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How Coworking Marketplace Upflex Is Redefining Hub-And-Spoke

Screenshots of the Upflex platform

With their employees relocating away from urban centers, businesses have been weighing whether to trade in the traditional downtown headquarters for a hub-and-spoke model, placing satellite offices in various cities and suburbs across the country. 

But coworking marketplace Upflex is hoping to show businesses there is a different approach.

Through Upflex's platform, companies can establish a hub at an existing office or a new flexible office provided by any of the 670 coworking brands that work with Upflex. Then, rather than having to rent additional satellite spaces, companies purchase their employees with memberships to Upflex, which gives them access to every coworking space and flexible office available in Upflex’s 5,500 partner locations in 1,600 cities and 75 countries around the world. 

Upflex CEO Christophe Garnier envisions that employees will spend a few days a week going into the hub office and the rest of their time choosing whether to work from home or work from the most convenient office space in the Upflex network, which includes spaces from across the spectrum of managed office providers. Even if an employee takes a monthlong trip overseas, they can still use the same platform to find workspace.

“Because we aggregate space from so many different operators, using Upflex significantly reduces the cost of a hub-and-spoke model for employers,” Garnier said. “It also gives employees the unique experience of being truly free to choose how they want to work.”

An Upflex dashboard showing employee usage of flexible workspaces

Upflex acts as a clearinghouse for flexible office space, allowing companies of all sizes to book desks, conference rooms and private offices through its platform. But in this adapted hub-and-spoke model, the technology also plays an important logistical role; rather than having to build a homegrown solution for access control, employers can use Upflex to build a schedule for when certain teams and employees should be allowed access to the central office. Eliminating that logistical headache can be a benefit for companies that are wondering how to manage their return to the office later this year.

Working through Upflex also provides companies with valuable data on how their employees actually use their memberships. Companies can see the most active users and most heavily used spaces and then make decisions about expanding or contracting budgets for their hub spaces or expanding or contracting budgets for individual memberships.

“Hub-and-spoke is all about optimizing your CRE spend in the future,” Garnier said. “But putting a technology platform behind it provides you with a level of granularity and analytics to let you be on the pulse of your employees’ usage of space.”

The model isn’t hypothetical, either. Schneider Electric, a French energy solutions firm with 135,000 employees worldwide, started launching hub-and-spoke solutions through Upflex in December in collaboration with Colliers International and will be implementing dozens of hub-and-spoke models across the Americas. Garnier said his company is working with other leading brokerage groups as well and plans to announce other clients following the model very soon.

This article was produced in collaboration between Upflex and Studio B. Bisnow news staff was not involved in the production of this content.

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