While economic uncertainty following the EU referendum result is a concern for many people and especially for those in the property world, for others now is an incredible time to run a business.
Companies of all shapes and sizes are spoilt for choice with new ways of working and flexible on-demand services. This has enabled businesses to be launched and maintained at a minimal cost and grow at an optimal rate through being more agile, flexible and responsive.
With conventional office leases of 10 or 20 years a thing of the past, today’s business leaders are benefiting more and more by‘consuming’ office space as an on-demand service. Just as we used to rely on external hard drives to store our data, now it’s in the cloud, available when and where we need it. We can hire people on a flexible, project-by-project basis through websites such as upwork.com and peopleperhour.com.
We no longer buy software on a CD but download it.
In a similar way, the ‘office space as a service’ industry is for many becoming the new norm – not just in London but globally.
We are currently witnessing a paradigm shift and a major structural change. The ‘do more with less’ concept has served businesses in the office market well over the past decade but occupiers today are thinking more about how, when and where they work. Their ever-increasing demands are outpacing the drive towards efficiency and this is changing the face of the flexible meeting and workspace sector beyond all recognition. Work is no longer primarily about repetitive processes; it is increasingly about connection and collaboration, facilitated by the growth of mobile technology and cloud computing.
Having been a practitioner of ‘cappuccino commerce’ for many years, I knew there had to be a better alternative and in 2012 I created The Clubhouse, which is now the smarter, flexible alternative to a London office for more than 300 businesses.
London business club and meeting space The Clubhouse – Source: Matt Chung
The boundaries between business and leisure are converging and there is an ever-increasing demand for landlords to embrace this new concept of consuming property as a service. It is not just about creating beautiful, functional spaces in which to work and meet but also creating the right buzz and atmosphere. At The Clubhouse, it has become policy for us to actively get to know our members. By seeing how they meet, work and grow, we are able to understand what they look for in a workspace to best meet the needs of their businesses.
Whether we are in times of economic uncertainty or in a healthier climate, the rules of business for the flexible meeting and workspace sector have been rewritten both for operators and their clients.