November 29, 2020

What is Flex Space and How Can You Use It?

Flex space is an increasingly popular trend in commercial real estate construction, but what exactly does it mean?

Flex space is at its core a flexible, lightly zoned space that can be used for multiple purposes and typically has a combination of industrial and retail or office space. Combining these mixed uses has become a new art form. Thoughtfully designing and planning these spaces with both beauty and function in mind to meet your company’s specific needs is something we excel in at Rubicon.

The demand for flexible space has never been higher. With the rise of e-commerce and the ever-changing business landscape, businesses are in need of spaces that can adapt to their needs. And where better to find such a space than in your own warehouse?

Flex space refers to a workspace that is versatile and adaptable, making it perfect for businesses with fluctuating needs. This type of space is commonly found in coworking spaces, but why not utilize your warehouse for flex space? It's a smart and cost-effective solution that can benefit both you and potential tenants.

How can you utilize flex space to increase the functionality of your commercial property? Here are a few of the ways you can incorporate the space to make the most of your square footage.

Warehouse and Industrial Space For Flex Space

Many flex spaces begin with a large, open warehouse or industrial space that is then designed to include any office or retail needs of the business. A wide variety of industries in Utah and the Intermountain West can benefit from a well-designed flexible facility including energy and natural resource companies, retailers, suppliers, and those specializing in manufacturing and distribution.

With a little bit of creativity, you can convert your warehouse into an office space, a workshop area, or even a retail store. Imagine having the ability to modify your workspace according to your needs and current business demands. Talk about being versatile!

Flex space not only maximizes the use of your warehouse but also offers cost-effective solutions. Instead of spending money on renting or building separate spaces for different functions, you can make use of the existing space you already have.

Research and Development Facilities

R&D's job is to constantly come up with new ideas, test them out, and adjust as needed. So why not apply this same approach to your workspace?

Imagine having a designated area in your lab or office that can easily be transformed into whatever you need it to be. Need a quiet space for focused experiments? Done. Want an open area for brainstorming sessions? No problem. How about a space for presentations or meetings? Just rearrange the furniture and you're all set.

Not only does this create a more efficient use of your workspace, but it also fosters creativity and collaboration. As we all know, some of the best ideas come from bouncing thoughts off others in an open and relaxed environment. Many experts suggest that your external environment, including your landscaping, have a significant impact on social behaviors.

Flex spaces are ideal for laboratories like those needed for R&D in medical manufacturing, pharmaceutical research, chemical production, and product development. Rather than being forced to rely on offsite labs, flex space and flexibility to maintain the specific variable controls necessary to meet the needs of your R&D lab while providing ample comfortable office and meeting space.

Artists and Craftsmen

Artists were some of the early pioneers of flex space, often combining their studio, gallery and even living spaces all in one building. Modern-day flex spaces allow everyone from painters to furniture makers to have an adaptable space that is designed with their craft in mind.

One of the main advantages of flex space is its flexibility (hence the name). Artists and craftsmen can choose a flex space that best suits their current project or needs. Whether they need a larger space for painting or sculpting, or a smaller space for jewelry making, there are countless options available.

Flex space also allows artists and craftsmen to save money by only paying for the time and space that they actually use. This is especially beneficial for those who may not have a steady income or may be just starting out in their craft. It also eliminates the need for expensive studio rentals or the commitment of purchasing a permanent workspace.

Event and Entertainment Venues

Event spaces are the perfect spot for freelancers and remote workers looking for a change of scenery from their usual home office or coffee shop. With its spacious layout and comfortable seating, it's an ideal spot to set up a temporary workspace and get some work done without any distractions. Plus, with the availability of amenities like Wi-Fi and charging stations, event spaces are well-equipped to cater to the needs of flexible workers.

Hospitality and tourism can benefit from flex space, too. Event, entertainment and wedding venues are especially well suited to flex space because of the ability to accommodate a variety of formal, informal, and administrative areas all under one roof. Large bay doors can be utilized to create an indoor/outdoor atmosphere that has the added benefit of extending the use of your space in the warmer months while still remaining seasonally appropriate in the winter or during inclement weather.


A new emerging trend is coworking facilities that combine private office space and open flexible space that is used for a variety of purposes including shared workspace, dedicated rented desks, meeting space, and event venue rentals. These facilities are often utilized by entrepreneurs, individual contractors, those with side gigs, and startups looking for shorter leases, shared amenities and a sense of community and comradery.

Offices and Retail

industrial office building using flex spaces

Within each of the above potential uses of these spaces lies the need for incorporating either office or retail space. The possibilities are endless—from administrative offices for a distribution center or a showroom for a product manufacturer to a gallery for an artist or a retail storefront attached to a warehouse for easier distribution logistics.

The variety of uses of flex space is only limited by your imagination and the experience and expertise of your general contractor. At Rubicon, we work with you to identify your specific needs and provide the right design and execution to maximize the use of your space.

If you’re interested in learning more about how flex space could benefit your business, contact us and one of our experts will reach out to you.