In the Age of Hybrid Work, Flexible Workspaces are Just What We Need
The COVID-19 pandemic caused an obvious seismic shift across many facets of our lives. One aspect is how we conduct and view our work. Employees today are afforded a lot of options to do their jobs—foremost is the flexibility to work from home.
Industry experts like Michael McCullough know this for certain. The founder and CEO of KMC Solutions, an ISO-certified pioneer of flexible workspace solutions and staff augmentation, says that, on days when they report for work, employees “want a highly collaborative space when do they come into the office—a convenient location close to their homes to reduce time spent in traffic, or even the ability to work from the beach. We pride ourselves in being able to provide that type of flexibility for them.”
KMC Solutions entered the market in 2010 to meet crucial needs that clients sought. “They wanted a nice office, fast internet (connection), and help with finding—and then managing—their new team,” McCullough tells Esquire Philippines.
The company started with two floors in a single building; now it boasts a total portfolio comprised of 49 floors in more than 20 properties, according to its official website. It offers more than 19,000 workstations and a total of 100,376 square meters of business space. After its expansion within Metro Manila in 2015, the company opened office spaces in Cebu (2015) and Iloilo (2018). KMC Solutions recently inaugurated its SM North EDSA Tower 1 location and announced plans to open new offices at the Jollibee Tower in Pasig and Lexmark at the Cebu Business Park this year.
“The demands and types of businesses have changed,” McCullough explains. “Office space design has radically shifted over the last 10 years with the way people work. We never thought corporates would be our clients, but employees’ needs are also rapidly changing with the times as office design now centers around collaboration and human connection.”
KMC Solutions’ serviced offices cater to teams of five to 200, while its virtual offices provide companies that operate overseas or from home with short- and long-term businesses addresses. Its co-working spaces have plug-and-play features for team meetings or client presentations and even corporate or social gatherings like trainings and parties. And don’t be surprised to find game consoles, television sets, and spaces for yoga and exercise facilities in some of their workspaces.
Michael McCullough is the founder and CEO of KMC Solutions
McCullough shares that demand has “been on a rocket ship” after the COVID-19 pandemic. “Companies have started adopting a hybrid work setup and organizations are now looking for more flexible but sustainable solutions that still give their employees the flexibility to work remotely while also giving them the workspace they need when teams need to come together.”
The executive, who was recognized by the Asia CEO Awards Philippines in 2014 as its Young Leader of the Year, recognizes that clients “do not want long-term leases or paying for office space that sits unutilized.” Instead, what’s in demand are “smaller offices or even co-working memberships to at least support a small number of employees who still prefer office work and time to collaborate with their (fellow) employees.”
As company CEO, McCullough works with foreign clients and government agencies, such as the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) and the Board of Investments (BOI) to ensure that KMC clients receive the proper tax incentives for their investments into the country. So when the Information Technology and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) firms voiced out their preference to physically not return to offices 100 percent late last year and not lose tax incentives, McCullough said PEZA “needed to take a practical approach” when it denied requests to extend the 100 percent work from home arrangements of its members.
“The BOI was offering 100 percent work from home,” he recalls of developments in 2022 and early this year. “PEZA’s credibility and value was being questioned, as the workforce fervently opposed being back onsite 100 percent. This resulted in them quickly having to pivot, as companies started to abandon PEZA in favor of BOI. At the end of the day, companies want to take care of their workforce and listen to what their needs are at the time.”
KMC Solutions also extends its services to building, developing, and caring for employees. It has offerings in recruitment (such as staff leasing), human resources, payroll, business continuity, and community activities, such as professional development workshops, lifestyle and fitness programs, employee engagement activities, and activities focused on advocacies.
McCullough shares the people behind these offerings are well-taken care of. “At KMC, everything we do is about the employee experience and making ‘Life + Work’ better. Our work environment is fun, friendly, and collaborative. We have tons of employee engagement activities and we’ve got the ‘Great Place To Work’ certifications to independently back this up,” he says of the recognition given to the firm in October 2022.
“(We are) constantly working to be an employer-centric organization, devoting time and resources to the people who make the business successful,” he adds. “We have been able to develop a community-based culture, which in turn speaks for itself in the excellent outcomes of our talent retention, because we prioritize the employee experience.”