Consider a flexible workspace for your family — why not?
You’ve been suddenly thrown into working from home — but with the added stress of a global pandemic, expectations that you virtually-school your kids, and learning new safety protocols so even shopping for groceries feels exhausting! It’s very important to realize that working from home is hard in normal circumstances — and you’re not working from home under any sort of “normal” circumstances.
Whether you have preschool kids whose daycare remains closed, school kids who are attending virtual classes, or even college kids suddenly at home learning at a distance from their campuses, your house is bursting at the seams. It was not built for four or more people to have their own offices. And no doubt the internet is pretty unstable with all the excess demand!
You might want to consider using flexible workspace to relieve some of the pressure at home. At many flexible workspace centers you will find all the amenities you need for a successful work or study session:
comfortable, ergonomic furniture;
reliable, high-speed WIFI for seamless connections;
conference rooms with large screens perfect for collaborating;
copiers and other office equipment;
and coffee, tea, and snacks to fuel your work or study sessions
How might your family make use of a flexible office? Let’s check out some possibilities:
Family 1: Two adults with full-time jobs plus three children, aged 12, 18 and 20.
The youngest child is doing virtual school and needs some parental help (and supervision!) during the day. The older two are in college, attending virtual classes. They discuss options with the flexible workspace provider and realize they can sign up for a plan that gives access to shared work areas for one person and pay additional nominal fees to add the college students to the plan. The month-to-month term allows for maximum flexibility. (And the 24/7 access that centers like mine provides might be a real perk for those night-owl college-aged kids!)
Another option for Family 1 might be a private office with two desks. Two family members can be in the office while others work in the drop-in area. Having a dedicated office allows them to lock their door and leave their personal items safely secured. It would also allow them to bring the younger child to the office if desired. (Most centers require members to be 18 or over to be in the common space.)
Family 2: A working couple with 2 preschool kids
With no daycare available at the current time, video calls and important Zoom presentations can be a real challenge. This family could sign up for a flex office plan (part-time usage of a private office) — 10 hours a week could be just enough for the parents to focus on the tasks that require the most concentration. Or they could just book a conference room or day office by the hour whenever one of the parents needed to make those must-not-be-interrupted professional presentations
Family 3: Parents with three elementary-school kids
All three children will need to be online for several hours every school day, so this family could sign up for a private team office and set it up as a school zone — at my center you can bring in whatever decorations you want — to help the kids during school hours. The center provides the furniture, and the new “classroom” wouldn’t have family pets, pantries and refrigerators full of snacks, and those tempting video games to distract the students. Naturally, a parent would be there, too, and with a dedicated space everyone can give their complete attention to school.
Onsite Business Center Manager
Another invaluable perk some flexible workspaces provide is the onsite manager who is there to support members. Something wrong with the internet? The copier is out of paper? The coffee machine is confusing? Instead of yelling “Mom!” or “Dad!”, or (let’s be real) “Young person!”, the onsite manager takes care of it.
This pandemic has created a lot of chaos throughout our whole society, and flexible workspace providers have responded to the demand for safe spaces to work. They have instituted safety protocols like masks in common areas, abundant hand sanitizer, frequent cleaning and sanitizing, and reorganizing spaces to allow for safe distance between users.
Flexible workspace providers have also creatively figured out how to best serve their community by coming up with innovative new ways to package their services. It could be a real lifesaver for your family right now!