Coworking and COVID-19: A Pivotal Role in the Transition Back to Work
1 August

Coworking and COVID-19: A Pivotal Role in the Transition Back to Work

As businesses and public services begin to open their doors again, many companies have been faced with new health and safety obstacles. While our desire to return to regular business is strong, the reality is that our workplace dynamics may never be the same “regular” again. There seems to be a new norm emerging – one that involves careful consideration for our work teams and communities as we attempt to arrive at the safest and most innovative solutions between pre- and post-pandemic business operations. Coworking spaces are poised to play a pivotal role in this transition back to work.

Navigating the Transition Back to Work

While the world awaits the development of a COVID-19 vaccine, most workspaces will be utilizing at least some form of modified workforce routine. For many, this includes continued distance working and time away from the office. For others, this could mean a return to the traditional workspace but with added safety measures like facemask and continual sanitizing requirements. No matter what the transition back to work looks like to your business circumstances, navigating them is certainly a break from all of our previously familiarized work routines and will bring with it a series of unknown obstacles.

“Tough choices will come up and a leader must be empowered to drive the effort across individual functions and businesses. Permanent change will also require exceptional change-management skills and constant pivots based on how well the effort is working over time,” explains organization consulting group, the McKinsey & Company Organization in their article, ‘Reimagining the Office and Work Life after COVID-19.’

Pivotal Role of Coworking Spaces During the Transition

Over the course of the past few months, one constant has remained true: those who best navigate the continual barrage of change required of them by this pandemic have been best situated to adapt and continue on. Though there has been no one tried and true way for businesses to achieve this transitional success, flexibility and adaptability have proven to be crucial pieces of the puzzle. In other words, those who continually monitor the changes and make adjustments as needed, have shown the best rate of successful navigation.

With so many demands and changes being placed on the global workforce, a large portion of career individuals have found themselves working remotely from their offices. The health and safety risks of regular office space functionality has become too great for many entrepreneurs, leading them to utilize video conferencing and other modern technology that allowed for distance working. For some, this has been a surprisingly successful switch. For others, it has proven to be more difficult than expected. That’s where coworking spaces have come in.

Coworking Spaces Become the Hybrid Choice

Millions of workers around the world have found themselves thrust into combining their home lives with their work lives as they carved out a space at home to continue their careers at a safe distance. In many ways, it’s brought about a major enlightenment that distance working is not only possible, but highly profitable and more productive as employees are afforded greater flexibility with their work/home schedules. It’s also brought with it a realization, however, that for many families, combining work and home isn’t always optimal, let alone possible.

For many reasons – children and family dynamics, dual schedules, available technology, available space – working from home can be more of a challenge than a blessing. Yet, at the same time, returning to a traditional office still carries with it a set of immense health risks that employees simply can’t take. This is why a flexible, hybrid choice like coworking, has been gaining momentum among entrepreneurs everywhere.

Why Coworking Is the Logical Choice for Employers

Coworking spaces have been providing a much needed “happy medium” for many employers and employees by offering simple, flexible solutions to those distance working obstacles. In many cases, coworking offices can give employers a chance to provide their employees with more convenient meeting places, smaller and safer conference rooms, critical technology, as well as a space to work that is primed for optimum productivity. Essentially, coworking spaces are able to provide everything a traditional office space can provide, but in a safer and more convenient location for those who are distance working.

In addition to the more obvious employee benefits, coworking spaces are becoming the logical choice during this transitional phase (and beyond) for a plethora of reasons. Their flexibility ensures they can fill whatever need your business may have – whether it’s simply a virtual office with phone and mail services, or office space memberships or conference and meeting room rentals for needed in-person activities – but that isn’t the only reason they are so appealing. Coworking spaces can offer a longer-term compromise that allows work team members the ability to work at their own pace, as well as providing a financial savings from no longer needing to maintain a single physical brick and mortar space yourself.

Shifting the Traditional Workplace Dynamic

By shifting the workplace dynamic from the more rigid constraints of years past to the more employee-centric post-pandemic business structures we’re experiencing today, many new ideals are emerging. We are seeing the benefits and pitfalls of distance working for a slew of business ventures that would have never considered it in the past, as well as finding immediate ways to adapt and thrive in this hybrid work society that has come to be the new “norm.”

In the midst of this workplace shift, coworking spaces have gone from being trendy and new, to becoming one of the most pivotal resources available to entrepreneurs of all walks of business. Through the wake of this global health crisis, coworking spaces have been providing essential solutions that are not only allowing for a successful transitional period but are now poised to completely change the way we operate business moving forward. Coworking is the new hybrid solution for businesses to emerge from this pandemic with a continually thriving workforce well into the future.

The Health and Safety Benefits of Business Space Rentals
8 July

The Health and Safety Benefits of Business Space Rentals

With so much uncertainty surrounding the current global pandemic, many businesses have been scrambling to find the safest solution for their employees to return to regular operations. As the workforce slowly begins to return to more in-person interactions, more and more employers are looking to alternative means to not only continue business practices, but to do so with the utmost in safety precautions. So, what does this mean, exactly? For many, it involves exploring the health and safety benefits of business space rentals.

What Are Business Space Rentals?

In the traditional sense, you may think of business space rentals as signing a long-term lease to occupy an office or designated workplace for you and your team. While this type of space is certainly still out there, the definition of business space rentals has undergone quite an evolution in recent years.

Today, the options for non-traditional workspaces have broadened exponentially. Sure, you can still find a more long-term lease space for your operations, but business space rentals today have expanded to include much more flexibility and a larger scale of choices that are designed to meet the needs of your local workforce – no matter what those needs may be.

Exploring Coworking Options

From full-on team workspace memberships to a la carte options like meeting room rentals and virtual office spaces, coworking has changed the way we view business space rentals. In a time of dramatic workplace changes, coworking has quickly become an appealing option to entrepreneurs across the board – both for convenience as well as the health and safety of their team members.

By providing a space where team members can not only continue productivity professionally, but also allow for the flexibility of modern technologies and consideration for health and safety precautions, business space rentals have played a pivotal role in the continued successes of area businesses during the pandemic. In short, coworking spaces are providing the much-needed professional resources and locations in a time when our workforce has been unable to access such necessities by previous means. It is allowing our workforce a flexible and affordable option to safely remain productive from a convenient location as well as providing the needed technology to stay in touch with those who otherwise would be unreachable.

The Health and Safety Benefits of Coworking Spaces

While you may assume that a communally shared space would be a risky place to seek out a workplace, the truth is, coworking spaces have long been practicing extensive health and safety measures. These spaces are already well-adept at sanitization efforts in order to keep the health of their members a priority. In addition, with the introduction of new pandemic cleanliness guidelines, coworking spaces are more primed to continue healthy cleaning regimens and relief assistance resources than most individual locations.

“Coworking spaces are well-positioned to help coordinate and direct the assistance being pushed out through various local emergency relief funds. They are better connected to the peripheral and hard-to-reach businesses; they know them, in many cases, personally; and, they have trusting relationships with them,” explains Forbes.com.

By definition, coworking spaces are a community of members from a broad spectrum of backgrounds. As such, these locations can often offer unparalleled professional resources to those who utilize their spaces and services – especially in the wake of such a huge transitional shift of a bulk of the country’s workforce.

What a Business Space Rental Can Do for You

Whether your business is still operating primarily from home, or you’re beginning to transition back to a more traditional office space for your team members, business space rentals can be a valuable tool to utilize. With so many options for services and resources to choose from, these spaces are able to provide a critical piece of the puzzle for remote operations – both short and long-term.

By now, most of your team members have likely come up with some form of solution to allow for a remote working space, but are these spaces optimal for their needs and productivity? Coworking spaces provide convenient locations, safe and professional settings, as well as all needed office resources. In addition, they also offer the latest technology advancements, making it possible for team members to stay in touch with others who may be unable to be physically present.

Valuable Resources Offered by Coworking

Aside from offering a professional and convenient location for your team members to congregate as needed, coworking spaces offer a much higher level of resources to your team. Since they are made up of a wide variety of members, they are well-positioned to offer potential assistance and insight to help your business navigate the post-pandemic murky waters. Consider it an invaluable source of mentorship and professional resources in a time of business turmoil.

Though the pandemic regulations have had us distancing ourselves socially for months for our communities’ state of health, that doesn’t change the fact that we are all social creatures by nature. For human beings (as well as businesses) to thrive, we must maintain our links to others. Coworking spaces allow for a safe communal area to not only keep busy professionally, but to also provide much needed connections and networking opportunities.

“That’s what effective coworking spaces do: they’re community hubs, essential sources of the local connectedness that will be a key ingredient in rebounding from the crisis,” Forbes.com explains.

Staying Safe and Thriving as a Community

By offering safe, affordable options to entrepreneurs for distance working efforts, as well as a laundry list of invaluable resources, it’s clear that coworking spaces are going to continue to play a pivotal role in the business world. In order to rebound from the global pandemic, our workforce will need the flexibility and ingenuity of these community resources to safely navigate our businesses back to pre-pandemic operations. Check out your local Jersey City coworking leaders today to see how they can help you meet the needs of your team and get you on the fast-track to success!

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.