The global pandemic probably hasn't escaped your attention. What you may not be aware of however, is changes to the way we work as top companies & governments review remote working policies. In this article we take a look at the changes afoot and the rise of coworking.
As restrictions were placed on people gathering inside, outside their households, work as we know it shifted. In the UK for example, an estimated 70% of the workforce were office-based prior to the pandemic. Yet, office work was put on hold as companies small and large were forced into what had previously largely been a bragging right of start-ups and millennial-age companies: enabling their troops to work from home.
The sheer effort and logistics for larger corporations especially, and for those industries with many more obstacles to isolated, off-site work had put a blocker on this evolution. Having been pushed over this hurdle however, many are now realising the benefits of remote-working - in both financial and employee welfare terms.
In fact, many large-scale businesses have announced their intention to continue with this arrangement, including Twitter and Spotify, who reported that creative thinking was enhanced by the move. You can explore more of the top companies pushing forward with flexible working here.
The positive impacts, particularly for staff, have been felt widely enough that governments, including in the UK, have launched commissions to explore work policies to better support employees and companies who wish to pursue this route.
Furthermore, the US government have themselves been awarding contracts to coworking spaces and brokers such as WeWork, EXPANSIVE, The Yard, DeskPass and Liquid Space. This move really helps to cement coworking as a credible workspace solution, and will likely also accelerate its familiarity at a broader level.
Of course, as restrictions relax, and fewer employees rush back to their commuter train and coworkers, 2 things are becoming apparent:
One of the obvious benefits for companies is the reduced spend on office space. This shrinking of occupancy will undoubtedly result in the repurposing of space. One solution to this problem is flexible workspaces.
Whilst many sectors require or prefer at least some of their personnel being on site (surgeons or indeed those commuter train drivers would be considerably less useful working remotely), many employees are also understanding their own preferences.
Some people thrive in a social environment, and leaving their houses, and so seek the sense of working community that a coworking space can provide. Flexible workspaces will also be key for those without the space to work at home. In addition there are of course meeting spaces; just in case a few of us feel the need for some face to face to break up those zooms. These 'offices' can provide hot desks, fixed personal desks or private offices, often with subscriptions and associated perks to suit.
Indeed, in the turmoil of the last 6 months, there has been an increase in coworking spaces worldwide.
Oceania (19% increase) and Europe (16% increase) in particular have seen large escalations, while North America is the only region to see a drop.
As more employers and employees discover the benefits and opportunities that come from remote-working, this sector only look set to grow further.
For landlords, brokers, operators or investors, granular data on coworking performance is just a few clicks away: https://www.coworkintel.com/