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Bay of Plenty Region
Sunday, October 25, 2020
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Flexible future for Shared Workspaces

The trials and tribulations of the past year have shown many businesses the benefits of remote working. But remote working is not going to completely replace traditional work in an office building, and many are starting to recognise the benefits that having a flexible workspace can have in boosting productivity, said Tony Snow, founder and director at Shared Workspaces.

Better known as the head of IT company Stratus Blue and BOP Business News’ Tech Talk columnist, Snow took over the lease late last year of the Smart Business Centre in Chapel Street, formerly managed by anchor tenant the Tauranga Chamber of Commerce.

“Shared Workspaces aim to have multiple locations with the Chapel Street location being renamed to Commerce House shortly, and the Beach House in Parton Road, Papamoa becoming available in November 2021,” said Snow, adding that other locations are being worked on.

Flexible working is a way of working that provides a productive and collaborative environment that has been created without traditional corporate constraints on what is thought to be an “office” environment, he said, offering flexible memberships to suit a wide range of needs.

Angeline Williams, member and facility manager at Shared Workspaces, said: “The beauty of flexible working is that you can have your traditional workspaces such as in-office building or a home office, but also have a secondary space where you can hire equipment, ideas, and knowledge.”

Some studies have shown that a mix of working environments can lead to more productive use of time. Studies from the US indicated remote working could lead to a 13 per cent increase. On average, people that work 40 hours per week are only truly productive for 23 hours (three days) in an office environment and just above 15 hours (two days) in a home environment, according to one study.

The beauty of flexible working is that you can have your traditional workspaces such as in-office building or a home office, but also have a secondary space where you can hire equipment, ideas, and knowledge.” – Angeline Williams

Maximising productivity

Flexible working aims to maximise productivity, said Williams. Utilising a mix of both remote working and office-based work, or remote working in an office, can help people get more out of your working week.

Changing up your routine allows for new ideas and fresh ways of thinking that you might not have considered before, she said.

Matt Cowley, chief executive of the Tauranga Chamber of Commerce, said the board made a decision at the time he was hired to focus all of its resources on supporting members rather than managing the Smart Business Centre tenancy.

“The board are saying it is probably the chamber’s best decision, especially with Covid-19,” said Cowell. “It’s enabled me to spend 100 percent of my time on our business and operations rather than dealing with tenancies and rent negotiations.”

Snow said that coming out of lockdown, many people were still working from home, and flexible working was a great way to ease back into an office environment and get back to meeting people.

“With flexible working, you can work close to home, not just from home,” added Williams.

Having somewhere that understands the value of having a space of diverse thinkers and builds a community of individuals and businesses that work in different industries, that have diverse backgrounds and want to share knowledge, experience and ideas can help business and people flourish and be productive.

“We’re are open to anyone working on anything, and we’re darn proud of it,” said Snow. “We count on our diversity to give members unique opportunities to meet people who they can collaborate with. People from various walks of life can collide in the most amazing ways every single day.”

The business offers flexible terms and tailored packages to meet all needs. That includes people expanding their business, needing a project space, or meeting or training room, or desks or offices to rent.

Shared Workspaces is also giving away a three month free meeting room hire to the best suggestions for naming their new meeting rooms, and also will be giving away one week of desk and work space membership.

See www.shared.nz for details.

David Porter
David Porter
Editor, Bay of Plenty Business News

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