As companies begin getting back to work, both employers and employees are grappling over what the future of work will look like. The global COVID-19 pandemic accelerated remote working arrangements, virtual meetings, and a whole new meaning to a balanced life.
Some companies were able to maintain productivity and started to wonder whether they could eliminate some physical office space to reduce long-term capital costs. Others just held on, hoping they could survive until everyone was welcomed and ready to return to a common space.
Employees had a similar polarized reaction. While some loved the added flexibility, extra time with family, and undisturbed work time, others struggled with isolation, lack of structure, and loss of creativity and momentum they had at the office.
So, what does that mean for the future?
A Demand for Options
According to Bloomberg, The New York Times, and even Fred Wilson from Union Square Ventures.
The workplace mantra post-COVID will be all about flexibility. Employees want to be able to work from anywhere and will value employers who offer both flexible hours and flexible workspace.
Some professionals enjoy working from home where they can switch between professional, family and personal commitments as they see fit. They enjoy the freedom of being able to structure their time and are committed to getting their professional work done in a reliable and efficient manner, although not necessarily during conventional work hours.
Others enjoy having the flexibility of when and where to work but appreciate employer-sponsored alternatives, tools and resources. This may include access to shared workspaces that are closer to their homes to reduce commuting time or environments that they find particularly conducive to remote work such as coffee shops, downtown locations, or near favorite restaurants.
Creative Flexibility Perks
Employees are moving past foosball tables in the break room and yoga classes during lunch. Post-COVID, businesses are reinventing their expectations on how and where people work and what they can do to make that new flexible work environment effective for both employer and employee.
Some are altering their global real estate portfolio strategy moving forward. Instead of being committed to a conventional office building, they may be seeking ways to build a more flexible portfolio that can flex to the employee.
This flex space may vary depending on the local labor market, the types of people most suited to work for a particular company, and what those employees consider significant perks in terms of remote work. Companies who can offer employees a menu of options for how and when they want to work will successfully attract and retain top talent. At WorkChew, we have built a platform that can give best-in-class employers one more great perk that they can use to delight their hybrid-work employees.
Beyond the Home Office
As employers and employees continue to look for flexible workspace solutions, more tools and resources for the home office will become available. These may include dedicated computer and office equipment, ergonomically correct furniture, and audio/video equipment.
Co-working spaces will continue to evolve from generic corporate-like settings with sterile cubicles, conference rooms, and coffee break areas to places where people like to be. More food choices, options for break activities and proximity to local city activities will attract more remote workers.
Other businesses, such as WorkChew are finding ways to join forces with local hotels and restaurants to create safe, enjoyable workspaces with discounted meals nearby.
In the end, flexible work will be all about nurturing employees to be as happy and productive as possible — a win-win for both professionals and their companies.
If you’re an employer looking for a new perk to provide your hybrid workforce or an employee looking for a better way to work, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d be happy to give you a slate of excellent solutions.