We are finally emerging from the pandemic and with more people vaccinated, we are seeing a return to more normal times, especially in the social aspects of our lives. People are gathering to catch up with friends and relatives they haven’t seen in person for about a year. As large companies get back up to speed, it’s obvious that things have changed dramatically. Since the pandemic proved that people can work from any place they have access to technology, COVID-19 killed the traditional workplace. COVID-19 caused a paradigm shift in the way businesses want to operate, as well as the way employees desire to work.
Lessons from the pandemic
When businesses in traditional office spaces went remote in March 2020, everyone did their best to step up to keep the wheels of commerce turning. Video conferencing, with its quirky, adorable, and sometimes embarrassing encounters, worked. Working from home proved tenable, due in some part to the fact that this arrangement afforded employees more time to work and spend with their families, instead of spending a good deal of time and money going to and from a central office in a state of stress. When businesses started to reopen, most people were ready to go back to work but some really preferred working remotely. With the traditional office setting in a state of flux, some employers are realizing that they could save a considerable amount of money if some employees work from home for the foreseeable future. Other companies want their employees to come back to the office, full-time or part-time. Currently, with the pandemic in our rear-view mirrors, businesses and employees are grappling with what the new normal will look like. Fortunately, the flexibility of coworking spaces offers many solutions that accommodate remote workers, in-person teams, and employers, as well.
One solution that employers and employees alike have been entertaining centers on the idea of splitting work weeks into some remote days and some in-person days. While this idea seems like a viable option, the logistics of coordinating employees’ schedules with project schedules can prove daunting and quite complicated in the same vein as herding cats. Allowing everyone to just come and go as they please doesn’t seem very likely or productive, either. The idea of employees sharing desk spaces with other workers on an alternating day schedule has been met with some opposition, leading workers to reconsider working remotely. An option that can keep teams on track and productivity moving at a desired pace involves leveraging flexible, shared desk spaces, such as Venture X, as a place for teams to convene weekly, monthly, or more often, depending on the projects they’re working on.
Also, employers can assemble teams that live near various coworking facilities, for ongoing meetings, instead of still expecting employees to commute into the central office for meetings. During the pandemic, many workers developed a real distaste for commuting, as did Mother Earth. A shorter drive to a nearby coworking space, though, is an affordable and sustainable option for teams that need to meet regularly. As a perk, the energizing creative atmosphere that makes coworking spaces different from traditional offices can help motivate team members as they interact with other professionals from diverse businesses, generating innovative ideas for projects. Coworking spaces can also accommodate larger department meetings in conference rooms technologically equipped for seamless audio-visual presentations with superb Internet in addition to business-class printers and scanners. Coworking spaces can also scale easily to accommodate changes in the size of your teams and their needs. In addition to providing productive, upscale surroundings for team meetings, coworking spaces also offer an alternative workspace for remote workers, who are feeling the isolating effect of working entirely from home.
As mentioned before, some people want to continue to work remotely. Employees with childcare needs see working from home as a way to save on childcare expenses and spend more time with their children. Some employees are opting to remain remote to avoid a stressful and time-consuming commute. This applies especially to those that commute via public transportation. Boarding a bus or train with a lot of other people is simply not an option for some people yet. Employers should be aware that everyone has been through a traumatic experience this past year and try to work with their teams to get the best results from their choice of workspaces. “Going forward, employees are going to expect commitment to making a positive difference in the lives and livelihoods of those touched by their organizations,” business professor, Linda A. Hill observed in Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge article. “They’re going to expect leaders to find ways to be more human-centric and sensitive to the needs of those around them.”
A sense of community
While working from home is ideal for some, the majority of remote workers don’t necessarily want to go back into the office full-time but feel the need to work in a business environment where they can interact with other business professionals. This desire to feel like part of a community is hard-wired into the human psyche. It’s just the way we’re built. For some remote workers, working at coworking spaces provides that sense of community, as well as a professional office space to work in, away from home.
The changing physical landscape of the traditional office
The pandemic proved that working from home is effective and that businesses, in an uncertain economy, cut expenses to survive an unexpected drop in business. Hence, the trend towards adopting ‘working from anywhere’ as the new normal. For employers, taking advantage of the opportunities coworking spaces offer their employees provides a compromise that works for everyone involved. Instead of spending money to upgrade home offices for their remote employees, businesses can rent spaces for their remote employees that provide everything they need and desire to deliver exceptional work. The coworking space culture promotes collaboration and could lead to expanding your brand’s reach through remote employees representing your company in coworking communities. Several times a week, a few times a month, or whatever you need to keep your remote employees engaged, involved, and well . . . happier, coworking spaces have proven to do just that, studies have shown.
Returning to the office after the pandemic, the world is different. COVID-19 changed the traditional workspace, such that companies are now faced with figuring out how to move forward. In the interim, employers can take advantage of the flexibility and scalability that coworking spaces offer for remote workers, teams, and companies. Venture X, with locations worldwide, is positioned to meet and exceed the needs of employers and employees alike in the post-pandemic workplace.
Contact Venture X to learn how we can help your business navigate this new normal!