What is Hub and Spoke Model?

A hub and spoke model reduces reliance on city centre’s and focuses on keeping home talent at home or “work by home” locations. It has been predicted that 40% of headquarters will shrink on average in the coming years. Consequently leaving companies to question what is truly needed and valued within their businesses. This past year has allowed companies to look at how they operate and what they can do to improve. Whether that’s remote working or investing in employee wellbeing, flexible working has positively impacted this to the endless bespoke options provided to companies.

Formally defined, the hub-and-spoke organisation design is a model, which arranges service delivery assets into a network consisting of an anchor establishment (hub). Which then offers a full array of services, complemented by secondary establishments (spokes) which in turn offer more services. The hub and spoke model is not a new concept, however, it is making a comeback with the rise in flexible working. As the disruption in the market over the last year leaves a question mark over traditional office space, the market is ready to see the benefits of flexible working arrangements. To keep it simple, the main office (hub) and then further offices or workspaces (spokes) for employees to have a professional place of work but within easy reach of home.

Whilst hub-and-spoke is a strategy that businesses of all shapes and sizes have used for many years, now is the time for businesses to put into effect the foundation of hub-and-spoke. By adopting flexible measures, such as Flexi office space, to ensure growth is constantly evolving markets. If there was a smaller team in your business? You may not need a huge presence but a flexible office provider would still help give the business a better opportunity. Remote teams can start building the foundation for future expansion.

Does it work?

There are lots of factors to consider as part of the hub and spoke model, including commute times, availability of public transport around the ‘spoke’ offices, and the supply of local amenities. Not to mention employee wellbeing.

A concern many companies have before adopting the model is maintaining a cohesive working environment, which is a valid point. Companies as a whole should be considering how their teams work and if being physically together is a necessity, then this model is potentially not for you. However, if it is not a requirement then this gives your company a chance to evaluate how to strengthen your team whilst adopting a flexible working environment. The benefits of flexible working greatly outweigh any concerns, for example, teams that work within a flexible office provider or coworking space have increased job satisfaction, a boost in productivity, and most importantly reduced stress/burnout.

With the role of the office traditionally being a space in which to collaborate, we must keep hold of this. With real estate costs on the rise and limited space in city centre’s, companies are fast reconsidering how they use their office space. For example, fixed lease offices have proven to be more of an obstacle to the movement in recent years, however working through a global pandemic has proved to businesses that remote working functions just as well, if not better, whether you’re an international conglomerate or a sole-trading freelancer. Therefore without being tied to a rigid lease, businesses can scale and expand into other areas according to their needs.

Where do flexible offices come in?

A disadvantage of being tied to a city centre is the restriction of talent you can hire, not everyone can commute or perhaps does not live close enough for commuting to be a viable option. This leaves a gap for potential employees to grow in their careers and for companies looking to hire. Additionally, recent reports by Capita show that 77% of businesses said the lack of social contact during working hours has negatively impacted employee wellbeing. This shows there needs to be a middle ground between long commutes to busy offices and working from home. In recent years, flexible working has become one of the key requirements of key talent when considering joining a company. Companies that are open to flexible working/ flexible office space will benefit not only by attracting top-shelf talent but also from increased productivity, loyalty, and wellbeing from their current workforce.

For companies, the opportunity to spread out and attract a wider talent pool, improve the work-life balance of their employees, and increase productivity and profitability, the hub-and-spoke office model could be a win-win situation for both employer and employee.

With the hub and spoke model de-centralising the workforce, flexible office spaces are becoming increasingly popular, this is due to companies assessing what they need rather than sticking to the status quo. With the growth of flexible working, you aren’t bound to a single provider when building a hub-and-spoke model for your business. Your situation may call for various requirements, and you have endless options to suit them, more often than not flexible working providers are happy to accommodate the specific needs of your company, as one size does not fit all.

What now?

In the long term, we can expect to see many more companies implement the hub-and-spoke model. With more employees expecting increasing flexibility, it will be necessary to attract and retain the very best talent, show awareness towards sustainability, and ultimately be considered a market leader.
You may have an opportunity to make an impact on your industry by introducing this model.
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