“During a slog, we have a chance to accept a new normal, even if it’s temporary, and to figure out how to make something of it. You don’t have to wish for it, but it’s here. There’s very little value in spending our time nostalgic for the normal.” – Seth Godin
The near future for business and how we work is unknowable right now. There is no historical precedent for what we’ve experienced with the pandemic and the economic impact. We are experiencing a fundamental shift in the way we work and do business.
What we do know is as we rebuild our businesses, we’ll discover ways to reduce overhead. We will also maintain high productivity levels.
Spoiler Alert: As long as flexibility, safety, and cash flow remain as workplace priorities, we can expect office options to remain agile and these values shape where and how we choose to work.
Here’s how the workplace will evolve for business owners and professionals.
Healthy, sanitized work environments will be a top priority.
Businesses are implementing physical distancing and new sanitation procedures as employees return to work. Even so, the big question is how people will feel about coming back together at work. The organizations that come out the strongest will be the ones that truly listen to the needs, preferences, and experiences of individuals and work to meet them.
Flexibility will be as important as safety.
The workplace will be an environment that provides choices. Whether business owners and employees need a space for a day, a month, or a year, the option to choose without the encumbrance of a long-term contract will be essential for today’s evolving work environment. In the middle of the unknown, flexibility will be key as businesses shift.
Downsized corporations will choose alternative office options and services to reduce overhead.
The reduced workforce and an increase in remote employees have significantly impacted the office footprint needed for many companies. Covid-19 has also changed the way companies communicate and collaborate. Businesses are transforming how their employees “go to work.”
As the workforce remains mobile for the near future, companies will consume workspaces and offices as a service. They will also become more customized for user productivity. Corporations will access flexible offices for collaboration, ideation, and connection of the distributed workforce.
Distributed and remote employees will look for flexible offices that are close to home, but not at home.
The new workspace will be a hybrid of WFH (work from home) combined with local office space, mail service, and video conference rooms for online meetings. In general, corporations aren’t pleased with the productivity level of the remote workforce. Many employees have enjoyed the benefits of working from home. However, for many people who now WFH, they will look for a workspace to escape the distractions and isolation of the home office. Whether it’s the kids playing, another person in the house on a conference call, or the dog barking, distributed employees will choose to connect with a local, flexible office to alleviate the downsides of working from home.
Virtual Services will supplement office needs for the remote worker.
Many distributed employees will remain remote for the foreseeable future. For those with a considerable commute to their corporate office, the need for a local mail service or a place to escape and focus for a day will become fundamental and essential to their home office success.
Teams will use Video Conference Rooms to collaborate or host online meetings.
Many people are thirsty for the opportunity to get out of their homes and re-engage in a work environment. Corporations are looking for a way to enable them to do that. In the long term, we’ll probably see more people continue to work at home more regularly. Then go to the office when they need a distraction-free and professional environment. A lot can happen over Skype, Teams, Zoom to enrich the dialogue. Conference Rooms will be reconfigured for these types of online meetings. Including better lighting, fast and secure Wi-Fi, and professional surroundings
The takeaway: As long as flexibility, safety, and cash flow remain as workplace priorities, we can expect office options to remain agile and these values shape where and how we choose to work.
If you are one of those itching to get things in order and return to work, give us a call at 817.416.7170. We are happy to take you on a virtual tour!
The LIFT Office is a coworking and flexible workspace in the center of DFW in Grapevine, Texas. We are a dynamic community of influencers, entrepreneurs, independent professionals, consultants, and freelancers. Learn more at www.theliftoffice.com