Working towards the future

The future of the office is flexible and Glandore is providing the necessary options that allow employees to collaborate and be creative

‘Giving options to employees is key,’ said Henry Daly, head of marketing at Glandore

Three years ago, the notion that flexible working, socially distanced office spaces, and working from home would become the norm would have been viewed as somewhat far-fetched.

But life can be stranger than fiction and we are all well aware of the changes which have happened across every industry worldwide, thanks to the onset of Covid 19. However, family-run firm Glandore was ahead of the game when it established its business in 2001.

Founded by the Kelly family and run by Michael and his three daughters, Fiona, Clare and Rebecca, the company is Ireland’s longest serving and leading provider of flexible serviced offices and co-working spaces. It offers high-end, design-led offices, along with co-working space, flexible space and virtual offices.

With almost 80 employees, the firm offers over 3,500 desks in nine buildings across Cork, Dublin and Belfast and prides itself on providing a professional solution to a myriad of workplace requirements.

“Giving options to employees is key,” said Henry Daly, head of marketing at the company. “Having enough space that those who want a desk in an office can have it, but for those who don’t need it, the company doesn’t have to spend the money on it: instead, they can go flexible by working with Glandore to ensure the optimal office space for every business.

“The future of work is flexible. Companies will have to accommodate for bespoke needs of employees which have arisen throughout the pandemic – and serviced offices offer the safety of allowing companies to sign up for six months, 12 months, 18 months or more.

“At the end of those terms they can extend, renegotiate, scale up or scale down based on the needs of their business and the ever-changing economic landscape. This is the best way for a business to land and expand in Ireland.”

Daly said that business at Glandore was brisk, with enquiries from both indigenous and foreign businesses continuing apace as many wish to downsize their current office space into something which makes more “economic sense”.

“A lot of companies are seriously reconsidering the amount of capital that is being put into rent on an annual basis. Remote working works, but companies also need to be able to create a culture for employees to buy in to, and the importance of the office environment cannot be overlooked. So in order to do that without rental costs eating into their profits, many are ‘going serviced’.”

He said the terms on licence agreements for serviced offices could be a lot shorter than those of traditional leases and that in turn, freed up capital for companies to invest in their products and employees.

“As one of the larger serviced office providers in Ireland, we understand the importance of office culture but also understand the importance of flexibility, something that businesses and their employees now want and need more than ever,” he said.

“Some businesses which may have been traditionally inflexible have had to adapt quickly due to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic: their ‘new-normal’ is now to be flexible and to provide their employees with the support to do so.”

Daly said downsizing office space didn’t mean downsizing the company, and allowing staff to have some say in how they conduct their work made for positive results all round.

“Reducing office space will allow some companies to expand that bit quicker. Serviced office spaces can be set up in a way that allows a company to have a base, and HQ, to create a culture that those who are working remotely can tap in to, but can also be apart from, as necessary.

“Giving options to employees is the key, to have enough space so those that want a desk in an office can have it, but for those that don’t need it, the company doesn’t have to spend money on it. Instead, they can invest a small amount to help their staff member get set up at home.

“The future of work is flexible so companies will have to accommodate for a lack of childcare, the risk of a commute on public transport, the risk of another pandemic and the even grimmer risk of another economic crash.

“Serviced offices are a no-brainer for the new normal – they pose less risk but offer all the advantages.”

Glandore’s experience as a serviced office provider over the past 20 years has taught it that company culture is key, both for its own staff but more importantly for the companies it houses.

From what it’s seen from client companies and itself, the desire to be in the office is very much back, but employees want their space to be focused around collaboration and creative work.

“Employees, and people in general, need to feel a part of something, especially in the workplace,” he said. “After all, we spend the majority of our daily lives in the office so it is important that a positive and motivating culture is ever present. It can prove very hard to do that remotely so a serviced office offers the best of both worlds, the ideal work-life balance.”