The on-set of co-vid 19 has changed not only the way we live, socialise and travel, it has greatly impacted how we work and function in our professional lives.
For companies, the year of 2020 saw a major shift from operating out of traditional and shared office spaces to working in the comfort of 4 walls at home. According to an article by Business Insider, three in 10 Australian businesses currently allow staff to work remotely and this trend is supposedly expected to continue. We also saw this trend grow in prominence when companies like LinkedIn, Shopify and Spotify started embracing remote work entirely or provided the option of hybrid work arrangements for their employees.
For industries that perform majority of their tasks on a computer, the move to remote working was much easier. But for companies that require employees to interact and work face to face, this arrangement was far from convenient.
Australia’s commercial real estate industry pushed for a return to the physical workplace, saying that it boosts workplace culture and stimulates nearby businesses. CEOs of companies like Slack, Atlasssian and Zoom also believe remote work will impact things like company camaraderie, sense of community and peer direction.
But there were also growing concerns regarding employee’s mental health and emotional wellbeing.
Working from home for many, was isolating and no amount of zoom meetings could make up for genuine human connection.
According to a report by Monash University, 44% of Victorians reported moderate to severe symptoms of depression and loneliness during lockdown. One third (34%) of Victorians reported moderate to severe symptoms of anxiety. With that being said, people missed human connections, be it with friends in social situations or with colleagues at an office.
CoWorking & CoWork Me:
Co-working as we know, has evolved to be the “new way of working”. But post co-vid, this flexible work style has come back stronger than ever and has emerged as an attractive option for freelancers, start ups & sole entrepreneurs. This is mainly because of the many benefits that it offers – flexibility, community, access to amenities to name a few.
But post lockdown, it’s important that coworking spaces provide the right environment that support the “back to work” transition.
For CoWork Me members, coming back to work was definitely a relief.
Greg from HelloFresh says, “I’m so relieved to be back at CoWork Me.
As we emerge from the post lockdown period, human interaction is definitely what I’ve missed the most besides the high speed wifi! Really looking forward to next year at the office.”
Our member Sian from MatchWorks echoed the same sentiments:
“Being a working mum, homeschooling whilst balancing work was challenging. I felt like I couldn’t catch a break. But coming back into CoWork Me, I feel more at ease…like I have a routine! And it’s always good to be around people again – I’ve missed it.”
From a business standpoint, CoWork Me had an influx of leads post lockdown. CoWork Me General Manager, Selma Zukanovic believes CoWorking is expected to make a full recovery & come back even stronger next year.
“Co-working is becoming an even more popular option for businesses looking for a hybrid solution to grow post lockdown, and for good reason.
People see value in what we do here at CoWork Me and it shows! We’ve had so many members thrilled to be back in our space & reconnect with their teams.
CoWork Me has pulled through this lockdown & it’s only been onwards and upwards. Our new inquiries were up by 25% compared to last year & we’ve had many new businesses sign up with us.
Our meeting rooms have been a popular option as well – it’s a great option for companies who want to reconnect without breaking the bank. We’ve also had businesses with younger staff sign up because of our community events & lively office environment.
We offer a range of solutions and value added services to members and the fact that it people respond well to this means we’re doing something right!”
The pandemic might just have made co-working spaces more attractive – the only challenge is how well these spaces adapt to post lockdown needs and requirements. Now that we’re out of lockdown, co-working spaces should provide the right environment, services and amenities that support the “back to work” transition for members. This entails co-vid safe plans, social distancing at work and making sure safety measures are in place.
One thing’s for sure, co-working spaces hold more value than we think and these spaces are here to stay for good. It’s only a matter of time before everyone jumps back on the bandwagon!