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Iconic Offices: Are flexible workspaces the future of work?

Four Dublin professionals discuss flexible workspaces and how Iconic’s flexibility helps to aid their businesses, particularly during these times of uncertainty

The pandemic has brought uncertainty, insecurity, and dare we say it, unprecedented times for businesses. With the majority of office workers packing-up and working remotely over the past 18 months, both employers and employees are reviewing their future workplace set-ups. Whilst every business has unique requirements, one thing we can all agree on is that having more flexibility in our working lives will be crucial going forward. With this in mind, many businesses are now making the move to flexible workspace operators.

To get a better understanding of this, we caught up with various members from different industries and professions at Dublin’s leading flexible workspace provider Iconic Offices. We discussed why each member chose flexible workspace and how Iconic’s flexibility helps to aid their businesses, particularly during these times of uncertainty.

John Phelan, graphic designer & illustrator at Skinny Designs

Phelan is a solo freelancer who set up Skinny Designs back in 2016, and after a few years of working in isolation at home he went on the hunt for a flexible workspace where he could be surrounded by like-minded professionals. “I spent a long time viewing office space before I picked [Iconic Offices], but as soon as I got my tour I’d made up my mind that I wanted to work there. The look and feel of the space as well as the list of facilities that were available for my monthly fee made my decision easy.”

“It’s been great working alongside people and businesses of different backgrounds. Working at home on my own was quite isolating at times, so the social side always appealed to me. The worst part of working alone was not being able to chat to people about random day-to-day stuff or just bounce ideas off people. Also, meeting people from different businesses and industries gives you new insights into how people work. My world as a freelance designer has opened up since I came here.”


Diego Solorzano, co-founder & COO of Square1

Square1 is an online, web and mobile software development company who were well accustomed to working remotely. When the pandemic hit, Solorzano and his partner Ciaran Maher, were able to downsize from a private office at Iconic, to taking several coworking desks in the same building. Solorzano describes this ability to adapt based on their needs, as being a key benefit to their membership with Iconic. “When the pandemic arrived, we gave up our 12-desk office at The Masonry [Iconic Offices], and kept one dedicated desk at the coworking space in the building. We had to take a number of measures to prepare for the uncertainty ahead; we reduced our staff in Spain and tried to keep our costs to a minimum. Because our team is used to working remotely, it was never an issue. It actually turned out to be very beneficial in terms of employee satisfaction and productivity. As the restrictions eased, we took a few more dedicated desks at The Masonry for the employees that felt they needed to get out of the house a few times a week. Having this flexibility has been invaluable to us during the pandemic.”

Lynda Barnes, founder and director of 360 Search

Barnes, who runs a financial recruitment business in Dublin, has a small team based in Iconic Offices. She described her experience before and during the pandemic. “We moved from a traditional workspace to Iconic Offices as it offered flexibility. Coming through a pandemic where there’s a huge amount of uncertainty ... the conversation with Iconic was a load off anybody’s mind, and helped everybody sleep better, because we could actually say we don’t need an office for fifteen people. We were able to downsize our office and maintain costs. The flexibility in knowing that we didn’t have to uproot everything and have everybody working in different offices was super, and as it transpires, the blended week is working really well for all of our team. So, in terms of having a hub and having a home, it hasn’t changed for us, we’ve been able to stay in the same building and downsize our offices.”

Adrian Missen, country head at Impax Asset Management

When establishing their country base workspace earlier this year, Missen, as country head of Ireland at Impax Asset Management, would have assessed all available options. So what made him and his team opt for a flexible workspace over a traditional office? “We are a small but growing team, so our decision was influenced by a need for flexibility for us to take on more space as we need it over the next couple of years, and also a desire to have some of the logistical aspects of office management taken care of on our behalf. The flexibility around lease term, potential office relocation within the building, and the use of other Iconic locations in Dublin was a big draw too.”

“Aside from the features [mentioned], I think the greatest benefit is the relationship we have with the Iconic team. They were excellent from the day we met them to tour the building, through to contract negotiation and ultimately moving in.”