Over the past decade, the rise of co-living and co-working have transformed our lives, both socially and economically. For individuals and organizations, priorities have shifted, now favoring shared spaces.
Shared spaces present notable benefits that companies will continue to reap in the years to come. However, shared spaces have also forged a “new normal” that may undermine the sense of community experienced in a traditional office setting. In shared spaces, camaraderie may be compromised in favor of flexibility.
The prominence of shared spaces has spurred a distinct change in the global workspace dynamic. This trend shows that companies situated in high-density cities will move to low-density areas. It’s in these regions that companies will expand.
The current workspace dynamic is also showing an acceleration in flexibility for remote work. To promote and streamline remote work, companies will begin to increase employee access, ultimately blurring the boundary between when employees are and aren’t working.
In a similar vein, technology aimed at heightened productivity in workspaces, remote and otherwise, are expanding more rapidly than before. This technology will support businesses in their efforts to remain adaptable in the coming years.
The current global crisis is impacting every company in every industry. To move forward, we must revisit business plans and make adjustments according to the present circumstances. This step will involve reorganizing employee distribution according to their new workspace needs.
At this time, businesses also need to adopt employee-centric operations. By tuning into workers’ needs, organizations can make wise short-term decisions while maintaining a sustainable long-term mission.
Meeting the needs of remote workers is another vital step for businesses to take in response to the crisis. To create a remote worker-friendly environment, businesses must be resourceful, resilient, and responsive.
To ensure worker safety, companies assume the responsibility of directing resources to their employees. This may involve providing resources at multiple, convenient locations, making it easy for employees to get what they need. Additionally, to build trust and facilitate clear communication among remote workers, employers may utilize virtual tools and digital platforms. At physical workspace locations, leaders must work closely with workspace management professionals to implement proven methods for maintaining a safe, healthy work environment.
In the current workspace environment, companies must recognize their changing needs, then quickly adapt to those changes. Necessary training must be provided to workers, perhaps during small offsite meetings to ensure the safety of participants.
In our offices, we’ve watched as several companies invest in their employees through strategic training. Training employees for how to prepare and effectively deal with the crisis gives them the capability to succeed in difficult circumstances. When a company’s employee base is strengthened through education, it benefits the entire organization. This is one forward-thinking way for companies to plan in the long-term for the looming economic recession.
Businesses must be responsive to employees as they face risks and challenges. Caring for employees by lending support and helpful resources is essential for businesses in the current workspace environment. Business leaders must also offer an array of options in the workspace, such as multiple meeting rooms, mental health support, and specialized training, to ensure that employees can complete their best work.
Flexible office spaces, like OnePiece Work, present several benefits to businesses as they adapt to the present crisis. Key advantages include:
Flexible office spaces can accommodate any type of work that needs to be accomplished. As you adapt to your company’s changing needs, you don’t have to worry about finding a new office space that can handle new operations when you choose a flexible workspace.
That said, office space flexibility doesn’t simply refer to the physical space and your practical use of it. It also encompasses the dynamic that the space provides to your business. Flexible business spaces promote adaptability, enabling work to get done faster, more efficiently, and at a higher quality.
The current crisis has created instability in the workforce. This makes staff planning incredibly difficult, and companies implementing headcounts in the workspace must face added expenses.
With a diverse range of workspace types available, employees gravitate to workspaces that can fulfill their needs on any given day, for any given project. Flexible office spaces meet this need at a far lower cost than other workspace types.
Flexible workspaces provide an ideal balance between remote work and open office plans. Employees can’t work exclusively in an open office, but they also don’t need the complete freedom of working from home or in a coworking space. With a flexible workspace, you can combine these essential workspace types in a single office or area, giving employees the power to choose how they want to work.
While flexible office spaces can largely benefit businesses today, there are a few disadvantages that companies must consider:
To adopt a cohesive flexible office culture, businesses must clearly delineate the different workspaces to employees. Then, leaders can step back and allow employees to realize the benefits of the space individually. Your workforce is intelligent; by simply providing the flexible work environments, your employees will find the space that they need to be successful. If all goes well, your office will become like a community center for your company.
Going forward, create a long-term plan to fulfill market supply. Visualize your future workspace needs and take steps to fulfill those needs. Then, refine your office plan so that it stands alone as a smart, efficient, and strong asset to your business.
Vickey Li is the co-founder and CEO at OnePiece Work, a global flexible workspace solution. OnePiece Work was built upon Vickey’s experience living and working abroad in major metropolitan cities like Shanghai, Hong Kong, and San Francisco. Her passion for community and extensive experience in commercial real estate led her to the vision of a cross-border co-working space that would promote entrepreneurship, innovation, and accelerate global expansion for startups. In just three years, OnePiece Work has expanded to 10 cities globally and is a community of over 300 companies worldwide.
Feel free to connect with me via Linkedin with any questions you may have!