While working from the office space provides employees with an adequate work environment, corporates are also partnering up with coworking spaces to ensure equal opportunities for the workforce working remotely.
In almost a year, the Covid-19 pandemic has upended decades of conventional wisdom about the nature of work. With things slowly returning back to normalcy and vaccine distribution being in full swing, companies are gradually looking to return to the workspaces thereby requiring them to realign their workspace strategies to adhere to the new normal.
There’s no question that the workplace will never quite be the same again. So, what will return to the office look like? While there are still many unknowns, the ideal future workspaces will be a balance between remote working, collaboration and social distancing. Companies must reconfigure how they operate to help meet the new demands of workers, prioritizing effective communication and safety.
Most corporates are adopting a hybrid model of working to ensure a more seamless return to work. A hybrid model of work allows some employees to work remotely while others work from the office premise thereby ensuring safety of all employees. While working from the office space provides employees with an adequate work environment, corporates are also partnering up with coworking spaces to ensure equal opportunities for the workforce working remotely.
Today, coworking spaces are playing an instrumental role in this realignment process of returning to work given the various benefits these players can provide to organisations across sectors with their wide network of centres through hybrid and flexible working options.
Let’s look at the role coworking spaces play in supporting the concept of new workspaces in the short and long term –
From Touch to Tech
With the fundamental shift in workspaces, transformational technology is going to play a critical role. Flexi players have already adopted the status quo by leveraging digital tools to improve business operations and communication. Existing technologies have been upgraded to completely eliminate the need for any surface contact which now allows QR code-based touch-free access, geo-tagging of attendance, touchless transactions, ordering of F&B, managing seats & meeting room bookings, and raising & tracking of issues.
Redesigning for the new normal
Keeping the social distancing norms in mind, coworking spaces have redesigned their existing floor plan to ensure that every workstation has the stipulated six feet distance from each other. Additionally, an adaptable floor layout at the new centres can be easily modified to the needs and requirements of community members. Capacity of existing meeting rooms have been halved and seats have been tagged to ensure safety of each member, which instil a sense of confidence for the workforce to operate out of a coworking space.
Apart from implementing social distancing measures, flexi spaces are following stringent standards of safety for optimum protection of the community members. UV sanitization of meeting rooms after each use, thermal scanning at the entrance and visitor management system further facilitates for a safe working environment.
One office many addresses
An added support that flexi spaces provide are their large network of centres spread across multiple locations in various cities for the convenience of the employees. Work from home has made employees realize the value of time and money spent on commute. To ensure safety by avoiding long commutes in public transport and to save on time and money, the workforce is increasingly focusing on work near home options. With their vast presence, coworking spaces can emerge as the optimum choice for individuals as well as organisations to meet their needs.
As workers begin returning to work, the coming months will prove to be a pivotal moment for employers and employees alike. Coworking spaces will help organizations chart a strategic course towards ensuring a safe return to work by continuing to be the partner of choice amidst this new normal.
This story appeared in the April 8, 2020 issue of Economic Times -HR World and is authored by Amit Ramani, Founder and CE0, Awfis. This article was originally published at : How coworking players are enabling India Inc’s return to office, HR News, ETHRWorld (indiatimes.com)