Picture this: the year is 2020, flexible working has increased five-fold in the past two decades, the boundaries between professional and social life continue to blur, and a sense of community is now more important than ever. Sound familiar? Perhaps the future of work is already here!
Employers and employees alike are becoming well-versed on the benefits of flexible working, and with this has come the rise of short-term leases, remote working and flexible hours. However, there is another trend on the horizon: business clubs. By adopting this way of working, professionals can combine all the benefits of flexibility with professional, concierge-style services, which allow them to maximise their time and productivity.
In the 21st century, the value of ‘user experience’ has permeated most sectors – from the restaurant you eat lunch in and the hair salon you use, to the office you work in. This desire to enjoy experiences has played a large part in driving the trend of flexible working and increasing awareness of a healthy work-life balance. In short, we now crave flexibility – 83% of employees would turn down a job that didn’t offer flexible options! As a result, the future of work has filled many column inches this year, with co-working, hot-desking and ‘work perks’ like free beer on Fridays now commonplace.
“It’s flexibility in a new way; marrying time and space to make each working day bespoke, freed from the constraints of a traditional office lease.”
Part of the club
But, as part of this groundswell of all things flexible, business clubs are the next development. Membership to a business club gives professionals access to business lounges, meeting rooms and hot-desks across a city, supported by concierge-style services to aid a business throughout its working day; whether that’s with IT support, organising travel to meetings or making reservations for lunch.
This means that your work environment can be completely tailored to your specific day. Should you need total isolation to produce a report, you can work from a discreet business lounge in a location best-suited to your commute. If you need to bring a team together to collaborate, you have inspiring communal workspaces. Require a boardroom to impress potential investors? You can easily book a premium meeting room in a highly sought-after, central postcode. It’s flexibility in a new way; marrying time and space to make each working day bespoke, freed from the constraints of a traditional office lease.
Whilst flexible workspaces and co-working have historically been viewed as the territory of freelancers and tech start-ups, premium business clubs allow professionals from all walks of life to benefit from modern working. There are discreet and traditional spaces for those that need them, and collaborative and innovative ones for others.
Also, a workplace is elevated to new heights when supported with service; something that flexible working to date has tended to bypass. Firstly, by being in a club, you are part of a community – well-suited to a generation that increasingly craves a sense of ‘togetherness’. What’s more, a heightened sense of employee motivation is created by rubbing shoulders with other successful and ambitious businesses.
Finally, with service to help a business run smoothly, employees have more time to really make the business fly. Imagine if your team didn’t have to book meeting rooms or order working lunches and could use all of that time on client projects. Imagine if they didn’t have to waste an hour commuting to the office if it wasn’t needed, but could work from a business lounge much closer to home – wouldn’t your business be both happier and healthier?
Work or play
Our 2020 workplace will reflect this attitudinal shift in our work-life balance. Productivity and time efficiency are increasingly important; this is thanks to technology but also because people want to spend more time doing things they love. Maximising the services attached to a business club allows you to do just that. Extract the admin tasks, get support with organising your day and see blocks of time open up that let you get to work.
Also, by working from a lounge that best suits your meeting schedule or project that day, you can spend time that would previously have been occupied by commuting to play sport or spend time with family. Business clubs are therefore spaces that allow time to be reclaimed; something that is increasingly valuable in a society that operates at 100 miles an hour, especially in cities like London.
In my view, space and time will be two driving forces in the years to come – two concepts that are becoming ever more precious, especially in the workplace. As we enter a new decade, a business club approach to our professional lives could help us preserve and maximise both space and time.
Flexibility is king in 2019, but could a business
club be the most powerful weapon in his armoury? Just as 2018 saw the meteoric
rise of the boutique gym membership, 2020 should be the year of the business
membership. For those looking to maximise flexibility and reclaim your time,
business clubs may well help you take that next step.