credited with the shift toward remote work arrangements and more flexible hours. The old constraints of where and when you do your work now give way to a more nuanced understanding of what fuels productivity. Your employees may occupy an office space for eight hours a day, but that doesn’t necessarily mean those hours are productive.

From the experiences of our team-space clients, flexible working arrangements bring many positive benefits to an employee’s life – including a better work/life balance, greater job satisfaction, more autonomy, increased energy, creativity, motivation and morale. Businesses with flexible working arrangements give employees greater ownership and control of their own time and working hours, enabling them to manage their responsibilities outside of work as well. This can in turn reduce stress and anxiety for employees, which ultimately translates into more productivity.

Flexible work schedules have both positives and negatives. While some traditional managers feel that structure is good for a work environment, employees increasingly seek positions that offer more freedom in working hours. Whether this means allowing non-traditional hours or paying workers for outcomes rather than having them occupy a desk all day, there are a few reasons why flexibility might be a good fit for your organization.

When companies implement flexible-hours team spaces, they have been able to see improvements in communications and information technology. They have also learned that employees don’t necessarily need to be in their office every day of the working week. Additionally, they have learned that people can now work from home on a regular basis while remaining in touch with the office. Furthermore, there is an increased demand for flexible working from in-demand young talent seeking flexibility. Millennials do not want fixed hours, but instead prefer to choose the hours they work. For this generation, flexible working is now considered the norm rather than the exception. Organizations struggling to attract younger workers may find that they gain an edge over their more traditional competitors.

An additional benefit of flexible-hours team space is some cost-saving benefits. This depends on how the flexible work arrangement is structured, but your businesses may be able to save money. Consider that instead of having 20 employees sitting side-by-side in cubicles or small private offices all day, a business can have some of those employees share a smaller team office space with varying schedules. Not only could you be saving money on the rental costs of office space itself, a business can also cut costs each month on utilities. Most business centres that rent shared offices and team space include utilities in the rent. But others, like Telsec, also offer complimentary coffee and tea for tenants and their guests. This can be a big cost saving over time for a small business.