Working life may have changed forever as a result of COVID-19. There had already been a longstanding move towards more flexible and efficient working methods in recent years, but the global outbreak has cemented the need for change.
The ‘hub and spoke method’ for commercial property is a design model for working which many businesses are now leaning towards at in an effort to streamline their operations and premises. Why? – The hub and spoke method saves your business money on expensive city centre HQ office space. – Businesses using the method are agile. They can respond quickly and easily to change and easily upscale and downscale in specific locations. – Hub and spoke premises increase productivity and help you recruit and retain the best staff.
What is the hub and spoke method?
The method originated with airlines. It became apparent that greater efficiency and seat occupancy could be achieved if flights connected to a ‘hub’ airport, rather than sending a plane that was half-empty directly between smaller ‘spokes’. The hub acted as a connection with any number of smaller spoke destinations. It is easy to see how the method quickly spread from aviation to other industries, including commercial property.
How does hub and spoke work in the commercial property sector?
Generally many business centralise operations in a large office, often situated in a city centre. City centre offices were expensive and inflexible, and required employees to commute to work. Taking on a lease or purchasing city property required substantial investment and properties set up in this way could not easily be scaled up or down to meet changing needs. Using the modern hub and spoke method the city centre headquarters can be replaced with a much more cost effective ‘hub’, which can house a core team and visiting members of the wider team, plus as many ‘spoke’ offices in the regions as required by the business. The hub can be situated in a city but it does not need to be.
Benefits of a hub and spoke model for business premises
The model can save you money, give you and your staff flexibility, improve your business’s green credentials and help you grow by giving you access to a larger pool of staff.
When you leave your old city HQ behind you instantly save money by reducing not just rent but other expenses such as business rates too.
All businesses need to be able to adapt and react quickly to changing circumstances. The overnight changes brought by COVID-19 were radical and far reaching, and businesses who were able to respond flexibly were far better placed to minimise the disruption to their operations. A hub and spoke method allows you to place your staff where you need them and quickly respond to changing needs. It is easy to open a new spoke if required, or expand or contract an existing one. The system is far lower risk.
Employees are more productive when they have a good work/life balance. A long commute into a city centre does not contribute to productivity for many workers. Regional spokes allow your staff to live much closer to their work space and to enjoy a less stressful, consuming and expensive commute. This boost to their work/life balance boosts your business with greater productivity and staff retention.
Recruit and retain the best staff
Recruiting and retaining the right staff is a challenge for most businesses. It is vital to offer your staff the best possible working conditions and to recruit from the widest possible pool of talent. Placing more of your office space into spokes allows you to reach into a wider geographical area, allowing you to recruit the best staff without the need for them to relocate.
Open new markets
The more widely spread your business premises, the more opportunities you have to make local connections and expand your business reach.
Fewer miles travelled by staff has benefits for the environment as well as the company’s bottom line. Flexible office space also means you no longer have to take on central heating, air conditioning and electricity in more space than you actually need to allow for expansion.
Be ahead of the curve
Change in the UK property market had already begun before the pandemic, with many forward-thinking businesses already moving towards a more flexible approach to their property needs. Many more have now realised just how many benefits there are to their business in changing their property practices.
Find the right flexible spaces for your business.
Whatever the needs of your business, Properly can help you source flexible office space with simple inclusive monthly rates. You can get on with developing your business, knowing that when the time comes to expand or contract your office in a particular location, you will have the inbuilt flexibility you need.