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.