As the world turned upside-down last spring, everything about it changed. The way we coped during the lockdown at home was amazing, funny, boring and at times chaotic. Meanwhile, education systems pivoted to totally online curriculums that, neither the providers nor the parents were prepared to take on. After years of declaring online classes were not as valuable as in-person learning, now we needed to pivot and sell the value of online learning. The jury is still out on how the consumer views the online shift.
The same goes for remote work. Pre-COVID, some jobs were shifting to a more remote basis, as where and when people liked to work was in a state of flux. We did see that an increasing preference for coworking spaces and flexibility in work schedules was changing the landscape of the office in many ways. However, before the pandemic, many in corporate America were behind the mindset “This remote thing will never work!” However, the spring of 2020 proved that remote working does work, as video conferencing took over our work lives, as well as our home lives.
Initially, this video-conferencing lifestyle allowed us to peek inside the homes of our favorite celebrities and our boss’s kitchen, along with providing built-in comic relief. Then the pandemic dragged on and kids, spouses, roommates and pets became unwelcome distractions that intruded on your workspace and added to your pandemic fatigue.
It will still take some time for larger companies to get back up to speed, and return to the traditional office environment
Now, almost a year later, with vaccinations underway and the end of this life-changing pandemic almost in our sightlines, the world is taking stock of what the working world looks like from here and it appears the future of work is more flexible than we imagined it could be before COVID-19.
Because it will take a while for corporations to rework their office spaces to implement social distancing measures, install no-touch doors and instill a sense of safety with added sanitation measures in place, it could take some time before large companies get back up to speed fully with a full employee roster returning to work on-site.
Remaining remote for the foreseeable future
With economic uncertainty in the air, some companies are looking at their futures and deciding that remote workers are the best thing since the Internet. Working remotely, during a pandemic to help you and your employer stay afloat, is what most people opted to do for the greater good of the economy. However, just when remote workers were chomping at the bit to work anywhere except at home, employers, beginning to see how technology could help them cut overheads by their employees continuing to work remotely, said, “Hey there, love what you’ve done with your kitchen, and keep up the good work from home.”
Remote work does not have to mean “at home”
According to a June 2020 Entrepreneur.com article, author Alex Sixt points out that employees enjoy the ability to choose where they work, citing an Oxford study that showed that a whopping “83 percent of employees, remote or on-site, say that a remote work opportunity would make them feel happier at their jobs.” As people working from coworking spaces have known for a while, employees are more productive when they feel happy in their work environments. Coworking spaces and other flexible shared desk space companies are all set up to offer those remote workers who cannot go back to the workspaces yet, a home office away from home.
Is history repeating itself?
Initially, coworking spaces started gaining popularity when the novelty of working at home, in your jammies, wore off for those small business owners, tech startups, and other remote workers who experienced the first wave of telecommuting. Around 2010, those remote workers, feeling the isolation and imbalance of working and living in the same place, started to flock to coworking spaces for the connection to the local business community and to regain a work/life balance. Is history repeating itself? The answer is Yes. After being forced to stay at home for almost a year, some remote workers stand to benefit from their employers working with them to get them out of the house a few days a week, twice a week, or even several times a month. It is no secret that the workforce and employers, facing the most challenging economy in a decade will want more flexible ways to work moving forward.
Large companies and corporations can accommodate their remote teams at coworking spaces
Fortunately, many large corporations looking to incorporate some of the pre-pandemic coworking, community, and collaboration vibe into their office environments were already using the convenience of coworking spaces for their remote teams. Instead of investing in regional offices to expand into new markets, bringing personnel together at a coworking space in various locales, allowed large companies to test the waters first and begin establishing roots in those business districts. Also, large companies and corporations were already using coworking spaces for remote teams working on projects that required in-person meetings. The near future sees more small, medium, and large companies using flexible office spaces as a hybrid between working at home and going back into the office. The flexible monthly access and easy scaling capabilities at coworking spaces also allow companies to set up in-person meetings for teams or individuals every week or a few times per month. For larger meetings, coworking spaces also include conference and meeting room hours in some plans, with additional hours available at discounted hourly rates.
At Venture X, our focus has always been on the future of workspace! In April 2020, our locations were deemed an essential business, allowing our franchise partners to remain open, following CDC and WHO guidelines. With your safety as our priority, Venture X continues to offer welcoming spaces with upscale, socially distanced shared desk spaces, private office spaces, and comfortable community areas for breaks and optional workspaces across the country. While no one can predict the future of work, we can assure you, flexibility will play an essential role!
After all, Venture X is the future of workspace!