The Rise of the Corporate Coworker
The need for a flexible work environment has never been greater. When the COVID-19 pandemic started spreading to the U.S., companies of many sizes and work styles sent their employees home to work remotely in an effort to keep business going despite required closures. However, the reality is that many companies were already exploring remote work opportunities before they were forced to. Now that more companies have had time to test the waters, what does the future look like for the corporate coworker?
Let’s look at a few of the top corporate coworking trends that could make a strong case for remote work even after it’s safe to return to the office.
Coworking Spaces Create Professionalism and Job Legitimacy
Coworking spaces are popular tools among freelancers and solopreneurs who are trading their home office or living room couch for a more professional environment. They want a real office environment that can help them mentally step into their role and separate themselves from the duties and vibes of home.
Salesforce, Facebook, Apple, and many other corporations are increasingly using coworking spaces for similar reasons. Corporations that are testing or expanding remote work options seek to create this work/home separation without sacrificing the flexibility and autonomy that come with telecommuting.
It’s worth noting that not all home office setups are created equal. Things like ergonomic workstations, chairs, desks, and office equipment that are typically provided in the office are left to the individual employee in a work-from-home setup. If allowances do not cover the cost of necessary office tools or if the employee simply doesn’t have a great place to set up an office at home, their work could suffer.
Coworking removes these variables from the equation so each employee is set up for remote success. Stepping into a professional office environment adds legitimacy to the job without infringing on home life and ensures workers have a comfortable, designated spot to do their work outside of company walls.
Corporations Deliver Greater Value to Remote Workers
Companies that build satellite teams in cities where there isn’t a corporate office are turning to coworking spaces to foster teamwork and create a sense of unity. Workers are no longer working from home individually, but rather alongside other employees or contractors in a space designed for them.
Workers who are involved in a coworking space report feeling more valued by the company. It also adds legitimacy to their role within the company and makes them feel more engaged and part of the team.
There are benefits to the corporation, too. For starters, there’s no need to invest in long-term rental agreements or purchase property to set up satellite office locations. They may also increase retention efforts because workers have a dedicated space to do their job and stay engaged with the company.
Autonomy as a Workplace Perk
Job perks come in a myriad of forms and go a long way in improving employee retention. One emerging job perk that comes with coworking: autonomy.
Because coworking spaces are typically open around the clock, workers have more flexibility over their schedule if their job isn’t dependent on being performed during specific hours. If employees are pushing toward a deadline and need to work late, coworking spaces can facilitate an extended workday.
Alternatively, workers can enjoy a more flexible schedule without the typical scrutiny they might receive in a more structured office environment. They aren’t being micromanaged on their time, which allows them to take a longer lunch when they need to recharge or take care of a doctor’s appointment and come in late without upsetting the balance of the workplace.
For many employees, autonomy is one of the greatest advantages of working remotely. It demonstrates a level of trust between the company and employee, and an employee’s work ethic is judged based on their productivity and accomplishments rather than the number of hours they work.
Coworking Spaces Expand the Corporate Talent Pool
One of the biggest benefits of remote work, in general, is being able to look beyond your local market to find employees.
Coworking companies like Office Evolution have multiple locations throughout the country, which can help corporations expand their talent pool even without their own physical footprint in a desired market.
For example, companies can reverse engineer their talent scouting by looking in cities that have an Office Evolution location, then adding memberships to build up their office in those cities. This offers greater access to talented individuals outside of your current locations, plus it ensures you can give them a professional space to work in that’s designated for your company.
Invitation-Only Coworking Spaces Add Intrigue and Create New Collaborations
One thing we’ve noticed recently in corporate coworking is that corporations use coworking spaces as an extension of their own offices when they lack the necessary spaces for special teams or projects.
For example, a team working on a new product development may rely on a coworking space that’s only accessible to those team members. This adds a layer of exclusivity to the project and can foster new collaboration opportunities.
Coworking Spaces are the New Team Building Exercises
Community and collaboration are critical components to any office environment, but they can be hard to come by in a remote work setting. What’s more, forced team building activities are just about dead in the water. Employees want to be able to connect with fellow workers on their own terms through authentic interactions.
Coworking is shaping up to be an excellent way to facilitate these moments. It puts solo workers within proximity of others and allows them to socialize when and how they want. Introverts may appreciate not being roped into cheesy team-building exercises, while extroverts can feel energized being around others.
In addition to connecting with fellow employees or contractors, they can also use the coworking space to network with other business professionals outside of the organization.
Corporate coworking is growing, especially in current times of uncertainty. But once it’s safe to go back to the office, coworking is likely to remain a clear favorite among company leaders and employees alike.
Find the Office Evolution location nearest you and discover if corporate coworking is your best path forward.