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Does the Physical Office Still Have a Place?

How We Work Today

It has now been a full two years since a global pandemic turned how we work on its head. During this time, many companies were stuck in limbo as they navigated shifts in consumer behavior, new business strategies, and increasingly varied employee working preferences. These organizations are now searching for some level of stability. 

The one certainty all companies can bet on: how we work has changed for good.

With 1 out of 6 companies going 100% remote, the physical office is losing its sole purpose as the anchor to conduct business daily. At the same time, a physical office space remains the ideal place to facilitate a wide-range of constructive engagement with customers, staff, leaders and vendor partners. 

Five Culture and Cost Considerations

  1. Does anyone want to live in a world where young professionals have never had the benefit of even an occasional, in-person work experience where optimal learning, socialization, and team dynamics occur? Since a great deal of developing people is not formal training but all the other interactions that happen, remote companies will need to go to extraordinary measures without the mainstay of an office.
    • On the flip, does anyone want to live in a world where a CEO, manager or colleague never encounters a team member in a hallway, elevator or cafeteria? Where all interactions are only ever scheduled and subject to a one-dimensional Zoom meeting? As we all know, some of the best interactions we have with our colleagues are the serendipitous ones.
  2. Considering there is a clear split between employees who want to work at home, in person and hybrid, can you avoid having (or giving access to) a physical space and still meet the diverse demands of your employee base?
  3. Shouldn’t employees with entirely remote work preferences be required to step outside of their comfort zone (i.e. home) in order to thrive personally and professionally? By enabling the uninterrupted isolation of your employees, aren’t you slowing down their development and having a detrimental impact on their growth?
  4. While it’s possible to create a dynamic and engaging remote work culture, have you invested in the right technical, cultural and managerial tools (and skills development) to deliver on this well (hint: 98% of companies have not).
  5. To what extent have overhead costs factored into your decision? If you’re like so many business leaders, the cost and risk of a traditional 15 year lease is now out of the question. However, low-risk, flexible lease terms with unprecedented amenities are actually easy to find. Keep reading.

The Next Generation Remote HQ

The reality still remains that a physical home base or HQ, in some scaled back shape and form, is the ideal place for learning, development, and other meaningful engagement – even for remote companies. For many, it also serves as a vital lab for the brand where substantive insights, innovation and strategies are generated. 

Remote and hybrid companies are increasingly bringing their teams together, on a monthly or quarterly basis, because individuals, regardless of their working preference, report being reinvigorated by the undeniable benefits of in-person human interaction. And for the team member who needs more, these same organizations are providing coworking memberships to those who want the occasional (or frequent) reprieve from the isolation of working from home.

Coworking companies like Coco offer all the flexibility and amenities commercial spaces and leases cannot. Imagine never having to negotiate another 15-year lease (or an outrageous hotel meeting room contract for that matter). And consider that when you need to scale coworking access, office or meeting space, up or down, you can do so with considerable ease and minimal expense.

Learn from Leaders in the Space

In our upcoming blog posts, we will profile member companies that have gone above and beyond to create remote and hybrid workplace models that address financial, technological, and cultural considerations while simultaneously focusing on employee engagement, productivity and job satisfaction. 

Stay tuned and in the meantime, reach out to colleen@workatcoco.com for a free consultation to learn more about how remote and hybrid companies are effectively accommodating an array of demands from their teams, at a fraction of the cost, with flexible office and meeting space.

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