Post-Pandemic Planning: Return to the Traditional Workspace
5 June

Post-Pandemic Planning: Return to the Traditional Workspace

With the world slowly beginning to open back up after pandemic social distancing for weeks, employers and employees may be wondering what to expect upon their return to the office. After an extended period away from the traditional workspace structures, many find themselves wondering how to smoothly transition back to work in lieu of health and safety concerns, schedule changes, and newly adjusted household routines. So how do you plan for all of the post-pandemic dynamics and seamlessly return to the traditional workspace while remaining healthy and primed to move forward?

Returning to the Traditional Workspace

Being in particularly uncharted territory, many employers are finding themselves struggling to meet both the needs of their employees as well as the needs of their businesses in terms of finding the best path for returning to pre-pandemic operations. The fact is, however, things will likely never return to the same dynamics experienced prior to COVID-19.

The new norm is one that will now include a more hybrid version combining, at the very least, the traditional office workspaces with a more hyper-vigilant health and wellness routine. In many cases, this will also involve being mindful of the changed family and household dynamics of employees and including these with newly adapted in-space and distance working conditions. The point is, no one specific plan will fit the needs of every workforce returning to careers outside their homes.

Primed to Move Forward

Many employers are finding themselves wondering how to safely and effectively get their workforce operations back on track with minimal obstacles in order to kickstart the bottom line and get productivity back on track. As with any approach in business, the key to remember as things begin opening back up and returning to more traditional operations, is to remain flexible and open to change. Understanding that this pandemic has placed an enormous strain on both employers and employees and being receptive to new ideas as well as considerate of the needs of your team and your business, are at the center of a successful return.

Preparing for the Return to Work

Accepting that no single plan will work for every workforce, there are a few basic steps employers should consider when preparing for the return to work. By having some general policies in place, it will allow for the needed structure to guide employees upon their return as well as ease any concerns over health and safety.

It’s also important, however, to include flexibility in this plan in order to accommodate team members who have adapted to a new norm derived from social distancing. The fact is, remote working has proven to have a pivotal role in changing the traditional dynamics of the workforce and for many, continuing at least a small portion of this role moving forward can be monumental for future successes.

Setting a Plan

The key to simplifying the transition process as we come out of distancing measures, is to remain mindful of the needs of our team members and provide a certain level of structure and security simultaneously. What this means for your team specifically, will likely vary from others in your area, but the basic concepts remain the same. Here are some of the most important aspects to keep in mind when formulating the successful return to work plan:

1 – Create Necessary Safety Measures

First and foremost, the safety of your team members needs to be at the head of your plans. Carefully research and review any required and recommended health and safety guidelines as outlined by local, state, and federal professionals to ensure your return plan lies squarely within regulations. Whether this means designating an infectious disease team to serve as an in-house resource for your team going forward, or documenting the plan specifics for reference as needed, it’s imperative that your employees know what to expect upon their return.

2 -Outlining Protocol and Health Guidelines

Continuing on the legalities associated with a safe return, employers need to be certain their employees are amply informed of the measures being taken to keep them safe as well as what’s expected of them as they come back to the office. There should be thorough communications explaining any and all new sanitization efforts (cleaning efforts, new equipment, location of disinfectant materials, etc.), as well as any new policies regarding the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other cleaning routines that will be required. You will also need to ensure your team is well aware of who they can turn to with any health and safety questions or concerns in the workspace.

3 – Preparing the Workspace

Once you have a plan in place for the health and safety of your workspace environment, it’s crucial to begin practices to prepare for the return. Make sure you have all of the necessary precautions and sanitization efforts in place in order to provide the safest possible environment for your team members and clients. Whether this means stocking up on cleaning products, hand sanitizers and PPE items, or hiring a regular professional cleaning service to do scheduled disinfectant practices on site, you need to make sure your space follows the guidelines you have outlined in your documented return policies.

4 – Take Stock of Old and New Routines

One of the most important things to remember when planning the return from social distancing is to avoid outdated thinking that may be limiting your team potential. In other words, take stock of what aspects of your pre-pandemic routines that had proven success as well as consider the advantages discovered from the newer distance working routines. Chances are, your overall productivity and business success will benefit enormously by finding some form of hybrid between the two scenarios going forward.

5 – Be Flexible and Listen to the Needs of Your Team

With so many demands being made on families and individuals in this unprecedented time, the last thing you want to do as an employer is add to the strain. In order to ease the transition, and in turn, help both your team members and your bottom line, it’s imperative that you take note of what is needed by your employees as well as remain flexible in constructing what your workday will look like going forward.

Many will still be struggling with childcare or transportation issues as things slowly open back up at different rates, so being mindful of their dynamics as well as open to potential new standards is critical. This could mean allowing for shorter hours or less days actually required on-site in order to allow for continued distance working. It could also mean utilizing third-party spaces such as coworking facilities to cut down on commutes while still providing a structured work environment. Whatever it means to your facility, keeping your employees’ needs at the forefront of your return to work plan and outlining this plan clearly are the best ways to ensure the smoothest possible transition as well as jump start productivity.

Technology and Coworking: The Collaborative Effort and Invaluable Opportunities
2 March

Technology and Coworking: The Collaborative Effort and Invaluable Opportunities

If you’re a coworking space member or contemplating joining a nearby community, you’ve likely done your research on the many benefits of these spaces. For many, the overall savings when compared to a traditional brick and mortar office space for start-ups and freelancers is a huge draw to the coworking world, but it’s not the only perk, by far. One of the greatest advantages, in fact, can be found in the invaluable opportunities that come with technology and coworking combined.

Standing Out with Technology and Coworking

With technology being utilized in virtually every aspect of our lives today, it only makes sense to see it in the workplace as well – that’s a no-brainer. The problems arise, however, when you’re trying to incorporate the most useful and effective technology into your own business – the costs can add up very quickly, hitting your budget a lot harder than you’d like. As a result, lots of start-ups and small businesses are forced to skimp on technology, opting for the basics in favor of lower costs, but costing your business advancements at the same time. This can hurt your future endeavors by limiting your ability to effectively get your business ventures out there in the best light and in the most efficient way.

The Technology Advantages

Since coworking spaces have been on the rise in recent years, most spaces today offer members not just a beautiful workspace, but also one that comes equipped with the latest technology – and under budget. It’s no wonder then that these spaces can offer some serious technological advantages over the traditional (and limited budget) options of brick and mortar spaces. So, just what are the advantages of having the latest technology at your fingertips?

Well, for starters, since technology is essentially the media you utilize in every step of communicating your product or services, it’s clearly a pretty important (yet often overlooked) part of your business’s success equation. Using unreliable and outdated equipment can limit your ability to get your image out there, let alone make a favorable lasting impression on prospective clients. If, however, you utilize a workspace that already has all of its tech components seamlessly connected and ready to use, you stand a much higher chance of wowing your business connections as well as save yourself the time and headaches of dealing with shoddy equipment.

Invaluable Opportunities with Tech

Technology advantages don’t end with impressing clients. Some of the most invaluable opportunities that arise from having state-of-the-art tech at your disposal come from the dramatic increase in productivity they tend to promote. By allowing you the best network connections and the accessibility of easily connecting multiple devices for sharing and collaborating, technology promotes some serious productivity. Technology has become one of the hidden gems of the coworking communities that allows users to quickly connect and share ideas with others as well as brainstorm new ideas from anywhere in their space at virtually any time of the day. Can you imagine the invaluable opportunities that can (and do) arise from combining such technological advantages with sleek and affordable office spaces for entrepreneurs? They’re practically limitless!

Meeting and Event Spaces: The Most Valuable Asset That Coworking Offers Entrepreneurs
15 February

Event and Meeting Room Rental: The Most Valuable Coworking Asset

Whether you’re a coworking veteran or you’re looking into joining a coworking community in the near future, the benefits of utilizing these communal spaces for your entrepreneurial endeavors are exponential. From decreasing your overhead to increasing your networking opportunities and everything in between, coworking spaces offer a plethora of plusses for businesses and individuals looking to grow their brand. There’s one element, however, that stands out as perhaps the most valuable asset a coworking space can offer: event space and meeting room rental.

The Meeting Room Rental Advantage

If you’ve ever wanted (or needed) to host a group event – be it a business meeting, training session for employees, or even a holiday event – you’ve likely encountered an issue with space. Even if you have access to sufficient square footage for your meeting or event, what kind of image will it leave your attendants with? Does your space convey professionalism and sleek sophistication? Is it equipped with the latest technology and modern conveniences? Is it going to give your clients the best impression of you or let your guests and employees know they are important to you? Is your location convenient to your attendants? Chances are, if you have a space at all, the answers are likely “No.”

Hosting Workshops and Other Networking Opportunities

Coworking spaces are quickly becoming an entrepreneur’s most valuable asset for this very reason. Not only do they offer affordable, professional workspaces, but they also offer amazing spaces for your larger meeting needs as well. Since maintaining an organized and sleek appearance during meetings can make or break your growth potential, it’s not hard to understand how the meeting room and event space rental trend is on the rise today.

These spaces are designed specifically with your business growth in mind. It allows a low-cost way for you to access all of your tech and space needs for client or employee meetings such as interactive whiteboards, reliable Wi-Fi, impressive views and even refreshments as well as a convenient location. Hosting a workshop to invite potential clients or employees to learn new tips or techniques or expand your networking opportunities are all excellent ways to utilize these impressive workspaces to your advantage.

Making the Most of Coworking Spaces and Meeting Room Rentals

Meeting room rentals are generally free for those with memberships to the respective coworking space associated with them, or available at highly reasonable rates for non-members. As a result, they are a popular way for businesses of all walks to host their meetings and events. It’s hard to ignore the cost benefits of a space which comes fully equipped with technology and amenities as well as a conveniently central location for all of your attendees to find.

Other benefits of meeting room rentals include a higher degree of privacy and luxury versus traditional office environments. This allows you to keep potentially sensitive issues more private by discussing them away from your office environment, as well as offering a highly polished area as the backdrop for critical presentations versus dated (and usually costlier) hotel meeting areas. The benefits of these spaces are countless, but one thing is for certain: meeting room rentals and event space rentals are among the most valuable assets of coworking spaces, making it easy to understand why they are so quickly gaining popularity.

Be Your Own Brand Ambassador: How to Market Your Small Business
15 December

Be Your Own Brand Ambassador: How to Market Your Small Business

Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been in business for decades, it’s always a good time to review your marketing strategies to make sure you’re getting the best exposure possible. With ever-changing technological advances, small business marketing efforts can evolve quicker than you may imagine, rendering your entrepreneurship irrelevant or unseen rather quickly. With a few good business practices, however, you can stay on top of the changes and become your own brand ambassador, keeping your venture at the forefront of your market.

How to Market Your Small Business

According to Forbes.com, “Marketing is a concentrated effort to push your brand across a variety of platforms and hope that enough makes it through to your customer.” Often times, your business needs to be seen a number of times before it is truly recognized and converted to business, so the more you brand, the higher your chances of a successful effort. This is Marketing 101 and likely something most business owners are already aware of. So how do you convert this concept into something that stays current?

Becoming Your Own Brand Ambassador

The most important step to marketing your brand is organization and revision. This is the process of taking a look at what areas you are currently marketing your products and services and analyzing how they are performing. You’ll want to highlight areas that are working well – are customers bringing in mailed fliers or using certain promo codes you issued? These are things you’ll want to continue, or even tweak to keep things fresh. You’ll also want to note which areas aren’t bringing in the traffic you’d like to see so you can either rethink them and try a new angle or scratch the idea altogether. This process of reviewing what’s currently going on is one that should be repeated at least quarterly in order to stay relevant and give you the best response time.

Research Current Trends

If you want to stay relevant, you need to make sure your business is growing and moving along with technology and the digital age. Doing a little research will help you ensure you’re reaching the full extent of your client base with your marketing efforts. Take a look at what related businesses are using to promote their brand: are they pushing social media platforms or improving their mobile-friendly visibility? Also, take a look at more organic resources in your area that you could tap into. Is there an up-coming local festival or charity event you could sponsor or get involved with? These should give you ideas for what is trending currently and how you can adapt your branding efforts to match the trends.

Network, Network, Network

Let’s be honest here, of all the methods an entrepreneur can market their goods or services with, few compare to the benefits of networking. Networking is simply the act of getting out into your community and/or line of business and making connections with others. This is done by attending conferences, joining local organizations such as a Chamber of Commerce or utilizing communal work spaces, sponsoring related events, and just plain being seen. By doing this, you’re expanding the potential client base by bringing awareness to your business as well as giving yourself an essentially limitless pool of future connections.

Recap and Adapt

To recap, the best thing you can do to become your own brand ambassador and increase your bottom line is to review your efforts frequently, research what’s trending, and get out there and network in your community and trade. By keeping up with what is working, and changing what is not, you’ll be able to stay on top of marketing trends and boost your brand more effectively.