The pandemic took a toll on many sectors of modern society, and people are now changing the ways they usually do things. One crucial question that many people face is regarding their work situation. Of course, office spaces are being closed as a precaution, which has led businesses to entirely close down or minimize their workforce.
With this ‘new setup’ also comes the so-called ‘new normal.’ In the case of a working setup, people are now allowed to go to office spaces provided that they must follow strict protocols, like wearing face masks, social distancing, and following lockdown protocols. However, commuting and working in an office puts many employees at a higher risk of infection. To ensure the health and safety of workers, many companies have explored different kinds of working situations.
The rise of remote working
While some people say that working from home is completely different from working in an office space, especially since the latter may invite procrastination, others have also said that it brings plenty of benefits. Not only does working from home eliminate the need for you to get up early so you can beat the morning traffic, but you also get to have complete freedom to set up your working space. Employees can even personalize their home office space to increase focus and productivity.
Still, research shows that working from the comforts of your home isn’t really the ‘dream experience’ that many people expect it to be. And this dismay is perhaps the reason why coworking spaces have remained to be a popular choice. (1)
Coworking as the ideal work setup
In addition to being a safer and more productive environment for employees, there are plenty of reasons why a coworking space is an ideal work set up in the new normal. To paint a clearer picture, here are some reasons why coworking is beneficial during this time and age:
- Helps employees find meaning in their work
A report states that a thriving environment will allow employees to have a 16% increase in their overall performance, and feel 125% less burnout. (2) This is because a work environment that encourages employees to thrive will allow the latter to find meaning in their work.
Coworking spaces are different from a traditional office as you’re not solely surrounded by people who have the same line of work as you. Hence, you get to work with people from different companies, projects, and ventures. This implies that there’s going to be less or little internal politics and competition, which means that a worker doesn’t need to feel that they have to make a work persona just so they can fit in. Working with people from different industries will also help encourage employees to develop their own work identity.
Moreover, meaning may also be found in a work culture where there are plenty of opportunities to help each other out. Since coworking spaces have a variety of workers, as mentioned above, it’s expected that you’ll be surrounded by individuals with different skill sets, most of which may contribute to your professional growth. (4)
- Work alone or with team members
Some people love working from home since they can be undisturbed by other people while they’re working. However, it doesn’t change the fact that being surrounded by coworkers is beneficial, especially when coming up with new ideas or finding a solution to any work-related problem. So, if you’re concerned that you’ll catch the virus when working in an office space yet you need core team members to work more closely, it’s best to turn to coworking spaces.
Coworking spaces are perfectly designed to appeal to your work style. Hence, if you love bringing your headphones to work so you can focus on the job, a coworking space allows that. Also, if your project requires collaboration with other people, coworking spaces have a conference room that you can use.
- Demand for spaces near homes
The remote working setup has made employees realize how unnecessary it is to travel every day to an office space. Why spend an hour or so commuting when it can be spent working in the comforts of your home instead?
Still, there are some jobs that require team members to meet up. The solution is to opt for coworking spaces that are strategically placed. In this way, employees don’t have to worry about traveling long distances. Not only will this help save time and money, but it’ll also give assurance that employees won’t be more susceptible to the deadly virus.
Flexibility is perhaps the main selling point of coworking spaces. Other than being comfortable and providing a relaxing environment, coworking spaces are also open 24/7, which is beneficial for employees and business owners who prefer to work at different times of the day.
Moreover, the flexibility of coworking spaces is convenient for freelancers or people who work without any fixed hours. And if there’s a sudden need to meet team members, you don’t need to ask permission from managers or the building administrator. With that said, it’s no wonder why 83% of users claim that they benefit from a flexible space like coworking spaces. (5)
In addition to serving as a space for freelance workers, coworking spaces are actually preferred by small businesses and startups due to the fact that they are less costly. For one, instead of renting an entire office space with rooms that are rarely used, like conference rooms, a small business owner can simply pay for a room in the coworking space when they need to use it.
Moreover, coworking spaces may also come with different monthly rental plans. These rental plans may already include a specific number of hours in conference rooms. This way, if you’re certain that you’re going to need a room to hold meetings at least once a month, then you’ll no longer need to pay for it since it’s already included in the plan. Coworking spaces also have all the necessities found in traditional offices, like Internet connection, coffee, snacks, office supplies, and utilities.
With cheaper rent and complete amenities, it’s reported that coworking can actually help business owners save up to USD$2,700 per month; also, coworking is said to be around 70% more cost-effective than a traditional office if the business has only fewer than 30 employees. (3)
In addition to helping small businesses save money, which is needed for them to bounce back in the post-pandemic economy, coworking spaces may also help a business grow. In the case of traditional offices, business owners would have to look for a space that can accommodate not just employees, but business equipment too. But a coworking space already has the necessary equipment, like chairs and tables, hence there’s no need to purchase such.
Coworking spaces also have a more flexible lease term compared to commercial space rentals. Startup entrepreneurs and independent contractors who are looking for a temporary office, for example, can choose to pay an hourly, daily, or weekly fee for a coworking space.
Coworking isn’t going anywhere
Since the virus has already taken a toll on the economy, as well as the workforce, many people have already decided to permanently work from home or to make use of coworking spaces. That’s why plenty of big companies have already implemented various policies to cater to these needs, like being lenient when it comes to actually going to the office to get some work done. Even recruiters are devising new ways to screen and hire candidates remotely. (6)
A 2020 study estimates that around 34% of people are already working from home before the pandemic. The estimate includes people who work from coffee shops and coworking spaces. During the pandemic, the study finds that one-third of the workforce has switched to remote work. These changes are expected to have lasting effects on business organizations and employment setup. (7)
So, even if lockdowns are lifted, it doesn’t imply a return to traditional office settings since workers are now hesitant about going to public spaces, like offices. If there’s a need to meet, companies will need to provide an alternative for traditional offices. This alternative should be sanitized, safe, and must be able to replicate a traditional office environment, which is the essence of a coworking space.
The pandemic has indeed changed the way businesses conduct their operations. Even if various companies have taken a massive hit, those who managed to bounce back are on the lookout for ways to resume their operations, with the hopes of regaining what they’ve lost during these past few years. Fortunately, coworking spaces are available, which helps individual workers, employees, and owners or managers have a relaxed and conducive working environment.
With many people attesting how coworking spaces help with their work-life balance, it’s now up to you to find a coworking space near you. Make sure, though, to always review the terms and conditions before closing the deal. Doing so won’t only help you fully understand your rights, but it may also enable you to fully utilize the benefits that a coworking space can bring.
- “Working From Home Is Disliked By And Bad For Most Employees, Say Researchers”, Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/benjaminlaker/2020/08/24/working-from-home-is-disliked-by-and-bad-for-most-employees/?sh=74f5e4d76734
- “Creating Sustainable Performance”, Source: https://hbr.org/2012/01/creating-sustainable-performance
- “How Much Can Your Business Save by Switching to Coworking?”, Source: https://www.coworker.com/mag/how-much-can-your-business-save-by-switching-to-coworking
- “What Is Social Learning?: Benefits of Adapting It to the Workplace”, Source: https://startkiwi.com/blog/what-is-social-learning/
- “Why Co-Working Spaces Are the New Normal [Infographic]”, Source: https://www.business2community.com/infographics/why-co-working-spaces-are-the-new-normal-infographic-02204886
- “You Can Still Create a Great Remote Candidate Experience”, Source: https://vervoe.com/remote-candidate-experience/
- “COVID-19 and Remote Work: An Early Look at US Data”, Source: https://john-joseph-horton.com/papers/remote_work.pdf