With many employers struggling to predict their future real estate needs, a fresh spin on the traditional satellite office model is giving companies the opportunity to locate closer to employees and clients across Ottawa – without committing to a long-term lease.
While global multinationals have long used satellite offices as a way to maintain sales or R&D outposts, businesses of any size now have an opportunity to add flexibility for their staff and cut their overhead costs by tapping into a network of on-demand office spaces across the city.
With the need for a giant centrally located HQ now in flux, organizations can look to spread their workforce across the city using smaller satellite offices. With permanent dedicated spaces in multiple locations or simply access to space on demand, organizations can now provide their staff options as to when and where they work.
As large numbers of employers and employees alike are looking to divide their working time between home and an office this fall, satellite offices are a cost-effective way of meeting the needs of a hybrid workforce, says Sean Cochrane, president of flexible workspace provider TCC Canada.
At TCC’s offices, employers can access a variety of modern workspaces, fully equipped with all of the furniture and amenities of a traditional office, at a fraction of the cost.
With six offices located regionally across the city of Ottawa, including the recent addition of Shopify’s former headquarters at 150 Elgin St. – employers can now offer their staff flexible options without it breaking the bank.
“Our clients have the ability to work from any of our locations, based on where they’re having appointments or where they live,” says Cochrane. “Instead of having one big office location, you now have six smaller, more affordable options.”
A better employee experience
Transitioning to satellite offices also provides employers unparalleled flexibility at a time when making long-term decisions is challenging for many.
Fewer businesses are comfortable signing 10-year leases at a time when it’s so difficult predicting how much space they’ll need, says Cochrane.
At TCC Canada, clients can increase or decrease their square footage as they go, making longterm, locked-in leases a thing of the past.
Spaces can be used on an hourly, daily, monthly or even yearly basis depending on the businesses need. Employees can touch down at any TCC location as often or as little as they choose, giving them the ability to ease back into the office routine.
“This approach allows employers to be understanding of their employees’ needs and gives them more choice than ever before in an affordable manor,” says Cochrane.
And, with the growing prevalence of remote work, the high degree of flexibility offered by TCC’s broad portfolio can help employers recruit top talent both within Ottawa and beyond the city’s borders.
“We have offices in Vancouver, Montreal and Halifax so your satellite offices don’t even need to stay within Ottawa,” says Cochrane. “You’re still only dealing with one landlord, one bill and one booking system, which simplifies the process.”
A client-focused approach
For local real estate lawyer Jacques Roberts, having multiple offices across Ottawa gives his team the ability to reach more clients while also providing a higher level of service.
The law firm currently operates out of four TCC locations across the city, ensuring his team is accessible at all times and eliminating the need for his clients to travel to his company’s Orléans headquarters.
“I realized very quickly that I didn’t want to be branded as an east-end lawyer,” he says. “That was a loss of opportunity in my eyes.”
Roberts and his team have used satellite offices for more than two decades, building a client-focused reputation for the law firm throughout the city.
On any given week, Roberts and his team will visit various satellite locations for meetings, utilizing the space’s computers, photocopy machines and receptionist services – which allows clients to still drop off documents when Roberts isn’t there.
While the client benefits from the firm’s presence throughout the city, Roberts says he never imagined he could have multiple offices at a manageable cost.
“As a smaller team, try to find a suitable office space with a reception area for a decent rate,” he adds. “With TCC, I’m paying a fraction of what I would in a traditional office lease and getting a spectacular experience.”