Coronavirus has completely altered the way we all work. Being forced to work from home has turned millions of people’s beds into their desk, but has given businesses the opportunity to re-think a possibility of restructuring the way their company operates. Is this the time when coworking space can start to be useful for beyond freelancers?
Tech giants like Twitter and Facebook are leading the way into what “digital by default” might look like. Facebook estimated that, within the next 5-10 years, half of their employees could be remote workers. “Digital by default” has become the new norm, with an estimated 43% of workers saying they would choose the option to work from home once the economy opens back up. Additionally, a survey concluded that over 54% of people stated that they would leave their current job for one that would allow them to work remotely. It is important to note that some of the most important aspects to look at when considering a re-structured work-space include performance, the extent to which team work is expected, and the function of the employee’s role.
It is commonplace for employees to follow a job, many times uprooting their families across the world in order to pursue a career within an industry hub. But what if it doesn’t have to be like that? This is a very important step in fair recruitment within certain industries if we take USA as an example, since an estimated 90% of US tech jobs are concentrated within 5 major US cities! This has allowed companies to reassess how necessary it is for employees to make long commutes on a daily basis in order to come into the office, which will open opportunities of hire outside of the local community.
Firms that traditionally spend a large amount on office real estate, are now noting that it may not be the best use of the resources and could possibly cut back on office space. Depending on the city, that could add up to tens of thousands of dollars spent per year for every employee simply on office space. It costs a yearly average of $14,800 per employee for a space of 200 square feet in New York City! You will be surprised to know that in the main business cities in Europe is no difference. Especially for small and medium-sized startups, office space could sometimes take up a large chunk of their fixed costs. Several businesses have encouraged their employees to work from nearby coworking spaces that they are in cooperation with. Personal space along with a decreased capacity within the office is now considered a necessity, which is sometimes not possible for companies with small offices to abide by. Since internet connection was said to have been the most important yet one of the biggest challenges of working from home, coworking spaces could be the perfect solution.
The middle ground will be an increase in flexibility. Even though, to some people, their routine of commuting and going into work was a critical part of their daily routine, others’ commutes took a lot out of their day. On average, 27 minutes were spent on a one-way commute to the office per day, meaning that an average work day included an hour of sitting in traffic or on public transport.
The main questions that may arise with the increase in popularity of remote working are in the risk management for employees (is the place that the employee picks safe enough for the well being and health ?) or the loss in company culture and team bonding. Switching to remote working needs a great effort in leadership change and your communication tools and IT infrastructures need to be ready for the game. There are companies out there that work with a totally distributed team since they are born. Take Buffer for instance, its 85 employees are spread all around 15 different countries and they still manage to succeed with establishing a great company culture!
How has Coronavirus affected your business’ operations and the way you distribute work among your team? How was it managing a team team remotely and relying on videoconferencing to make up for in-person meetings? If Coronavirus has changed the way that you work, let us know in the comment section below along with some tips you’ve utilized during this time!