How Upflex Reduces the Cost of Flex Space


When Upflex launched we focused on connecting business and distributed teams to vacant offices. At our core, Upflex is dedicated to reducing waste: wasted office space, wasted time, and wasted resources. Flexible workspace – giving employees the choice to work from home or one of many distributed locations – is the perfect solution for slashing workspace waste.

At the time flex workspace was no longer a new concept, and was growing in popularity – especially with startups. In the last decade, global demand for flexible workspace has grown by 50% –  while supply has only expanded 15% in the same time. Upflex’s on-demand booking technology was popular with this niche, and we thought: this is where we’ll grow.

We didn’t think we’d really break through to enterprise giants – the Facebooks and Googles of the world. These companies spend billions to build legendary office-centric cultures. 

But then 2020 happened, and everything changed.

Post-Pandemic: Enterprise Targets Flexible Workspace

Overnight, the entire world was working from home. Now, with the end of the COVID-19 pandemic in sight, we’ve found enterprises are eager to adopt the hub and spoke model that startups have been championing for almost a decade. Why?

Employee Happiness Improves

Employees are happier when they have a flexible work situation. Research from Gallup, and others, suggest that employees are happy working from home – and will want to continue that arrangement post-pandemic. 

But working from home isn’t perfect since there’s no replacement for face-to-face collaboration. Both employees and employers want a blend, one that makes work valuable. That means a mix of time at the office, at home, and in satellite (or spoke) offices. When employees make a focused effort to meet coworkers, that time becomes useful –  and is spent specifically on collaboration instead of on a day bogged down in routine: switching from emails to endless meetings, working hard but getting almost nothing done.

As we exit the pandemic, flexible workspace will be a requirement to attract and retain the best talent.

Office Costs Can be Cut 

With the shift to a flexible model – with employees spending only two or three days in an office (and not always the same central office), traditional leases make no sense. Forbes reports companies ranging from small business to Fortune 500 enterprises are planning to downsize real estate portfolios by up to 40% within the five years. Most plan to replace central offices with a mix of flex space.

Workforce Diversity Increases 

Major metropolitan areas – from Los Angeles to New York City – have seen an exodus of the creative class. This trend began before the COVID-19 pandemic – but has predictably accelerated. Flex space means reaching a diverse workforce. Even Facebook believes flex work will broaden their talent.

Flex Space is an Easy Way to be Sustainable

The millions spent making real estate sustainable often falls short of simply cutting commute times. The EPA states 28% of emissions are related to transportation. By simply reducing the need to commute every day, a business can have a positive and permanent impact on climate change.

How Upflex Cuts Flex Space Cost

The value of flex space is simple: why pay for what you don’t need? But managing dozens of locations across multiple locations, for thousands of employees, is quite difficult. Projected savings may vanish once procurement costs are factored into the final spend. 

That’s where a technology partner like Upflex helps. 

We use the same principles as platforms like Airbnb, Uber, and ClassPass to connect vacant offices with teams that need them. Our technology brings the on-demand sharing economy to commercial real estate – slashing dependency on real estate by an average of 40%.

One MSA. One Platform. One Bill. 

First, we save our customers money on procurement costs, and this alone is usually enough to make flex space viable. 

Upflex is a clearing house for the best office space, aggregating available flex space, and consolidating multiple relationships into a single vendor solution. We streamline billing, reconciliation, and procurement costs including:

  • Time spent on short-term leases
  • Processing fees
  • Multiple vendors and agreements
  • Multiple invoices
  • Upflex membership converts your real estate costs into an expense not a debt

On-Demand Platform: Pay for What You Need 

Upflex lets you pay for only what you need. Our technology tracks office use, allowing us to offer fair prices which are much lower than coworking memberships.

For our membership plans, private office and desk membership means you can access some of the hottest properties at much lower prices than if you went directly to providers. We only charge you for what you use: by the hour, day, or week. These plans are great for anyone, but are very popular with smaller businesses, start-ups, and completely distributed teams.

Our hub and spoke product works differently and can have a dramatic impact on real estate costs for companies transitioning from a traditional central office. 

Suppose you’re paying for an office with 1,000 desks. In a flex space model, you’ll never have all 1,000 desks occupied at once. Scale down to, say, 300 desks. All of you employees have access to the property, but you don’t have to pay for space you don’t need. Paired with Upflex’s low-cost access to spoke offices in your area – the savings add up. We routinely cut real estate costs by more than half for most of our hub and spoke users.

Data-Driven Approach

Paying for only what you need means there has to be a strong data-driven core to our technology. We track office consumption data for you, giving you a clear view into how your company uses flex space. We aggregate data to negotiate better prices with our providers, keeping costs low for Upflex members.

Outlook for Flexible Workspace

The future of the workspace is already here. Our own conversations with Fortune 500 companies suggest flex work will be the standard in about five years. The positive impact on employee productivity, sustainability, and the deep costs savings are too great to go back to a traditional central office. 

The future will not be about where we work, but how we build collaborative workplaces that facilitate our best work. The GWA has identified the 3:2 flex-work arrangement as the most productive model for employees. This means an employee works at home two to three days a week. That’s the perfect combination of concentrative work and collaboration. It’s also the perfect argument for a hub and spoke model vs a traditional central office.

Technology partners like Upflex help you spend capex wisely, turning white space in the market to your advantage.

Upflex offers a single solution for flexible corporate real estate that provides instant access to thousands of desks, meeting rooms, and private offices in over 5,500+ locations in 75 countries, all while costing up to 40% less than traditional office offerings. Further, we create efficiencies for businesses to improve employee productivity while reducing their carbon footprint.