While all of us are still in the middle of a pandemic, there are certain factors to consider when choosing a new office space. Read everything you need to know below.
Workspaces exist to serve numerous purposes: to be a place for productivity and cooperation, to provide the right stimuli for creativity, to foster positive working relationships between colleagues, and to improve and maintain the mental and physical wellbeing of a company’s most crucial and important asset – the worker.
Yet there are significant financial considerations and constraints for small-to-medium enterprises seeking a place of their own. Commercial real estate is not cheap, and the financial commitment behind creating a space for your own company and vision is tremendous and requires capital many companies do not have right now.
The need for flexible workspaces and low commitment, high-quality workspaces is higher than ever, especially as some employees look towards a future where work-from-anywhere policies become the norm and wish for a company culture that embraces flexibility in an uncertain market. When looking for workspaces in a post-pandemic world, flexibility should be the first critical condition.
Choose Workspaces with Flexible Leases
Small and medium businesses struggling to turn things around after a difficult year might not even be considering the costs of having their own office space, let alone the time and capital needed to fully outfit and adapt the space to the company’s identity.
Existing purely virtually has its drawbacks as well. Many employees are struggling to remain productive from home, are feeling alone and isolated from their company, and want to reap the benefits of working face-to-face with others, from the learning experiences provided by a real living workspace to the important social aspect and camaraderie that every company needs to keep its spirit and culture alive.
Rather than getting a full space of their own, smaller companies (and larger ones looking to spread out across a greater region or bring their employees back into workspaces without breaking social distancing nor risking huge commutes) should embrace flexible workspaces that offer fully furnished, sanitized, and prepared offices for short-term leases, cutting out the huge financial commitment while giving businesses the chance to leverage the benefits of a fully outfitted workspace.
Rather than a full floor plan, consider a few smaller private spaces for your business within an agile piece of commercial real estate, such as a coworking space or flex space. No year-long leases, no time and capital spent developing a digital infrastructure, no need to tackle issues like property upkeep and cleaning.
Find a Workspace That Attracts the Best
Hiring fresh talent is a critical part of success for any growing business that recognizes the importance of its workforce. As such, being able to attract talent and keep it around is vital.
A coworking space would help smaller companies afford to spend more on their best talent and invite them into a company that has already begun to adopt and embrace flexible working conditions, a blend between the virtual and the physical.
Coworking spaces are always short-term solutions but can work as a long-term plan by shifting locations and teams around to suit the company’s needs and goals and give employees the freedom to work from flexible spaces near their own residence or continue to work from home as well.
Coworking spaces are also often outfitted with the best amenities to attract the greatest freelance and single contractor talents, giving them not only the best space in town to work at, but giving companies the chance to collaborate and work alongside great talent outside of the company, forging partnerships and business relationships that could last for years to come, and providing unique local networking opportunities.
Another plus is that these spaces help small companies spend more time working together, and less time worrying about coffee and snack supplies, interior design and decoration, and workplace ergonomics. These spaces take care of all that and much more.
A Workspace That Prioritizes Health and Safety
Even with vaccines entering the picture in countries all around the world, concerns surrounding the virus haven’t completely abated, and the social impact of the coronavirus is sure to be felt for years to come. Some might not feel comfortable returning to the way things were and will seek out workspaces that prioritize de-densification, and allow employees to keep their own space and distance from one another.
Basic hygiene concepts, such as more frequent surface cleaning and better-quality HVAC solutions, will be important moving forward. Some might want to make the most of outdoor working spaces, especially during the warmer months, and want to work in spaces that sacrifice the open office floor plan for private offices and better integration of natural light, air, and plant life into the everyday office setting.
Many coworking spaces have had to radically adapt to the coronavirus by prioritizing clean and well-ventilated spaces, separated rather than open, with larger common spaces meant to host small groups that keep socially distant, and roving cleaning crews that ensure that the most-used surfaces are sterilized multiple times a day.
Consider Multiple Workplaces for Convenience
By saving considerable time and capital when choosing a coworking space, small-to-medium businesses and large enterprises alike can benefit from having multiple workspaces connected to one another virtually. This allows different teams in different neighborhoods, cities, regions, states, and even countries to collaborate both physically and virtually through coworking satellite offices and telecommunications tools like Slack, Meets, and Zoom.
The hub-and-spoke workspace model has been growing in interest for years and might help provide a solution against the time loss caused by long commutes.
Going Back to Work During the Pandemic
Not everyone has had the luxury of continuing to be productive during the pandemic. Many have struggled to stay focused while working from home and feel the need to collaborate and communicate with their team members on more than just a virtual level in order to function properly. But we cannot just go back to the way things were, not in the near future, and definitely not now. While it does feel like we may be getting a handle on the pandemic, we are still in the middle of it, and smart, safe concepts are needed to keep ourselves healthy while we work together.
Coworking spaces could play a central role in this process, providing companies the chance to rent clean workspaces for small teams in private and ventilated offices, while working virtually with teams in other locations around the country.