Over 30 years ago, Mark Dixon was sitting in a Brussels coffee shop and noticed how many local business people were conducting meetings around the small tables. He saw the need for a different kind of work space, and in 1989 he founded the company now known as IWG plc.
Dixon is still actively involved as the company’s global CEO, and on Nov. 28 they’re celebrating the opening of the latest flexible workspace: Surrey’s Spaces King George Hub.
“We pioneered flexible working and have continued to lead ever since. Demand has only accelerated since the beginning of the pandemic, and now the Surrey space is buzzing with activity,” says Wayne Berger, CEO of IWG in the Americas.
When traditional offices and working from home are still options, why should you choose a flexible workspace?
1. For productivity
The novelty of working from bed is fun for a few hours, but pretty soon the majority of workers require a more ergonomic set-up. You can work at your laptop at the kitchen table, but every once in a while you need a printer, a presentation space, or a professional location to meet a client.
Spaces King George Hub offers eight types of work environment within one location, so you can design your day around the services you need. Start your day catching up on emails in the café environment, then dive into deep thought at desk in the coworking space. Step away to a phone booth for a video call, then find an extra burst of energy on one of three outdoor terraces. Pull a coworker over to the comfortable booths to go over your presentation plans, then head to a meeting room equipped with all the technology to present your ideas in person or virtually.
“Workers are saying they’re not interested in being in an office five days a week, and they’ve proven that it’s not necessary for their productivity. One recent survey said 50 per cent of Canadians are willing to leave their current employer if they’re not able to work flexibly,” Berger says.
If business owners want to attract top talent and achieve maximum productivity, their work spaces need to be on the cutting-edge.
2. For the planet
‘Nature is healing’ quickly became a cliché of early pandemic lockdowns, but it started with a remarkable truth: when humans work from home, the natural world recovers. Commuting less often or less distance reduces pollution, and that resonates with many workers in the eco-conscious Lower Mainland.
“Commuting from Surrey to downtown Vancouver can take hours out of your day. Our research shows that people want to live out the 15 Minute City concept, where all the necessities of daily life are within a 15 minute walk, bike or public transit ride,” Berger says.
3. For the bottom line
The cost of living is going up — for workers, employers and office space landlords. Flexible workplaces like Spaces King George Hub help everyone reduce costs and increase revenue.
“We’re not a competitor to landlords, we’re a partner and solution-provider. While companies are ending long term leases and traditional office spaces are sitting empty, offering a flexible workspace gives building owners a higher return on their investment,” Berger says.
Cost savings for employers, entrepreneurs and employees are pretty obvious, but there’s one you may not have considered: the efficiencies and innovations that occur when you’re surrounded by other high-achievers.
4. For collaboration
“For us, it’s not just about physical space. It is about providing an entire ecosystem that supports business on a global level, and highly localized businesses too,” Berger says. “Spaces King George Hub provides opportunities for the connection humans crave, and not just within your own company. The cross-pollination between businesses and people with different perspectives brings business opportunities, social opportunities, and fresh ideas.”
Surrey is experiencing dynamic growth, and the King George Hub is its new centre for industry, tech-startups, small businesses and more. Plug into the community and see for yourself.
To learn more about Spaces King George Hub, book a tour and redeem your special offer, click here.