With return to office policies standing out as a polarizing topic between employers and employees, there is an evident demand for workplace flexibility. One trending approach, although not new, is the hub-and-spoke work model or the use of satellite offices, one of the best alternatives to commercial office property. Part of the office hub-and-spoke work model, satellite offices offer many advantages for both employers and employees, as companies reach beyond the city’s boundaries – and sometimes even beyond the borders. Here is everything you need to know about satellite offices, what is hot desking for shared offices, and why your company should explore this option.
What is a Satellite Office?
The hub-and-spoke work model consists of a “hub” that hosts the company’s headquarters – often in the city center, such as flex offices in London or Washington DC – and of “spokes”, or smaller furnished offices, often closer to where employees live. For remote workers, a spoke may be a cozy workstation at home, a local café with a wi-fi connection or even a shared desk in a coworking space like Mindspace’s coworking space in Brooklyn. However, spokes usually refer to satellite offices – smaller branch offices of a company, spread across less central locations.
As described in the Daily Business, a research completed by recruitment firm Robert Walters “reveals that more than a third (37%) of business leaders are considering downsizing their primary office space served by smaller satellites closer to where their employees live.” Firms such as Google and Deloitte are among those that use satellite offices as part of their business strategies.
What Kind of Companies Use Satellite Offices?
Growing your business is exciting. But it can also be risky, and a bit scary. As a company allocates necessary resources to its expansion, exploring the advantages of working from different locations becomes crucial — a growing business can save money on any necessary additional workspace by opening satellite offices.
Instead of opening new branches, opening a satellite office can make work and growth safer and more efficient. In a satellite office, some of the operations – such as HR or IT services – can still be managed from headquarters. In addition, testing the waters of a new market on a smaller scale that a satellite office could support, also provides a great advantage. Flex office providers can host satellite offices and help growing businesses gradually scale up.
Companies Seeking Partnerships with Other Businesses
A successfully growing business is all about its connections and partnerships. A great way to be more attractive for a business partnership is to actually be present.
For instance, if the company’s main office sits in an industrial area, but you would like to network and form connections with hi-tech companies in a business zone further away, a satellite office might do the trick for you. You don’t have to relocate the entire company to where all the buzz happens, but you could open a smaller satellite office to be where your potential collaborators are.
Businesses Seeking to Expand Geographically
Whether their goal is to reach new markets, extend their customer base or employ new talent, businesses that are seeking to expand geographically are out for an adventure. Satellite offices could make this adventure possible – with less risks and lower costs.
Instead of opening an entire new branch in a different city or country – and sometimes even on an entirely different continent – venturing further using a satellite office could provide a great solution. An office space in a coworking venue could even be an optimal baby step to make, in order to take off in an entirely new geographic location.
Businesses Targeting a Specific Talent Pool
If your company’s HR department wants to recruit a very specific type of employee, then providing the potential new hires with a close to home office space, could be in your favor. For example, if you’re looking to hire those that freshly graduated from an exclusive program, setting up an office in their college town could lure them to your company.
Businesses targeting a specific talent pool should make it convenient for their potential employees to get to work, with shorter commute times. Opening an entirely new office costs a lot, so setting up a satellite office is an excellent way to go about it.
Companies Wanting to Improve the Quality of Their Customer Service
In order to rank high on customer satisfaction, providing high quality customer service is vital. One aspect to improve customer service is to have a quick response. Cutting the commute time is one way to resolve this. Therefore, several satellite offices spread over the main customer locales would improve the service.
The Benefits of a Satellite Office:
Satellite Offices Cut Down Commute Time
You know the drill: you rise and shine well-rested after a good night’s sleep, sip your coffee, and hit the road on your way to work. By the time you get there, X many hours after driving your car at close to 0 mph and listening to the deafening orchestra of honking – you’re anything but relaxed. And now you have to start your workday.
According to the Pulse of the American Worker Survey conducted by the insurance company Prudential, 46% of surveyed employees listed saving time by not commuting as an advantage to working remotely. Satellite offices in the hub-and-spoke model provide just that.
Setting a satellite office outside of the boisterous city enables employees to evade traffic jams and cuts their commute time significantly. Positioning the satellite office in an easily accessible location, such as by a major highway, may further enhance this benefit. And there’s another plus – less frustration caused by heavy traffic should increase employees’ productivity.
For example, there’s a reason why New York City is considered the global capital of commerce. But if you or your employees are tired of commuting each day to the hustle and bustle of Wall Street or another spot of Manhattan’s Financial District, working in a different neighborhood could shorten your commute time and lower your stress level. Mindspace Williamsburg offers a flexible office space for rent in Brooklyn – presenting a luxurious setup for a satellite office, with boutique meeting rooms and a view of the Manhattan skyline.
Satellite offices can help your company lower costs. To begin with, time is worth money. So getting to work faster also means lowering travel expenses. Even just providing a satellite office with one or two meeting rooms, away from HQ, but closer to the customer base or to potential business partners, helps to save some cash.
In addition, in contrast to another branch of the company, a satellite office can still rely on various operation services centralized at HQ. It’s a fantastic way to get the work done, where it’s actually needed, without wasting resources.
Efficient Customer Service
Satellite offices can make customer service more efficient:
- They allow for a faster response time.
- They can sit closer to the customers, so the company understands their needs better.
- They can be part of a close to home network of business, providing a more wholesome solution.
Connection to a Local Customer Base
Instead of doing extensive market research about your customers based in another town or state, being geographically close to your customers will help you get to know them better. Being close to a local customer base, and even part of the community, could also form a stronger customer loyalty to your business.
Keeping Company Culture Alive
Satellite offices combine the benefits of working from anywhere with getting an inspirational face-to-face interaction. Another interesting piece of data from Prudential’s survey shows that “2 in 3 remote workers believe in-person interactions are important for advancing their careers”. Be it in a team meeting, from a hot-desk surrounded by a mosaic of fascinating people, or over a water cooler chat – the office is where all the action takes place.
Ongoing technological innovation, such as teleconferencing and an array of online tools, makes communications among the hub and the spokes easier than ever and allows employees to feel included. By allowing employees to work from satellite offices, closer to home, they still feel part of the company culture without facing the disadvantages of long commutes to the hub.
Reaching New Markets and New Talents
Besides aiding in talent retention, satellite offices can attract new talents in the hiring process. Getting geographically closer to potential employees’ homes is important since “63% of workers would not add more than 15 minutes to their commute each way for their ideal workplace”, according to Savills’ What Workers Want survey. This would also broaden the pool of contingent workers.
Moreover, satellite offices can increase workplace diversity. Hiring remotely, no longer limited to employees that reside close to the company’s hub, opens doors to different demographics. But this is much more than taking action on DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion); it is long-proven that diversity boosts innovation.
Additionally, expanding beyond the borders of the metropolitan hub can open a whole new market. Reaching new leads, potential customers and business development opportunities is key for growth.
The Hub-and-Spoke Model is More Sustainable
Fitting real estate to the company’s needs can cut down unnecessary costs. Downsizing and thus lowering operation costs at the headquarters, while enjoying the agility in scalability offered by flex office providers, such as Mindspace, to gradually grow outside of the city is an efficient solution for the post-pandemic era.
A study published in the journal Sustainability showed that opening a satellite office “leads to less carbon emission and fuel consumption, and the infection probability decreases as office capacity reduces as well.” It also supports the economy in towns and cities outside of the metropolitan area by providing more job openings and using local services.
Even if a company’s main offices are not in the best side of town, having a satellite office in a nicer area could set the clients more at ease. You don’t need to have a big office space – even just a dedicated desk in a coworking space like the London Old Street coworking, with available meeting rooms for rent, could do the trick.
Part of the Green Scene
The pandemic has taught us the value of connecting to nature. And, indeed, many people want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and to build their lives in a green and calm environment. After a record number of people left New York City during the pandemic to the suburbs or elsewhere, there is no reason to rule out companies expanding out of urban areas as well. One way to do so is with satellite offices.
For example, the green surroundings of the Mindspace flex offices in Yakum, Israel, offer the serenity and peace of mind that both employees and employers are craving. This change of scenery can be a source of inspiration and creativity, lowering stress levels and increasing focus on work at the same time.
Also, many of our other offices are near green areas, such as our Williamsburg office space for rent in New York City, which is situated inside a landmark building featuring plenty of outdoor space and overlooking East River. Also our flex office in Philadelphia is only minutes away from Dilworth Park—a pedestrian-friendly area with plantings, lawns, and a fountain. Even our London Hammersmith office space has access to a great outdoor green area. Such green areas are the perfect place to recharge, after work or on your break.
Things to Consider When Opening a Satellite Office
Location and Accessibility
It’s important to pick the right location for a satellite office. Think about what is right for your business goals. Does your business need to be accessible to certain customers? Would you like to be close to the city, accessible by public transportation or next to a big highway? Are there any potential business partners that have their offices nearby?
For instance, Mindspace recently opened three new locations in Israel, each with its own set of benefits:
- Mindspace Park Ofer East: close to leading high-tech companies and major highways; easily accessible by public transportation; close to restaurants, shops, a barbershop, dry cleaning and a carwash.
- Mindspace Park Ofer HaCarmel: in the heart of a thriving hi-tech community; close to the prestigious Matam Business Park housing Intel, Microsoft, Apple and GE; provides gorgeous ocean views.
- Mindspace Kiryat Ono: close to the suburbs and an ideal solution for employees who live in neighboring cities; seamless commute as it’s adjacent to Highway 471 and just a mere 7 minutes from Highway 6.
Setting up a satellite office can help you save money, depending on your company’s strategy and goals. One way to scale up (or down if necessary) is to rent a private office or even a team suite in a coworking or a flexible office space.
Infrastructure and Logistics Between Offices
Ask yourself which company operations could be shared among the company’s offices and how the staff from HQ could support the satellite office’s logistics. This, of course, also depends on the distance between the hub and its spokes.
Just because it’s not the company’s hub, a satellite office doesn’t need to be boring. Renting a workspace from a coworking provider can present employees many perks and amenities.
For instance, in addition to all of Mindspace benefits such as mail and packaging handling, IT services, and a delicious coffee, Mindspace Williamsburg in Brooklyn, New York, offers an array of amenities to support employee wellbeing: a communal roof deck and private rooftops for some air and view, on-site car parking, on-site bike parking spaces, and a fitness center with Peloton bikes, meditation pods and a bouldering wall.
Before renting a satellite office, another point to consider is whether to go for a low-commitment, flexible lease or a long-term, traditional lease. Flexible office or coworking space providers allow for flexibility to scale up or down as necessary – a great advantage when just opening a new office.
How to Find a Satellite Office for Your Company
For a company that considers incorporating the hub-and-spoke model, flex office providers, such as Mindspace, may present a flexible turnkey solution. Coworking or flex office spaces allow for companies to open satellite offices according to their current needs and employee work patterns – from a hotdesk for a remote worker in Miami to a private London office for a team developing the next big idea in another part of the world.
After taking all of the above into consideration, keeping your business goals in mind, you can browse through our locations in Europe, Israel and the US, and through our office solutions to find a satellite office for your company.
Looking ahead to what workplaces of the future will look like, satellite offices will play a pivotal role. The rising trend of satellite offices offers many advantages for both employers and employees – from boosting work-life balance, which helps retaining talents, to contributing to business growth. Whether your team comes in the office every day, works remotely or enjoys a hybrid combination of the two – the hub-and-spoke model may be the right solution for your company.
Learn more about our flexible office spaces and don’t hesitate to get in touch!