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How businesses are responding to the flexible working trend

28 June 2021

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The pandemic has only served to accelerate shifting demand for new office solutions among businesses of all sizes. Boudewijn Roelofsz, Director of Radar Workspace, and Robert-Jan Bertina, Head of Corporate Services, Europe, tell us more.

The Covid-19 pandemic has irreversibly changed the traditional corporate workplace. Working online and from home has opened opportunities for flexible working like never before.

But as office solutions become increasingly tailor-made, companies ranging from multinational corporations to asset and fund managers are also discovering the advantages of hybrid arrangements.

The move to more flexible working arrangements should come as no surprise. According to a recent survey by real estate adviser JLL, the amount of flexible space in Europe was increasing long before the pandemic. In fact, it has doubled since 2015. As office culture becomes more informal and collaborative, so does the workspace it exists in.

JLL found that Europe’s stock of flexible space is likely to grow by an average of 25%-30% a year over the next five years. And companies are now prepared to expand their use, experimenting with different models, providers and working arrangements.

The office becomes an ecosystem

It’s not just physical space that needs to be adaptable. The trend for flexible working arrangements is coupled with moves towards using offices as more of an ecosystem for companies. They must be able to configure their office space for a selection of resources or skills. Essentially companies want a full range of solutions to suit whatever stage they have reached in their business life.

For example, in a location such as Luxembourg, start-ups and seed funds might only need registered office services – a one-stop shop market-entry solution with the option of expanding into a private office rental. This might simply be a plug-and-play business centre used for one-off client visits or training and team meetings.

However, as they grow, many companies find a tailor-made office solution works best, as it lets them focus on their core business. Some business centres provide a more comprehensive offering by co-operating with service providers associated with a particular industry or sector. Not only do the management team have industry knowledge and expertise but they can also deliver added value. Meanwhile the business centre itself becomes a recognised hub for information and networking.

There are other upsides too. Flexible space reduces the need for companies to sign up to formal long-term arrangements, bringing lower property costs in rent, service charges and insurance.

Flexible solutions allow business to thrive

Radar Workspace, Intertrust Group’s office solutions team, has seen growing demand from many multinationals and asset managers, as well as smaller fund managers wanting more hybrid use of office space.

Many of our clients and prospective clients need to know they can adapt rapidly to changing market environments and require greater flexibility in the day-to-day running of their companies. Whether it’s from funds specialising in private equity, real estate, infrastructure or private debt funds or even multinational corporations, demand for flexible office solutions at our locations is increasingly rapidly. This is also becoming a key differentiator, helping us to build stronger client relationships.

Luxembourg has long been popular with start-ups, SMEs and large enterprises; it is the largest investment fund centre in Europe and the second-largest in the world after the US, according to the Association of the Luxembourg Funds Industry (ALFI). Meanwhile, the Netherlands is also seeing a rise in demand for office space as companies move across to the city post-Brexit. Demand for office space will undoubtedly continue, but there is stiff competition; only those companies that provide comprehensive and integrated services will truly enable their clients to thrive.

How Intertrust Group has reshaped its office solutions with Radar Workspace

  • Radar Workspace allows clients to be fully flexible in setting up their office infrastructure
  • Our international network of physical office space solutions allows you to grow in prime locations, helping you enter new markets and expand your core
  • Our inhouse solution always covers three products – a dedicated desk, a high-end, private office suite and a tailor-made office designed to our clients’ specific needs
  • We keep one eye on the future, and design office solutions with sustainability and environmental thinking in mind
  • By leveraging Intertrust Group’s global business relations, infrastructure and administrative support services, clients can focus their resources on growing their core business
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