Updated: Jun 18
It’s no secret that the landscape of work will change in many ways after the lockdown restrictions are lifted. That is why we invited owners of two coworking spaces, to speak to Richard about what they envisage the future of work to look like, and how coworking hubs may be the answer to the demand for new working environments. Fiona Mayor is the owner of The Thrive Network in South Melbourne, and Samantha Davies owns Platypus Coworking in Ballarat. With extensive knowledge and appreciation for coworking spaces, our experts discuss how flexible offices will define the business sector post Covid-19, and what opportunities these spaces will offer to business and individuals.
What Will Change?
· Companies with permanent office leasing are realising that employees are just as productive from home. There is an opportunity to achieve a better work life balance, with companies offering employees four days per week, splitting and alternating teams or introducing more working from home options.
· Companies will move to more result-based work, rather than time-based work. It will change companies’ focus, how they advertise jobs and the quality of candidates they attract.
· In the short term, coworking spaces can offer an extension to how we’re working now. In the long term, there will be a shift in the way businesses look at permanent leasing.
· Coworking can offer employees who work from home, a chance to work amongst a community, even for a few days per week. Whilst working from home is a novelty now, it is hard to separate home life and work life and it is not a permanent solution.
· Coworking spaces can also offer suitable working conditions including unlimited internet, appropriate lighting, desks, chairs etc.
· Both Fiona and Samantha’s coworking spaces offer virtual membership. This encompasses a mailing address, one day of hot desking, discounted offers and invites to events.
· If companies are based in another city and wanting to expand their market, they can add another address to their website. Or if they’re working from home, clients can use a more professional address for their business.
· There is a huge potential to broaden this aspect of coworking spaces. If companies decide they don’t need an office space at all, they will still need an address, meeting rooms and contact with other people.
· After the lockdown, concerns regarding hygiene and proximity to people will still exist, so virtual offices may be in high demand.
· Our experts suggest that companies will use hubs in the future, to cater to different teams and their tasks.
· Some larger companies using Fiona’s space, moved from traditional leasing as a cost-saving measure, and because staff didn’t enjoy the original location or the travel. They moved into a few of the coworking offices and they weren’t locked in to long-term commercial leases.
· Some companies’ staff use the coworking space as a business lounge, using the private offices when they drop in and out. They also enjoy the space and being around other people.
· Fiona and Samantha both predict flexible spaces will be the future choice for Australian businesses. Whether that’s in place of traditional offices, or whether landlords are more flexible with leasing, or even businesses providing more flexible options to employees.
To find out more about coworking spaces, and whether it’s the perfect fit for your business after the shutdown, head to The Travel Industry Hub. To register for our upcoming Survive and Revive webinar series, follow the link below.