To say that the pandemic has been a wrecking ball to the world as we knew it wouldn’t be an overstatement. Especially when you compare the old normal to the ‘new normal’ since the onset of 2020. Not just industries, but the global perception towards one’s own social, economic, commercial, and healthcare has been flipped over and back and has never been so pressing. Studies say that the newfound appreciation for remote work is going to stay, only to undergo a few convenient changes as per each professional/enterprise’s interests. It’s ironic that in 2019 (just before the outbreak of COVID-19), working-from-home was frowned upon in global markets; while just 2 years later it’s the saving grace that has kept the world economy from collapsing.
For coworking spaces, it has been a rough road, with the majority of them on the verge of closing by mid-2020, as the social distancing and lockdown protocols intensified – causing them to fall over 50% in their annual revenue. However, it was with innovative, personal-safety-centric solutions and the rising demand for private, hyper-productive spaces that shared office spaces worldwide are slowly coming back to the mainstream. What was previously thought of as a ‘millennial-inspired fad’ or a ‘gig economy’, had powerful technology and changing perspectives backing the coworking’s core. In 2021, when we see how shared office spaces provide a sanctuary for several businesses big and small, directly and indirectly, they are only growing in popularity and preferences. But, how exactly are the concepts of coworking undergoing a transition to pave way for the future work models and more? Let’s dive in:
Public Health and Wellbeing Takes First Priority
There has never been more concern for personal safety and mental wellbeing at the workplace ever before in mankind’s history, even more as the world grapples with newer strains and fresher waves. Coworking operators have therefore transformed their principles and integrated them with stronger health and hygiene protocols, to keep their members healthy, relaxed, and engaged as they work:
- Technology has helped in reducing the implementation of physical touch, via automatic sensors, smart utilities, automation of manual tasks. It also has contributed to the efficiency of the workplace in itself.
- For ensuring a social-distancing-based office space, operators can incorporate the six feet office design by Cushman and Wakefield into interior design.
- Unlike previous times, all cleaning processes were made more transparent to keep the members relaxed as they work. Furthermore, coworking spaces have also integrated several disinfection protocols such as UV light, and other technologies to cut back any possibilities of contracting a virus from direct or indirect contact.
Center vs Satellite Offices for Enterprises
As mentioned earlier, business owners are preferring to downsize their central offices and their long-term contracts, with flexible offices in multiple coworking hubs in the area. After the mass shutdown across the area in 2020, many businesses began to have difficulty in coping with the high-cost leases of their rented office space. Furthermore, business owners today have shifted to providing their employees with more flexibility, work-life balance, and engagement as they work to yield high-quality results. All of these aspects are the very principles of coworking.
Private Suites for Large Teams
It goes without saying that prior to the pandemic, coworking centers were known for their open, lavish spaces. But because of the role of social distancing in limiting the transmission of the virus, coworking spaces came up with private, dedicated suites to accommodate a team, usually no larger than eight. It gained a lot of momentum for startups, small businesses, and even corporate giants who would like to have their presence across certain areas where they haven’t been before.
It can be inferred that all the above points converge under the bigger umbrella of flexibility – from custom subscription packages to having an agile work environment. For the future, where flexibility is a part of life, these unique workspaces fill the gap today with their limitless possibilities as an extension of the former. Some coworking operators also integrate it with sustainable changes to drive an eco-friendly work lifestyle that can go a long way in terms of ecological importance.
As the end of 2021 comes closer, both business owners and commercial space owners can look back on the valuable lessons learned in the expanse of almost two years. The future may look blurry at this point, but the mindset towards offices will be tethered to the aspects of health, flexibility, and productivity. If you happen to be a freelancer or business owner looking for the right spaces to work and engage, here are some of our recommendations:
Social Coworking, Bangalore
Resonating with the millennial workforce, their flexible workspaces are present across India, in over 6 cities; from Bangalore, Chennai, New Delhi, Indore, and more. For the digital nomad in you, take your work with you too while traveling across India with Social.
East To Workspace, Mumbai
Their close-to-nature, cabin coworking areas are fascinating, for anyone to get away from the chaos of the city, right in the heart of Mumbai. Completely equipped with advanced amenities to serve you for all your business requirements, they’re perfect for nature-loving professionals.
They’re the newest coworking office for rent located in the corporate hub of Sector-V, Salt Lake, Kolkata. Their smart and budget-friendly workstations are designed to suit each professional’s needs. They also provide a dynamic range of amenities and deliverables for every one of their members, irrespective of their domains.