The small and medium-sized business space comes with a long list of challenges. The biggest one is always a lack of enough capital to finance huge operations. As such, most startups and SMEs end up specializing in certain sectors of the business or restricting their operations to a few locations.
Europe is one of the hottest markets for startups with some of the top cities acting like magnates for venture capital funding and startup incubation programs. As such, it is no surprise why cities like London, Frankfurt, and Paris are gaining in popularity with startups.
Some of these cities also provide startups with advanced technological tools that allow them the flexibility they need to adapt to challenging global business conditions. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of having a flexible business model that can easily be adapted to rapidly changing market conditions.
Global markets have witnessed some of the most promising startups fall while well-established businesses have been forced to halt operations amid declining sales. In cities like Paris, in France, small businesses have benefited from a highly flexible business model that allows them to cut fixed costs related to office rental.
The generation Y office
Startups are increasingly adopting the use of the generation Y office to accommodate their staff. The generation Y office is a smart office space that comes loaded with several add-ons, including free Wi-Fi, community centers, mail services, and even free coffee, all under one package.
Even more encouraging for startups, is the fact that they do not have to make any long-term lease agreements with the property owner. Startups in Europe’s top cities like Paris are using what many refer to as managed office space, which they can pay for on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis depending on their needs.
Some of these spaces allow occupants to share the same space in what is popularly known as shared office spaces or coworking spaces. Others provide users with a secluded office space with extension capabilities. This allows small businesses to increase their rented space as they grow.
As such, the concept of managed office spaces allows small businesses to significantly lower fixed costs associated with leasing property. They can then direct these funds towards growing their operations and increasing the quality of their products and services.
This is the modern way of operations and the generation Y office is at the heart of most successful startups in Europe.
How COVID-19 has affected generation Y offices
The coronavirus pandemic has affected businesses of all types and sizes. The property market is no exception. Europe’s top cities were among the worst hit by the deadly pandemic. This led to several country lockdowns that limited business activity.
As such, vacancy rates for commercial offices went up as more businesses retreated to provide services from their private home offices.
One notable challenge of shared office spaces is that unlike private company offices where a business can control the internal movement and interaction of staff members, coworking spaces engage different workers from different companies. As such, it can be trickier to keep a log of everyone’s movements thereby making it difficult to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Nonetheless, this should not dissuade startups from using a managed office space. As stated earlier, there are options to use a secluded managed office space, which can limit community interactions. Companies that run managed offices have also embraced measures advised by health officials to create enough spaces within the coworking spaces. This further limits the chances of spreading the coronavirus disease.
However, the creation of more space between coworkers has also resulted in lower incomes for managers of shared office spaces in Europe’s top cities.
In summary, EU startups have embraced the modern working concept of managed office spaces, also monikered the generation Y office. And even despite the challenging conditions created by COVID-19, these offices are providing the much-needed flexibility to deal with financial shortcomings in the small business space.