2023 is beginning a little differently than previous years, with talk of a recession set to hit the UK this year.
Recessions can be worrying times for business owners and employees alike as some industries may struggle to generate the same sales as they have previously, meaning a reduction in other costs may be a prominent theme during this time.
But how will a recession affect the current popularity of flexible working for employees?
Flexible working can be the ideal solution for employees and employers alike, allowing people the flexibility to work from the office or from home at various stages of the work week.
At Us&Co we believe that a flexible workplace helps to motivate employees, which is why we have looked into the potential effects a recession may have on flexible working, and how employers can still benefit from it during hard times.
Flexible Working offers a choice in ‘when, how and where’ people work, whether that is remote, part-time or flexible hours. These possibilities have been added into contracts and company policies in recent years due to their motivational qualities for employees.
Flexible working became popular during the Covid-19 pandemic, allowing business to continue as usual while people were refined to their homes. It’s remained popular among businesses ever since, helping people to maintain their work life balance whilst still putting in excellent work, leaving people feeling happier with their roles and workplace.
However, with the potential of an upcoming recession predicted to begin in 2023, it is likely that some employers will be questioning the benefits of flexible working for their businesses.
With the introduction of a recession comes the potential for financial loss amongst businesses, which is why employers are looking at ways they can continue to provide jobs and services that don’t have a negative, long-term impact on their business.
With a reduction in finances, it is understandable that employers may want their staff members to be making use of a workspace that is paid for by company funds. It’s also understandable that they may want to cut costs wherever possible, however flexible workspaces during these times can be a gift rather than a curse.
Flexible workspaces, such as the affordable office spaces in London provided by Us&Co, bring employers the opportunity to offer workspaces to their employees without the need for a fixed contract on an office, allowing you to choose weekly meeting spaces, co-working desks or the occasional private office space for your team.
Flexible workspaces can help to increase employee comfort and productivity, whilst making well-being an important factor. Since 2020 it has been shown that flexible workspaces paired with a flexible work schedule have improved productivity at work whilst making sure employees are satisfied with their job in the workplace.
Workspaces like those found at Us&Co are typically open plan, encouraging engagement with team members and easy opportunities to work together or brainstorm.
They also utilise shared kitchens and socialising facilities with other businesses and site users, cutting the costs of additional expenses such as electricity or water bills, with these costs being built into the overall cost of renting a flexible workspace.
Flexible working has become the norm in recent years, with remote or part-time working being the most common flexible work opportunities provided by employers.
As financial stress begins to unravel due to thoughts surrounding the recession, it is expected that some employers will begin to think about rolling back these opportunities as they try to bring in more structured working roles.
Removing flexible working from your list of business offerings can be a big negative for those in your team, especially if the flexibility of working from home helped to benefit their personal lives too.
From parents to carers and those with large commutes, flexible working has been a huge benefit, so removing this as a work perk risks pushing those people into looking at more reliable job opportunities, potentially with competitors or even outside of the industry if the benefits are better.
Rolling back on flexible working completely risks demotivating your employees, which is why it may be a better choice to adjust your flexible work plans rather than removing them altogether.
If you are looking to adjust flexible working opportunities, try lowering your company’s ‘work from home’ threshold. If your current flexible working policies include five days working from home, with the parameters being to come into the office for meetings, lower this to two or three work-from-home days. This way you are still providing a motivating, flexible work opportunity to your employees, whilst building team members in the office on a weekly basis.
Flexible workspaces, like day offices or co-working day passes, can be a great opportunity for businesses to reduce costs during a recession.
Leaving large offices behind can remove a large expense from your company. Instead, having a once or twice-weekly office in a flexible workspace like Us&Co can provide you with an eco-friendly, budget alternative that allows you to implement set office days or book meeting spaces, whilst allowing your employees to work remotely otherwise. This can help to motivate employees, bring a work life balance to the forefront of your employee benefits, whilst also providing a financially viable solution during the recession.
At Us&Co we offer a series of flexible workspaces in London to suit all of your professional needs. Conveniently located in both Stratford and Monument, Us&Co provides affordable office space in London.
Each office space has access to facilities and excellent technology to help make your experience in a flexible workspace run smoothly.