Companies use satellite offices for many different reasons. But what exactly is a satellite office, and is it something you should consider for your business?
What is a satellite office?
A satellite office is a company office distinct from its main office space. This might be an office on the other side of town, in a different city, or even on another continent. It can also vary in size, depending on the company’s needs. It might just be a single desk in a temporary office, or it could be a huge space with hundreds of employees.
What are the benefits of a satellite office?
From seeking new business to allowing employees to work more flexibly, there are numerous reasons why you might be thinking about a satellite office.
Increased flexibility for employees
Pre-pandemic, many employees spent a considerable amount of time – and money – commuting to work every day. Then, during lockdowns and the subsequent social distancing measures, many offices switched to a remote-first approach. But now restrictions are easing, and many people are making their way back into offices – but it shouldn’t be expected that things will just go back to normal.
Before the pandemic, workers spent an average of 29 minutes a day, and £5.50, on travel to work, and many people have enjoyed the benefits of a better work-life balance that comes with not having to travel to the office.
A satellite office, then, could be the perfect solution if you choose a regional hub where many of your employees are based. That means that staff reap all the benefits of being in the office, but they have a much shorter commute. It’s the best of both worlds.
You might have heard of the ‘hub and spoke’ model, in which a company has one central ‘hub’ and then multiple ‘spoke’ locations from which employees can work. In other words, it’s utilising satellite offices to ensure a better balance for your employees.
Reach new talent
This type of office model is not just beneficial for your current employees but can also help you tap into new talent pools. Whereas previously you might have had one office space in Glasgow and required that all of your employees lived within commuting distance of the city, satellite offices mean you can appeal to job seekers in other locations.
Of course, you can also offer remote working, but with 83% of employees preferring a hybrid working model, this ensures your business appeals to both those who prefer to work remotely and those who want a physical office to work from, at least for some of the week.
Opening up a satellite office in a new area is a great way to find talented individuals in your field and can go a long way to diversifying and strengthening your workplace. You can choose your office location strategically. Need to hire graduate-level data scientists? Why not choose a location like Oxford that has a university famous for its courses in that field?
Remember that a satellite office can be what you need it to be, even if that’s a single desk, and when you take on a flexible serviced office contract, you can take on a bigger space as your business grows.
Connect to your local customer base and improve customer service
People like to shop local, whether popping along to their local bakery to buy a fresh loaf or ordering online from a small independent business. Whether you’re a retailer or not, customers appreciate having a local presence – especially in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. One study has found that 65% of people in the UK have a new-found appreciation of their community and local shops, and 59% say they prefer to buy from someone they know.
A local presence with a local business address could go a long way to helping a local customer base build trust in your brand.
Tap into a new market
If you’re looking to expand into a new location, then a satellite office is the perfect way to get boots on the ground in the local area. It means that you can carry out market research from within the location you’re expanding into and get a real feel for the place – including what your competition is like.
Do people talk favourably of them? Do they have recognisable branding and ads splashed all over the town? Or do people think poorly of them? These are the types of insights you can’t gather about your new location when you’re sitting in your headquarters hundreds of miles away. A satellite office also allows you to hire local talent who know the area inside out.
Make cost savings
Increased employee satisfaction, improved customer relationships, and reduced spending on overheads – it all sounds too good to be true! If you’re considering decentralising and moving to more of a hub and spoke model, then you may find that you save money.
By scaling down your main office, which is usually based in a city centre, and opening up regional offices, you can carefully select where you open and what type of office space you go for to maximise your budget.
How to manage a satellite office
The most important thing about satellite offices is ensuring that all of your staff feel connected, no matter where they’re working. Luckily, that’s something that most businesses have become really good at over the course of the last couple of years. Be sure to invest in the right technology so your teams can work seamlessly across locations, whether that’s Slack for instant messaging, Zoom for video calls, or Asana for project management.
It’s also crucial to make sure that teams actually feel like a team – and sometimes, video conferencing isn’t enough to bring people together. Develop a strong company culture and a strategy for how your teams will embody this to ensure they’re always on the same page, even if they don’t work in the same location.
When it comes to managing the facilities within your satellite office, though, you don’t need to worry. We’ve got it covered, with fully equipped offices that provide businesses access to useful amenities such as furniture, WiFi, videoconferencing technology, lounges and kitchens. We’ll also take care of all the cleaning and maintenance, so all you need to do is focus on hiring local teams, finding new clients, or building a strong company structure across multiple locations. Get in touch with the team here at Easy Offices today to find out more about how we can help.