The Future of Coworking
With our move from working from home (WFH) back to the workplace, companies are shifting the way they work. This includes flexible workspace solutions, and the reintroduction of the coworking space.
Why are coworking spaces gaining popularity in this time of crisis? With businesses considering transitional WFH schedules, downsizing, and looking into best methods for boosting employee health and wellbeing, coworking spaces like The Cluster are working to solve these post-COVID problems.
Coworking spaces offer the flexibility traditional offices and workspaces are unable to accommodate, especially during this time of financial crisis. As we have now passed the over one year mark since the beginning of COVID, many property leases are coming to an end, causing time for revaluation of company spending and costs. With the uncertainty wrought on by the pandemic as well as the potential of employees continuing WFH, and coming into the office only part time, businesses are hesitant to renew their traditional leases. Even with the resumption of normal office hours, there is still something lacking: community. Even at our refilled, busy workspaces, it’s hard to revive a sense of community after a hardly recharging year of WFH.
This is where coworking spaces come in. Through offering a unique sense of community, and a network of dynamic and innovative individuals, at a professional and fully equipped workspace environment, we are able to connect with people again. After a year of fatigue, isolation, and WFH, the need to build up our communities is now more felt than ever. Going back to a simple office, budgets squeezed tight after a year of rental fees paid to hold an empty space, with the colleagues we were struggling alongside all of COVID, is still better than WFH, but lacks the creative and collaborative environment that a coworking space offers. Not to mention, the custom-made designs, beautiful views, and full suite of executive services, networking events, and additional benefits that have now become the standard for coworking spaces.
After a year of exhausting Zoom calls, virtual meetings, and online work, how can we best motivate ourselves and re-create a lively and thriving company energy? What are The Cluster’s top tips for safely and easily transitioning back to business? What is the best way to support and ensure the growth of our businesses so that we can still bloom from this almost bio-apocalypse?
1. Rebuilding Our Community
The importance of in-person communication
It’s ‘safe’ to say that we are more than a little worn out, and COVID is not going anywhere yet. How do we ensure that we are taking care of ourselves and our businesses? How do we maintain our client-base if we ourselves are burnt out from a year of WFH? The solution: establish a support system, for both your co-workers and your clients.
In person communication is what we are all longing to re-establish, this is what we have been missing for the year- the ability to connect. We cannot wait to get back to working and collaborating together, but how do we ensure we are being COVID-safe? In person meetings are the best for both fostering a strong team and maintaining long-lasting client relationships.
Good communication and clearly defining the comfort zones of our employees and clients will allow for safe and enduring connections. Establish clear lines of communication to ensure that everyone has a clear understanding of safety measures put in place, as well as resources of support available. A well-established support system is a long-lasting solution to a potentially long-drawn out pandemic.
Coworking spaces allow for many opportunities to network and reestablish these connections, hosting frequent events to boost engagement and develop a strong community for their members. The Cluster, for example, holds weekly member lunches and Friday happy hours, the perfect way to kickstart office bonding and team spirit. Catching a quick chat or snack at The Kitchen- all free benefits provided to all members- is an additional benefit to entice employees away from WFH and back to re-engaging with their community.
2. Strengthen Your Business
Make room for growth
Along with supporting our colleagues, and our clients, our workplaces will also need support. Now that COVID has become the new normal, we are no longer scrambling to find short term solutions for long term problems. We now have the time, and space, and with the little lull our economy is in, the perfect time to be building back the foundations of our businesses. Make sure that there are correct systems in place, so not only in terms of lines of communication but operations, workflow, as well as strong and detailed plans for growth projections.
As our economies recover, being as prepared as possible will guarantee that our businesses are taking the right steps towards growth, in spite of the ongoing pandemic. What precautions can be put in place to ensure we don’t fall under the same trap our competitors might face?
3. Embrace Change
Flexibility strengthens durability
It’s difficult to predict how long COVID will last for. But this is no reason for concern for our businesses, only the ultimate tool to think ahead, prepare, and build your resilience.
Along with this comes a need for flexibility. COVID may have pushed and reshaped businesses online, but how can we make sure that some of these tools are already in place so that if the [hopefully evitable] second global pandemic strikes, our businesses are prepared and ready, our employees and clients already provided with the appropriate methods of communication to ensure loyalty and efficient workflow.
In conclusion, we must learn to embrace change, be flexible, and build resilience. This is easier said than done, but over a year into our first global pandemic, businesses are shifting and changing everyday. How are we going to lead these changes and be the first to think ahead of new challenges?