These last few months have been hard, and we at Interoffices would like to take this time to further strengthen our continued support to our community, our clients, and other businesses.
As we are looking to return to normal life (or move towards a ‘new’ normal), companies of all sizes will continue to face unforeseen challenges and discover new ones. We have been exploring how we can help our clients return to work in a safe way, but also how we can help other businesses that have been affected by this crisis and are now preparing for the aftermath.
The real estate strategy of a company plays a vital role in helping businesses thrive and in providing employees with a professional workspace where they can be happy and productive. It is also an important cost factor in yearly budgets.
This is how we can help you and your business – especially if your business is:
- Looking for a more flexible solution when it comes to office rental, but you are uncertain about the lease options
- Near the end of its current office lease
- Needing help when it comes to updating its workspace strategy
- Considering allocating its employees across several locations to safeguard health and safety concerns1. OUR COMMITMENT TO (Y)OUR HEALTH AND SAFETY
We fully appreciate that, for many, returning to the office or working in a new office environment raises questions and concerns. Many people will be cautious when venturing out of their homes into public places. It could take several months to restore people’s confidence in public spaces.
At Interoffices, we have been developing a strategic plan since early March 2020, aspiring to play a leading role in how the workplace of the near future should look like and how it should be organised.
We have implemented an extensive set of more than 40 measures to guarantee the health, safety, and wellbeing of all our clients and their employees. These measures concern both behavioral guidelines and investments in physical changes to the workspace, with a focus on four main aspects: Workfloor health prevention, respect for physical distancing, transparent communication, and COVID-19 crisis management.
Here are the steps we have taken to create a safe zone:
- Entrance: Installation of temperature control, hands-free dispensers with disinfectant gel and digital totems with prevention measures, Covid-19 news and the names of the companies on each floor
- Desks: Plexiglass is installed in between the immediate workspaces and 1.5m distance circles are in place, whilst disposable placemats are available for daily use
- General: Floor markings are in place for steering of traffic and securing a 1.5 m distance, whilst climate control modifications allow for higher humidity. Masks, gel, gloves, and vitamins are available for purchase at the reception desk.
From our side, we have set up disinfectant zones upon entry of all locations, which will be cleaned thoroughly on a regular basis by our Interoffice staff, including the disinfection of all doors, handles, and elevator buttons throughout the day. These are marked with ‘proof of cleaning’ stickers to make you feel more comfortable.
We have ensured that our clients and members are able to take their own protections by making disinfectant gel, gloves and masks widely available. In open spaces, we have placed dots to facilitate physical distancing. Disposable paper placemats are also available for all workstations.
Finally, our staff will be available to assist you and help you whenever needed. If you find that some measures are not respected by other people, please do not hesitate to inform our staff. We will communicate on a regular basis to all clients to inform them of the health safety situation and measures that are ongoing and or reinforced when the situation requires it.
2. INTRODUCING FLEXIBLE LEASES
It is standard practice that businesses are asked to commit to three, six, or nine-year office leases (the traditional ‘3-6-9 leases’), which offer very little flexibility and can at times seem non-negotiable. Especially in crises such as the one we find ourselves in now, this can result in a lot of challenges both for businesses and landlords if sales and revenue are dropping.
While a lot of businesses will embrace an increase in remote working, by adopting the latest technology they discovered during the current crisis on a wider scale, the physical workspace will always be important as the catalyst for collaboration.
The workspace will be used essentially for human-based tasks and activities. The most forward-thinking companies will spread across a range of flexible office space solutions to take advantage of the granularity of this network and allow their employees to work when and where it suits them best. Interoffices specialises in offering workspaces adapted to a wide range of activities within the office environment.
At Interoffices, we offer both short-term and long-term leases starting from one day to 9 years. We understand better than anyone else the challenges businesses are currently facing as they develop their workspace strategies for the future.
Companies do not need to worry about upfront CAPEX investments: our offices are completely furnished and have the latest technological features ensuring connectivity, security, and health- an important advantage in times when liquidity is a challenge and approvals of bank loan requests come with extra scrutiny.
Interoffices is also the perfect partner for temporary workspace solutions, allowing you to continue providing professional office space for your employees until you find a more long-term solution or are able to commit to longer leases with us.
Let us advise you on how to make a shift to more flexible leases and contract renewals. Contact our team for more information.
3. TAKING CARE OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE SIDE OF YOUR BUSINESS
Throughout this crisis, we have been 100% operational and have continued to fully support our clients by safeguarding their critical internet connectivity and servers, by handling their (registered) mail, collecting their parcels and by taking care of all calls in their absence. Business continuity is essential in these times: our clients do not miss any important messages and can count on any type of administrative support during their absence.
In doing so, we help businesses continue to thrive, without employees having to leave the safety of their homes to do so. For our new clients, we can take over these services, simplifying the administrative side of your business, meaning you too can avoid leaving the house when it is not necessary.
Furthermore, Interoffices also provides Virtual Offices allowing any company to use our locations as their business address and benefit from a wide range of services such as mail handling, call handling, and other types of assistance.
4. DOWNSIZING AND EXPANDING WHEN IT SUITS YOUR BUSINESS
Most businesses will reconsider their workspace strategy, increasing the use of remote working spaces and decentralised hubs, maybe even leaving the cities in favor of less crowded areas.
We allow you to downsize and upgrade the amount of space you are renting depending on your contract with us, your company’s needs, and the position you find yourself in. At the same time, if your company starts to grow, you won’t have to move to another office building, we can offer you the right space for your company size.
5. REALLOCATING TEAMS AND PERSONAL SPACE
Returning safely to the office could require the layout of the private workspace and communal areas to be optimised to guarantee social distancing for employees and visitors. However, these restructurings could be costly and may prove less practical in the long run. When renting office space with Interoffices, you are entering a workspace where this has all been taken care of for you.
On top of this, with Interoffices, you are able to allocate your workforce to different locations where they can work closer to home in a professional environment, offering a practical but safe alternative for teleworking.
Because of the flexibility of our service agreements and our national network, we can offer agile working solutions throughout our portfolio of locations, allowing your staff to work together in slightly smaller groups and in professional environments.
At Interoffices, based on the empirical findings within our Belgian network, we think that this is the future of work. And it is happening now. To start making the necessary changes to your business, contact us!