The COVID-19 pandemic uprooted many traditional offices by sending employees home to work. As pandemic conditions across the country are improving and people are starting to go back to work, should the traditional office return, too?
There’s a strong case for creating a new normal when it comes to where employees work. Now that many employers recognize that working remotely is not only possible but also beneficial, it’s clear that many companies may rethink their requirements and allow for more location flexibility, even if it’s only on a part-time basis.
The recent shift to remote work was largely out of necessity for companies to keep business going. Otherwise, they would have lost productivity during the COVID-19 shutdown and also lost employees who needed a paycheck.
As a result, many employees who were sent home to work have reported they’d like to maintain the practice as a new normal. The reasons they shared include:
There are also plenty of benefits to the company, too. Companies can decrease overhead costs by not having to rent large spaces to house all of their employees (A Stanford study estimates companies can save as much as $2,000 per employee per year). They can also save on technology and equipment. Employers have access to more talent than what’s in their local area, which can help them create a competitive advantage in their industry.
When employees suddenly found themselves without an office in which to work during the pandemic, companies realized they needed to work somewhere, and home isn’t always the answer.
Not all home environments are created equal; those that lack important pieces like high-speed internet, a comfortable home office, and office equipment like printers or scanners may not be able to do their jobs effectively.
Coworking spaces provide a valuable service to remote workers, sole proprietors, and small businesses alike by centralizing important resources and providing a professional space that’s conducive to work.
Employees can get the best of both worlds by working on their terms without sacrificing the professionalism of a traditional office. Many remote workers opt for a hybrid solution, where they can work at home when it suits them or travel to a coworking space when they want to network or need to feel energized by others around them.
From an organizational perspective, coworking spaces help companies better plan and budget for office-related expenses. The cost of coworking scales as the company grows so the company doesn’t end up paying for more space than it really needs. Plus, companies can count on a fixed monthly cost vs. fluctuating expenses like utilities.
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