Almost any article discussing future trends – be it of an industry or an aspect of society starts with the impact of COVID-19. Therefore, it is not merely a sweeping statement to say that the pandemic transformed almost every facet of the world’s functions, particularly how people work and their mindset. For example, the transition towards a hybrid work model and coworking environments had begun, but the pandemic gave it an impetus, and there is no going back.
coworking space- The new norm
Once business owners realized that COVID-19 was not a short-term situation, they had to adapt to the challenges it ushered in, like social distancing. As businesses closed their doors, those who would survive could adapt fast and harness technological solutions to manage their dispersed workforces, along with productivity and morale.
Of course, there was not much change for people used to working from home, but those who hadn’t suddenly realized the joys of flexibility and other benefits of this “new norm.” No battling traffic to make it to the office, eating lunch with colleagues rather than having family meals, and expensive gym memberships replaced with walks with the dog in the fresh air. Bottom line, the improved work-life balance people dreamed about just happened of its own accord.
Embracing the change of coworking
Once returning to the office full-time became possible, not all employees jumped for joy. Nevertheless, progressive businesses have learned valuable lessons and gained insights – first and foremost being the positive results of embracing flexibility and giving employees the right to choose when, where, and how much they work. This model is the hybrid working phenomenon.
According to tech research firm Gartner, “at typical organizations where employees work a standard 40 hours per week in the office, only 36% of employees were high performers. When organizations shift from this environment to one of radical flexibility where employees have a choice over where, when, and how much they work, 55% of employees were high performers.”
The social hub of productivity
The hybrid model fits perfectly with the trend towards coworking environments where businesses rent shared office real estate and, by so doing, cut costs and increase profit margins. After the financial impact of COVID, this is an increasingly attractive option. But why office space if the future is working off-site? Despite the rise of online working platforms and the metaverse, the vital role of a physical office as a place for collective creativity and collaboration will continue. While working from home has pluses, some employees may feel isolated and need a dedicated professional get-away for their mental health – a place where they can socialize, brainstorm, and communicate face-to-face with other professionals.
These pros may not warrant maintaining an entire office building to accommodate all employees simultaneously; hence downsizing to coworking spaces are the perfect accompaniment to hybrid working.
In sum, coworking real estate coupled with the hybrid work model is the future. The model enables employees to enjoy a work-life balance meaning less burnout and increased job satisfaction, engagement, and happiness.
If you’re not convinced that this is reason enough to change your business, according to Statista, 72% of job seekers believe that work-life balance is an essential factor to consider. Another sobering statistic, US analytics company Gallup, found that disengaged employees have 37% higher absenteeism, 18% lower productivity, and 15% lower profitability. That translates to 34% of a disengaged employee’s annual salary in dollar terms, or $3,400 for every $10,000 they make.
For businesses, the change means less staff turnover, greater employee well-being, improved work performance, and a successful hybrid workplace with bottom-line results.