The argument over whether to work from home or return to the office continues. While work from home, or WFH as it is now known, was once thought to be a panacea for workflow disruption, businesses are now acutely aware of the toll it has had on mental health, collaboration, performance management, and, most crucially, the workplace culture. The purpose of an office has evolved; the actual workplace’s importance has not.
So far, the compromise has been a hybrid working paradigm, with some staff returning to their workplaces and the remainder working from home. However, as the rate of immunization increases, businesses are preparing to reintroduce more of their staff into the physical workplace. However, it is possible that they will not return to their office. Coworking spaces, on the other hand, are becoming increasingly appealing.
Flexibility is now at the heart of the new workplace model approach, which aims to strike a balance between employee satisfaction and corporate needs. And it’s for this reason that, after a year of stagnation, coworking space operators are optimistic.
Developers and landlords alike went back to the drawing board to rethink strategies and reorganize workspaces as corporations placed a greater emphasis on employee health and well-being than on productivity. Coworking space operators are focusing on both health protocols and productivity upgrades to ensure employers and employees feel safe returning to their offices.
From hospital-grade air filtration to contactless sanitary ware, and from larger desk spaces to larger, high-resolution screens, coworking space operators are focusing on both health protocols and productivity upgrades to ensure employers and employees feel safe returning to their offices. For the time being, operators are content to foot the tab as long as demand is generated.
That was always thought to be a blip rather than a long-term price correction by coworking players. With the businesses negotiating with their landlords to transition to a revenue- or profit-sharing model, they were able to weather the storm. Now, a slow recovery has brought rates back to levels similar to those before the epidemic, while sales have increased. Coworking enterprises have adjusted their strategy and are now pursuing demand-driven acquisition.
Because organizations are now operating with short-term visibility on headcount predictions and company development, this flexibility is critical, especially with the threat of a third wave coming. Even if they recruit, employers aren’t sure if employees would be required to work in an office or if they will be able to work from home. Furthermore, employers are spending on items like ergonomic seats and a faster internet connection for workers who work from home, so real estate savings are much lower than expected.
From everyday use cases like contactless elevators and sensor-based faucets to productivity hacks like high-speed internet and state-of-the-art videoconferencing facilities, higher quality build-outs and wellness-related offerings will be the differentiating factors between coworking companies going forward. They’re already becoming commonplace.
Adoption of social distancing procedures in common places such as lobbies and elevators is the most basic adjustment at every coworking space. Housekeeping, hygiene, and cleanliness are the most significant additional recurring costs for operators. Clients, on the other hand, are willing to pay extra because safety and hygiene are not negotiable.
Companies are displaying wellness-related credentials as air quality and hygiene become more important. Even though larger or more spaced-out workstations may reduce the total number of seats available, operators are pleased to comply because they are not at maximum capacity and have room to spare. As a result, businesses can make such changes till occupancy rises, as long as clients are prepared to pay more rents for exclusive or roomier layouts.
To attract clients, most coworking spaces are happy to absorb the additional costs of such safety and sanitary procedures. They hope to pass on some of these expenses to their clients once the demand and supply imbalance is resolved. Large-scale interest, according to experts, might contribute to incremental demand in the short and medium term. As the corporate juggernaut returns to normalcy, coworking spaces could emerge as an unexpected winner in the battle over whether to work from home or return to the office.
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