Post-Pandemic Coworking: How Will It Change?
Location-independent work was one of the most interesting ways to get things done… up until the early days of 2020 – then everything changed. Local health authorities banned most activities coworking spaces were great at – sharing office space, a desk, a chair, a printer, a water cooler… and the same airspace, which makes the closure of shared offices an understandable decision. The pandemic put these offices into the same category as movie theatres, restaurants, bars, and casinos. For the better part of the last year (and so far this year), the closest we got to all of these were streaming, takeout, Zoom, and JackpotCity, which, while it does have a game variety that beats everything a Sin City hotel lobby can offer, and more, still doesn’t have the same feeling for many. JackpotCity is a lot like Netflix for gamers: no overpriced drinks or crowds at your favourite gaming table but an amazing game variety and increased accessibility – still, there are many who appreciate the dark hall with the big screen more than social distancing, right?
Coworking in the form we were used to it is by far not COVID-compatible – so it will have to adapt to this new reality in the coming months and years. But how?
The first change we’ll likely see will be apparent from the moment we pass the offices’ doorstep – or better said right before it. Measures like temperature scanning and contact tracing have proven effective in controlling the spread of the virus, so expect to see more of that at companies offering services related to flexible working spaces. Also, we can expect workspaces to include perks like daily disinfection or complimentary hand sanitiser, too.
Aside from the top-notch perks like lightning-fast internet and complimentary peanuts, we’ll see the focus shift to a healthy environment.
“Efficient use of space” will have a different meaning
Coworking spaces take pride in their efficient use of space – well, post-COVID, this will have a whole new meaning. Due to the increasing need for social distancing, the available spots in a shared office space at any given time may decrease, at least in the short term. In the long run, where possible, we can expect more outdoor spots to emerge.
Open spaces will likely be less attractive for meetings and such – we can expect a shift toward fewer such events at a smaller scale. Perhaps most meetings will transform into a Zoom call instead of an in-person meeting, at least for a while.
Big companies will rely more on coworking spaces
Well, not directly. But if there’s something the last year has shown us, it’s that many people enjoy working from home – and would like to keep doing so if and when the pandemic ends.
Big corporations have set up offices in coworking spaces for quite some time now, long before the pandemic became a thing. Their reasons for this were usually related to costs, though. Now, in turn, an ever-increasing number of big companies are also testing this flexible work environment to boost productivity and creativity, and also to make it easier for teams – often half a world away, in different timezones – to collaborate in a more efficient fashion. Some experts consider corporate coworking to be the future of the industry – the pandemic certainly had a say in this.
One thing’s for sure: coworking is here to stay, even if in a slightly different form from what we’ve gotten used to over the years.
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