‘Hub & Spoke’: the future business model

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Over a third (37%) of business leaders are considering downsizing their primary office space

With 85% of employees expecting continued flexibility to work from home post-COVID, many firms across the globe are considering downsizing or getting rid of city centre bases in place of smaller offices closer to where employees are based. Your executive may be wondering what the advantages of this are.

The findings come from a new report from global recruiter Robert Walters – The Future of Work in UK & Ireland – which highlights the potential for many businesses to establish a ‘hub & spoke’ business model that addresses both the flexible needs of the employee, and the commercial & financial needs of the company.

Sam Walters, Director of Robert Walters London comments:

“It’s inevitable that COVID-19 has forced companies to rethink their space and logistical needs, and the hub & spoke model is evolving from what it was even a year ago – now concentrating on pairing employee preference for remote work with flexible physical workplaces that allow them to connect with their colleagues.

Sam Walters highlights his top 5 reasons why employers should consider moving to a hub & spoke model:

  1. Cost effective

According to a Robert Walters survey at the beginning of lockdown, 75% of firms took drastic measures to reduce costs. Not realising how long remote working restrictions would be in place, it wasn’t until companies were surveyed almost 5 months later that 37% stated they would consider downsizing office space to aid continuity.

Adopting the hub & spoke work model allows companies to downsize their city centre office – lowering overheads, rent, expenses, and business rates – all while maintaining brand image.

  1. Business flexibility

Now, more than ever, flexibility is vital for businesses.

Increasingly in the past two years there have been more co-work spaces on the market. 

These fully-serviced offices allow businesses to sign-up to short-term licence agreements, with fewer T&C’s, allowing spoke offices to be opened rapidly and at much lower risk.

  1. Meeting employee expectations

According to a Robert Walters survey, 35% of professionals claimed that their productivity increased when working from home – despite this 60% of employers have concerns over productivity if remote working is to continue long-term.

Spoke offices meet in the middle of a company and employee’s needs. By producing a heatmap of where your employees live versus where they work currently, you can get an idea of the alternative areas that might work better for their operations. Your employees will also save money and time on their commute. In return, a better work-life balance for them could mean higher productivity and output for the business.

  1. Increase company footprint

A larger geographical footprint equals a broader audience, and customer and client reach. Adopting the hub & spoke model means that, while your dispersed teams are going about their daily business, they are meeting local people and other companies, opening a range of doors and benefits including a broader reach for in-person services, new business partners and a more extensive network.

  1. Hire from a much larger talent pool

The opportunity to hire new talent is one that comes with regional offices further afield. With a centralised office, businesses are confined to certain geographical compromises such as commute distance, time and cost. That means the majority of the country’s talent is lost on your business, and these individuals who might be the key to your future success could be hired by your competitors instead.