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Traditional workspaces were for the dinosaur age

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended what we knew about workspaces. Among the many things that the great work-from-home experiment has taught us is that we can no longer settle for rigid workspaces that stifle creativity and innovation – change is necessary to bring the office out of the dark ages and into the light.

10 May 2021
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We need flexible workspaces that are agile and adaptable – a reflection of the current times where anything can happen at a moment’s notice. Today’s workforce is looking for offices that provide a place to collaborate, meet and expand their network with other professionals and entrepreneurs, as well as leverage technology to improve productivity and help employees stay connected and engaged.

 

After more than a year of working remotely at home, companies are eager to welcome their workers back to the office. With fresh opportunities, many are also exploring hybrid work arrangements that allow their employees to work flexible hours in a comfortable, well-designed office.

 

As the future of work changes, offices need to adapt and accommodate the evolving business landscape as well as employees’ needs and expectations to attract and retain the best talents. This has led to flexible workspace providers and shared offices becoming increasingly popular as they offer a myriad of different options for focused or group work, as well as spaces that provide networking opportunities and promote employee wellness.

 

So why are flexible workspaces the way forward for businesses and how can offices be redesigned to meet the needs of the modern workforce? Here are several reasons to consider:

 

For the office goers

 

The modern workplace has changed considerably over the past decade. Gone are the days where working involved dull and rigid closed-up cubicles – legacies of an era when it was all work and no play and employees lived relatively siloed office lives. Today’s workforce is looking for a more dynamic and lifestyle-oriented workplace that can foster collaboration and provide a sense of community. It should be a place that offers opportunities to meet people and expand a network as well as a space to work from.

 

Ever since the COVID-19 outbreak began, businesses also realised they needed a workplace that was flexible and agile – one that could adapt quickly to the constantly evolving situation. Many companies are rethinking their workplace requirements and looking at how they can change things up to meet the needs of the current times.

 

For the office goers, flexible workspaces offer businesses a dedicated workstation or private office with the freedom and agility to adapt to future needs. They differ from traditional independent offices by offering on-demand solutions that are tailored to fit companies’ requirements, with a variety of facilities that frequently feature state-of-the-art meeting rooms, large communal areas for events or networking, pantries and even dedicated wellness suites for rest throughout the working day. Best part? There is no sunk cost for businesses in building these facilities, which makes flexible workspaces a cost-effective solution.

 

 

During unpredictable, volatile times such as now, flexible workspace providers are uniquely positioned to provide a working environment for people and companies who are not quite sure what the future will be. Many providers have flexible contracts and packages that allow businesses to scale up or down their office size and vary the length of their lease depending on prevailing business conditions. They also provide greater control and agility, allowing companies to be nimble during times of growth as well as in times of uncertainty.

 

For the hybrid hustlers

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has also shown us the possibilities of remote working.

 

Some people prefer the flexibility that it provides as they find that they can structure their days better. This means spending less time commuting to and from offices, and more quality time with their families and friends. With an opportunity for a better work-life balance, individuals can sneak in an extra hour of sleep in the mornings or find more time for exercise.

 

However, not everyone appreciates working from home. We hear plenty of stories of team members complaining about the never-ending Zoom meetings, the blurring of boundaries between our professional and personal lives with often longer working hours and plenty of ways to procrastinate. Many employees crave the social interaction and the sense of community that an office set-up offers. Remote working has increased FOMO and employees have missed pantry chats with colleagues, taking a break from staring at computer screens all day to talk about less stressful things, like hobbies and personal interests—fun topics that are not associated with work. It doesn’t hurt if the snacks and coffee are delicious and readily available if you need a pick-me-up!

 

As companies are encouraging employees to return to the workplace, the hybrid work model has come up as an alternative arrangement that brings together the best of both worlds. This model of working offers employees the freedom to decide where and how they want to work.

 

Many coworking operators feature spaces in several central locations, providing members with the option to select from different office spaces that suit their working needs and styles. They can choose one day to work in the heart of the city, closer to cultural, financial and lifestyle centres that connect them to a wider network of businesses and innovation, and another day, in the suburbs at an office away from home that suits their convenience and accessibility.

 

Unlike traditional offices, coworking spaces offer businesses flexible lease terms and services that they can adapt according to their teams’ needs. For the hybrid hustlers, this approach allows them to set up arrangements that work best for them so that they can provide their best for their companies, their staff and their families.

 

What makes a good flexible office?

 

As the future of work continues to change, so do our workspace needs. Our offices are increasingly shaped by flexible working in the wake of the COVID pandemic. Flexible workspace operators offer businesses a myriad of options for working in an aesthetic environment without the additional expenditure.

 

A good flexible office provider should offer readily available amenities for work and play. For those who need a break, there should be well-stocked pantries with refreshments and breakout areas where people can lounge; there are even dedicated wellness rooms for relaxation throughout the working day. For those who want to network, communal areas that provide opportunities to meet like-minded people and exchange ideas as well as host events are integral.

 

More importantly, a good flexible office provider should operate and craft spaces around a human-centric philosophy. This means having different work environments that help companies create a sense of community and improve employee productivity and engagement. From dynamic social settings in business lounges to intimate library spaces for more focused work to private offices and meeting rooms for quiet discussions away from prying eyes, as well as collaborative spaces for informal meetings, these options have to be thoughtfully created to ensure conduciveness and maximum productivity for businesses large or small.

 

Many good coworking spaces also offer the best tools and technology for getting work done. From round-the-clock security, ergonomic furniture to fast and reliable Wi-Fi, LCDs equipped with video conferencing tools, and USB charging and power outlets everywhere, businesses should not settle for less in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Such amenities may not seem revolutionary, but they can make such a difference by helping to boost the wellbeing, productivity, motivation and satisfaction of your workforce. These days, work is more than ticking off a list of things to do; employees want to feel a sense of belonging in the place they work. The right amenities can foster a culture that encourages collaboration and innovative thinking.

 

 

Which is the right workplace for you?

 

Today’s business leaders are looking for office spaces that reflect their aspirations and corporate identity. A one-size-fits-all solution does not cut it anymore!

 

Deciding which flexible operator to use depends on your company’s requirements. For example, tech organisations may need high-speed connectivity infrastructure while design firms look for collaborative breakout spaces that allow room for group discussions.

 

As the future of work continues to change post-pandemic, companies’ expectations of the services and facilities provided at workplaces are also becoming more sophisticated and unique. They no longer want generic office spaces that lack life and energy but are rather looking for customisable and well-designed environments that positively impact the wellbeing and productivity of employees. Companies require workspaces to have quality amenities and features that support teams’ workflows and needs, as well as the flexibility to be agile and adaptable in uncertain times.

 

Looking for coworking solutions? Find out here on how to bring your work space into the future with Arcc Spaces. Alternatively, head over here to browse our private office solutions.