COVID-19 has upended our work life. Lockdowns and managed isolations made us adept at performing our jobs by work-from-home setups, zoom conferences, google meets, and the like. But it has been more than a year since the onset of COVID-19’s unforgiving impact in the business world and on the world in general.

Staying at home and virtually working has started to overwhelm workers. They are now mentioning work-all day mode, zoom fatigues, heavy feeling of monotony, and a miserable sense of “living at work” as some of the psychological impacts of remote working. Continuous remote working is blurring work-home boundaries and negatively affecting mental wellbeing. Over time, the home office will become dull, cramped, and lonely.

Managements and organizations have to “build back better” working arrangements to create a new normal distributed workplace and hybrid workforces, like combining in-office days and remote workdays. The working arrangement should increase productivity and deeper collaboration and attract and retain a more diverse workforce.

Without face-to-face interactions, casual meetings, feeling the work atmosphere, the sense of belongingness and commitment to the organization is lost. The young, budding professionals are confined to answering emails, reading company newsfeed, and listening to lectures dominated by “livewires”, especially in large group meetings. Despite the economic value, there’s something amiss with the work-from-home setup.

A solution to this dilemma is paving the way for a new kind of headquarters for a digital world. Now emerging is a hybrid model that will address the blurred line of work & home for virtual workers. It will capitalize on the flexibility and productivity output of remote working combined with the social benefit of face-to-face interaction allowing collaboration, building relationships, promoting creativity and innovation.

As companies go beyond the all-in-the-four-wall office arrangement, space sharing is an inspiring new way to conduct business. It provides varied locations for different assignments and projects. It empowers workers by giving them choices on how, when, and where they can work to meet corporate objectives, increasing productivity, lessening stress, and increasing satisfaction.

One recommended solution is coworking. Coworking is an arrangement that enables workers of different companies to share an office space. It allows cost-saving and convenience by using shared infrastructures, such as equipment, utilities, and receptionist and custodial services. Some coworking spaces even offer refreshments and parcel acceptance services.

Why is there a need for this new way of “office space”?

Coworking is a sure way to revive the heartbeat of the office.

It reclaims the energy and creativity from chance encounters and spur-of-the-moment collaborations that can’t be achieved in zoom screens. Reporting to a new office or changing workspace gives you a refreshed perspective and a considerable win-win solution to the business problem. People want their workplace to be as comfortable as home, an exciting place to store work stuff and devices, and an interactive space that inspires debate and creativity. It must be a laid-back work atmosphere but with the required high-tech lifestyle.

Coworking is different from a traditional office setup.

You share a workspace with people from other companies, various industries, and different disciplines of thought. It’s a melting pot of ideas, which also provides a networking advantage (personal or business).

Coworking is cost-efficient.

When using coworking spaces, there is no need to procure and maintain office equipment and fixtures. The built-in service offloads the companies of logistics and office management, giving them more resources and time to focus on the main business.

This is ideal for the self-employed, startups, and companies that need access to all sorts of amenities like stocked pantry, access to conference rooms, hi-grade internet service, technical support, printers and copiers, and concierge service that they can’t afford to build. Co-workspace users do not have long-term lease obligations with building owners. They sign up for a temporary membership with coworking providers, allowing flexibility to expand, downsize or close an office according to their immediate future needs.

In a coworking setup, there are some ways to maximize the benefits of the arrangement, including financial flexibility, business discount, access to events and education programs, social and professional networking, cost-efficient workspace lease, adherence to COVID-19 protocols, and lastly, referral bonuses.

Coworking offers financial flexibility.

Since membership runs in short-term agreement instead of the long-term lease obligation of an office, an entire office floor, or building, you can adjust your workspace plan depending on the forecast of your budget or your office footprint. Flexible terms allow you to expand by adding a flexible or dedicated workspace or booking a private office for a short time or even for just a month, as the need arises.

There are options to lower workspace costs by changing your dedicated workspace’s different features like on what floor, interior or window office. If deciding to close your membership, you can also hold on to your mailing address while in transition.

Coworking offers business discounts.

Coworking provides a business entity with its members as its base group and buys into group packages deals and discounts. So, your coworking membership comes with discounts off gym memberships, reduced hotel rates, and many more. These are the perks advertised by coworking providers. An enticing cost-cutting deal that will help individuals or organizations save up.

Also, you may be just a few desks away from the expert that you need for your business—bookkeeper, web designer, a photographer, and be able to score a decent or discounted rate.

Coworking providers host all-year-round events and education programs in their spaces.
Due to the pandemic, of course, events have shifted online. This shift to online has given people access to the events’ programming more than ever.

Usually, the events provided help people network and increase their knowledge to help their business grow. Events are likely presented by your coworking center, dealing with topics ranging from business talks and ideas, acquiring new skills and improving existing skills, and even holistic wellbeing.

These talks usually feature fellow coworking members speaking about your interest or the same challenges you’re facing at work, helpful for you who want to learn and improve your skills surrounding startups and business.

With improved skill sets, co-workers are more motivated and productive. It also gives them tools in doing new ways to work and improve their rates, making them more professional efficient. The coworking community often provides access to these events and education programs for free, discounted price, or exclusive access. Joining these virtual events are also useful in social and business connections.

Coworking is the associated community.

Despite the impact of COVID-19, business is moving on. Investors are looking around, and companies are searching for their next business partners. Business-minded people are excited, to say the least, and are connecting and networking.

Your coworking membership is your ticket into these business hypes, so you might as well make the most out of it. With social distancing guidelines imposed, a coworking center is a super-easy way to gain new associates by merely being there. More so, these coworking communities have social media groups or internal apps that allow members to connect. It is not just the social network that improves with coworking, but the professional network also expands.

Coworking is a vital source of work & business referrals.

As opposed to the norms of startup businesses using home addresses, the coworking setup’s new address will make your company legit. With the new business address, not only does the company get new clients, but the income also increases. Coworking gives immense potential in gaining new customers and finding new resources for the business.

Coworking is perfect for managing office footprint.

It is ideal for workers splitting time between homes and the office, particularly when the home workspace is likely to be unconducive for any work to be done.

Rotate team members by breaking into groups to be assigned in certain office days and work-from-home days. In a more liberating approach, allow team members to self-book their office days. This will enable team members to work in their pacing. They can schedule their work from home days when needing to meet with a repair person or attend to a family member’s need.

They may also opt to put on a long office day to meet deadlines or get ahead of their task list or take a long-period break in the midday to recharge, making use of the amenities of the shared workspace. They can stay at a quiet, dedicated workspace for focus or join a flexible shared table, interacting with individuals for the vibe and energy. With the rotation of team members at the office, there will be fewer people in a given time, less risk of Covid-19 infection, and of course, fewer expenses.

Coworking providers not only offload your company of the aspects of office management, but it also takes care of the implementation of COVID-19 protocols and guidance.

Coworking is less hassle for your team but provides a sure shot in making your team safe from the virus. Coworking providers take charge of the following but not limited to: on-site COVID testing for staff and clients, touchless surfaces, and well-distanced workspaces.

Being in a coworking setup, you can easily vouch for the coworking providers to friends and colleagues. Most coworking providers offer rent credits or referral bonuses. This is a super-easy way to save on business expenses and a fun way to maintain a positive work atmosphere by inviting people you know to work. You get to work with fun people you are already acquainted with, without any of you leaving your current employment. Only a coworking setup can give you that kind of fun.

If you have any questions about coworking, our coworking spaces, contact U Office Executive Suites today at jmerritt@rfs-inc.net or 214-406-3326! U Office Executive Suites has locations in Houston and Oak.

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