As we adjust and live in our new normal with new workplace strategies in place, it’s important to be aware of its expanding benefits now and for the future. Read more below.
If current polls are to tell us anything, it’s that many employees wish for greater workplace flexibility moving forward. Particularly, if it can help provide them with more safety in these turbulent times.
Calls for more flexibility, however, can be interpreted in many different ways. And it’s important to have clear strategies in place to understand how to best implement post-COVID workplace guidelines.
The main takeaway from the data that’s been gathered in the face of the ongoing pandemic is that people want a better mix of remote and office-based work moving forward. The ability to control how, when, and where they work is a benefit many employees would like to retain. Even more interestingly, it seems that many employers agree with these sentiments.
It seems that many people want the ability to work from both home and the office, depending on the circumstances and needs demanded by their work and personal lives.
Furthermore, companies are looking for ways to safely bring employees back into the office without jeopardizing their individual safety, while making the most of the space they already have. Reconciling remote work and office work might not be as difficult as first anticipated, given the growing role that coworking spaces may play in mediating between the two.
Coworking Spaces Can Help Maintain Social Distancing
Companies seek to cut down on the number of workers coming back into work while keeping many workers involved via remote work. The need for flexible spaces to provide an in-between is greater than ever.
Coworking spaces present the perfect opportunity for small and large companies to rent space on flexible terms for workers who need to work in groups or work closer to the main office, without crowding the office or requiring them to work solely from home.
Coworking spaces provide an excellent third place between home and office. They are perfectly positioned to not only provide commercial real estate, but also provide services essential to ensuring that their spaces remain safe. This includes strict social distancing guidelines, individual offices and private spaces, separated and well-filtered HVAC systems, better total airflow, roving cleaning crews, mask and glove policies, and much more.
Coworking Spaces Can Helm the Responsibility of a Clean and Safe Environment
While companies are still scrambling to find the right way to deal with the increased demand for flexibility now and moving forward, coworking spaces can helm the responsibilities of keeping a safe and clean environment.
Companies with existing office space will have to continue to COVID-proof their own space, but they won’t have to worry about buying or leasing even more office space to support de-densification, or worry about forcing a large portion of their workforce to work only from home.
Coworking spaces and flex spaces provide the optional space needed for any company that seeks to keep the number of workers working at the main office sparse while giving other employees the option to work at a coworking space or from home. To that end, the flexible and short-term lease and rent options most coworking spaces provide are excellent for addressing a business’ immediate needs and providing the level of flexibility needed in these uncertain and volatile times.
In a hub-and-spoke model, where companies maintain a centralized location and utilize smaller spaces as spokes in a wheel, coworking and flex spaces will remain and continue to be a useful service for companies seeking ways to reduce overhead costs and outsource the creation of a safe workplace dedicated to employee wellness and health.
Employees Want Flexible Hours to Accompany Flexible Spaces
Our time away from the office has led to many managers and employers finding themselves uncertain of how to track their employees’ hours, and instead rely on tracking their results. This has paved the way for the idea of revisiting the working week and judging an employee’s performance on the results they bring rather than the sheer volume of the hours they put into their job.
In this sense, employees are also looking for greater freedom to attend to their private and personal lives, destress, and find more time for themselves and family. In turn, seeking the kind of security and serenity needed for greater productivity at work, and a more efficient use of company time.
Work-from-anywhere policies can also include an amendment to the working week and develop better concepts of productivity based on data.
Developing new ways to track employee productivity and promote wellness and health first, in order to cultivate greater results, can also reflect well on a company’s priorities and help workers feel that their employers are putting the wellbeing of their team ahead of the business’ bottom line, without sacrificing profit, simply by placing greater trust in the team’s own motivation to do good work, and to work effectively.
The Ecological Footprint of Flexible Work
Another boon provided by a tenuous return to the office and new ideas of what it might mean to put flexibility at the forefront of emerging workplace concepts is that companies can begin to reduce their environmental impact and save time in the process.
Reduced commutes and reduced office space translates into reduced emissions and less resources needed for energy and heating, while keeping employees interconnected and allowing them to work together, even during emergency situations and weather disasters.
Remote Work and the Future
Much is still uncertain about how COVID will continue to impact our work culture, and our workspaces. But we know that, as we’re getting through this first inning, remote work is more important than ever. And much of the progress we’ve made towards adapting to it will not be lost the instant things go back to some degree of normalcy.
To that end, many workplace strategies will rely on remote work as an option for further de-densifying the office space, cutting down on the amount of space needed for a company to function, and placing greater value in virtual communication and collaboration technologies.
Remote work will not replace the office, and for some people it will always be an inferior option. But for those who seek the flexibility to work from home or anywhere else, it’s more than likely that many smaller and larger businesses will try to accommodate that wish moving forward, for both the safety of their workers and for the benefits that remote work can bring to the table.