It’s impossible to overstate how much the workplace has changed in the last year. Analysts expected a year ago that the way we work would be mainly based on teamwork and connection in shared offices. However, all of that changed in March, when COVID-19 began to emerge in many parts of the world. As a result, offices closed and workers retreated to their homes, where many of them have continued to work since. The question then becomes, what are the benefits of coworking in a post pandemic world?
Despite the convenience of working from home, some employees have expressed a desire to visit a workplace in order to socialize, interact, and have access to resources. Even after the pandemic ends, demand for coworking spaces is expected to rise as professionals seek a versatile and a welcoming environment.
Not only do coworking spaces have standard office facilities, but they also provide a variety of workspaces to accommodate different work types. By utilizing coworking, companies can instantly create a more inclusive and diverse workplace culture that accommodates workers no matter their work preferences.
With open areas for downtime and socialization, private cubicles for intensive work, and meeting rooms for brainstorming and group sessions, workers have more resources, which has increasingly become a requirement for a safe workforce.
Jill Margulis, Director of Marketing and Brand Strategy at AIREA, believes that businesses would lose out if they didn’t see their workplace as an opportunity to build that [destination-worthy] experience for their workers and clients.
How Coworking Can Benefit Human Relations and Mental Well-Being
Many people who have operated remotely since the pandemic began in mid-March 2020 are prepared to socialize after a year of being cooped up at home. Even the most introverted among us definitely need some face-to-face engagement.
According to research, many people have paid a toll as a result of our extended isolation from our everyday lives and interaction with coworkers and those outside of our homes. According to the Conference Board survey, the number of people reporting mental health issues has increased by 40%, while the number of people reporting high levels of personal well-being has decreased by 35%.
People will be excited to see one another, catch up, and discuss things in person once the COVID-19 vaccine is widely available. While Zoom and Teams are effective business tools, they are not designed to support the type of mutual conversations that build a sense of unity and culture – the interactions that contribute to true employee engagement. Again, coworking is a perfect option for people who crave social contact. People can not only talk with colleagues, but they can also make new friends or business contacts from another organization, or make weekend plans over coffee.
In 2021, we will all encounter obstacles, but with the right approach, coworking providers will help us make the most of the tough hand we’ve all been dealt, not just by providing businesses with a viable, flexible alternative, but also by assisting workers in re-entering the workforce as smoothly as possible.
Why Flexible Office Space Offers the Benefits of Coworking in a Post Pandemic World
There’s no denying that the pandemic has wreaked havoc on office space owners and operators, especially flexible space, which is easier to dispose of. Just a small percentage of employees have returned to work. Just 10% of office employees in Manhattan, from the largest office market, have returned, and some may never return.
Village Workspaces and its rivals, such as Knotel, We Work, and Industrious, which all rent ready-to-use office space to individuals and businesses, have slowed their rapid growth but haven’t had to downsize significantly. They’ve managed to stay afloat through the pandemic, and they’re looking forward to a period when their flexible space is more appealing than traditional long-term office leases. Flexible office space appeals to businesses because it allows them to more readily adapt to trends such as the hybrid office, in which people visit the office less often and for various reasons than before. They also serve as a pit stop for businesses still trying to find out what the future holds.
According to a CBRE study that surveyed about 80 businesses around the world, 86 percent of companies expect to use flexible space as a core part of their real estate strategies in the future. They’re much more likely to prefer leasing in buildings with a variety of flexible space options. Jonathan Wasserstrum, CEO of SquareFoot, a digital commercial real estate brokerage, believes it will happen sooner rather than later. In 2020, demand for flexible options on his platform increased by 15%. The explanations for the shift to versatile space are numerous, but they all reflect an expansion of patterns that existed prior to the pandemic and the benefits of coworking in a post pandemic world.
The Post Pandemic World Will Probably Make Coworking More Appealing
Surprisingly, real estate experts do not believe that shared space would be as frightening in the future as it was during the pandemic, owing to widespread implementation of protective measures and, perhaps more importantly, the impending arrival of a vaccine.
According to CBRE’s Whelan, “anyone who manages an office environment, including flexible room providers, has been tasked with placing procedures in place to increase safety at work, such as air filtration, social distancing, enhanced cleaning, mask use, and so on.”
“We don’t see open space as being any different from other forms of office space as long as safety standards are in place and followed.”
In reality, the pandemic has boosted the appeal of such a place.
“For corporate occupiers considering spacing needs, having flexibility is exactly what they should go for because of things like this pandemic,” Paul Leonard, a managing consultant at CoStar Advisory Services. That is, if anything goes wrong, businesses want to be able to get out of their rental obligations faster than if they had signed a conventional office contract.
To put it differently, companies also need office space, but for different reasons than they did previously. Many people would find that working in an office is a pleasant relief from working remotely, particularly those who have roommates, children, or live in cramped quarters. Village Workspaces, for example, is ideally positioned to provide office space for individuals and businesses who are unsure about the future benefits of coworking in a post pandemic world.