24% of the whole U.K. workforce are now hybrid workers. And it’s not just the UK embracing hybrid with open arms. More businesses than ever are adopting remote and hybrid work setups. Hybrid setups just make sense in the digital era. With cloud-based solutions for most business tasks, remote work is becoming easier and more accessible each year. That said, access to a Hub-And-Spoke office is still essential for onboarding, collaborative projects, and feeling like part of a team.
The problem is that it doesn’t make sense to operate your central office at 100% if employees work most of the time remotely. The costs are unjustifiable. And why make employees travel miles into the office just for certain occasions?
Thankfully, there’s an innovative hybrid office solution growing in popularity. The “hub-and-spoke” office model offers an alternative to your main office by giving remote workers access to local office spaces on demand.
What is the hub and spoke model?
The hub-and-spoke model merges the flexibility of remote work with the need for occasional office access. The model consists of a central headquarters (the hub), supported by a network of smaller satellite workspaces (the spokes). Picture a bicycle wheel with the hub in the center and the spokes branching out to the outer rim.
The “hub” is the company’s central heart. Traditionally, this is a centralized office where employees commute to spend their “in-office” days.
The “spokes” are a network of smaller and more local spaces that offer greater convenience for employees. Spokes can be anything from coffee shops or libraries to coworking spaces or more formal, smaller rented office spaces.
These spokes are located closer to where employees live, making it easier for them to quickly commute in for meetings, collaboration sessions, or small group work.
With a hub-and-spoke office model, you can strip back the central hub to save on energy bills, on-premises infrastructure costs, and insurance policies, all while providing convenience to your employees and enough resources to get the job done.
What are the benefits of the hub-and-spoke model?
The hub-and-spoke hybrid office model has significant benefits for both businesses and employees. Let’s take a look.
The hub-and-spoke model lets employees enjoy the flexibility of hybrid work.
The option to have spokes set up from home, a favorite coffee shop, or a dedicated local office is a real winner. In fact, a study of 2000 U.S. employees revealed a link between hybrid work arrangements and employees’ engagement, satisfaction, and likelihood to recommend their company. 75% said they’d even give away another perk for the freedom of flexible working.
Employees feeling satisfied and engaged are more likely to feel motivated and productive (especially now that they don’t have to sit in traffic every day!)
Improved talent pool
Traditionally, talent pools were tied to the geographical location of the central office. If your business is in a busy city, you may only be able to accept candidates from a 10-mile radius.
But businesses that adopt a hub-and-spoke model have access to larger talent pools. If you already have satellite offices dotted around, you can simply search for talent in these areas. Or, if your budget allows, you could set up new spokes and start advertising job positions in new locations.
The more spokes you have branching out from the central hub, your talent pool will be larger. In the future, these new employees could become key members of the central hub.
Connectivity and collaboration
While many employees enjoy working remotely, it can get very isolating.
Your spokes need to be places where employees can connect and collaborate with coworkers. Whether it’s to complete a task or just have a quick gossip with another human, having a shared space full of friendly faces is important for morale and productivity.
You can use a workplace scheduling solution to help you organize your spoke locations and give employees an overview of who’s in what office and when.
Hybrid team members will feel better knowing there’s an office full of friendly coworkers around the corner!
And by reducing the size of your central office, you can set up your spoke locations in the perfect spot for both employees and clients to come together for easy meetings close to where they live.
With employees working largely from home or in the spokes, you can afford to strip back and streamline the central hub.
The savings in reducing expensive infrastructure costs and energy bills can go towards renting more spoke spaces and subscribing to the best cloud-based services, which are usually much cheaper in comparison.
How to implement a hub-and-spoke office model
There’s a lot to think about when implementing a hub-and-spoke office model:
- Where are the best locations for the “spoke” satellite offices?
- Can employees easily commute?
- Does the workspace contain adequate tools and resources?
- Does it inspire positivity and creativity?
- Does the office accommodate individuals and larger groups?
Take an automated, data-driven approach to hub-and-spoke, and let employees arrange anything from single desk bookings to whole office spaces from their phones.
Using a fully-featured workplace management system can help you integrate all the different functions involved in maintaining multiple offices. The best systems will let employees enter their location and pick up from the available offices. Look for features like digital access in the form of QR codes and directions to nearby parking.
Smartway2: leaders in workplace scheduling
Smartway2 provides unrivalled convenience and flexibility to businesses and employees using the office model hub-and-spoke. It’s a win-win for all involved. Companies expand their reach and reduce costs while employees benefit from a flexible working setup that offers more convenience and less commuting.
In the long term, we expect more businesses to adopt this approach. A recent survey in Australia of 1000 workers agreed, with flexible working being the preferred arrangement going forward.