Revolutionizing the Future of Work: Introducing the Network-Based Workplace Model

March 31, 2023
4 min read
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Activity-based work is still relevant though - just more choice

During the 90s, a new workplace model was introduced widely in Europe. Swedish-based companies varied in their speed of applying this thinking, and many of our colleagues, workplace strategists, gained years of experience helping organizations to adapt, optimize office spaces, and find a good mix of how central tasks can have their ideal work environment.

Yes, designing new office buildings based on a variety of work tasks is still highly relevant. What has changed now is that we need more places, different types of workplaces that are more relevant in terms of geographic location, choice of clientele, tone, arrangement, and service functions.

Sometimes it is also less suitable to decide on a specific environment and everything that should work in a certain way for the next 5-7 years in the form of property contracts. Entry for new business models in the Real Estate industry.

Space-as-a-Service creates greater flexibility

The relatively new term "space-as-a-service" points to a new market need where, instead of ownership or rental, you subscribe to an office resource, often for a limited period. This development indicates a new focus from larger organizations that wish to reconfigure parts of their traditional office offering (which is based on long-term lease agreements) and reduce the size of these.

"By changing the service model to focus on more personal, flexible, and tech-centric solutions. In fact, space as a service often includes technology disruptions to an existing market. Primary examples include Amazon in the bookstore/retail space, Airbnb in the hotel space, and WeWork in the temporary/flexible office space"

by Workdesign

Network-based office model the next growth market

This brings about a new model that complements the existing office with a network of several smaller office hubs (hub&spoke), where services and furnishings are included in a turnkey package, often at a slightly higher monthly rent. As the trend moves towards more but smaller offices, preferably in the CBD (inner city center), the need to manage the complexity with software has increased. New players are flocking, hoping to solve the perceived problems of the market.

Using a technical platform to handle departments and individuals utilizing flexibility at scale
Enabling Flexibility at scale

The driving force behind the Flowpass project came from global developments where the flexible workspace sector is considered one of the most exciting growth markets in the world, and which several players, including market leader IWG (International Workplace Group), believe will grow by 600% by 2030.

"Network-based" a natural development of the activity-based work approach

The commercial property industry comes from a development of the activity-based work approach (ABW), which started in the Netherlands during the 90s and where offices were equipped in a new way, which for many years was heavily debated and met with a lot of resistance. An office where staff did not have a self-written workspace but took the space that best corresponded to the task to be performed.

"Activity-based working (ABW) recognises that people perform different activities in their day-to-day work and therefore need a variety of work settings supported by the right technology and culture to carry out these activities effectively"


In a network-based model (NBW), the base still consists of choosing a workplace that is relevant according to ABW, but with the difference that it can be in a different geographical location; at a main hub/HQ (Hub), a smaller office (Spoke), or a coworking arena (3rd workplace). More and more people are using the opportunity to be mobile, work remotely, or simply go to an office that provides the best conditions for a desired result.

More and more real estate companies are creating holistic solutions.

The real estate industry has increasingly started to offer more flexible office solutions. This development comes from an increased interest from the market demanding more agile solutions, but also from a greater uncertainty in the market as we entered the 2020s.

The customers who use Flowpass are in need of a flexible office solution where, with the help of technical infrastructure and administrative functionality, they can quickly gain access to an external network of ready-to-move-in offices, with significantly shorter lease agreements.

When a larger employer needs to transition to a more network-based office model, it often means that a packaging where a larger number of real estate companies need to be coordinated. This means that the historically common model with a larger brand operating from a smaller location is becoming increasingly rare. Globalization has meant an increasing need to coordinate and optimize access to professional workplaces around the world.

Flowpass App gives individual the flexibility they desire

Currently, such complex coordination is handled by an internal role, which in a larger organization can be called the Global Workplace Operations Director.

Flowpass's role is to support tenants to become more agile through smarter networking

Here, Flowpass serves as a tool to gain access to a large selection of shared and full-service offices but also as a platform to more easily gain an overview for financial analysis, needs assessment, and budgeting.

data insights key in planning for the modern workforce

The Flowpass service is inspired by the global market actor Upflex, which in itself began as an aggregator of coworking arenas but now rolls out services to larger companies to facilitate cost optimization and better planning of the hybrid workplace globally.

Tagged: networkbased
Everything is very open with a precise description of the issues. It was really informative. Your website is very helpful. Many thanks for sharing!

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