What does the future of work look like? That’s the main question millions of companies are answering in 2022, as we approach our third year of the pandemic.
The omicron variant proves COVID-19 is an ever-changing and ever-present threat. It’s not going anywhere in 2022, and its endurance means it’s time for companies to determine a long-term solution that suits everyone, pandemic and beyond.
One thing certain in all the uncertainty? Hybrid work is here to stay but collaboration, and by extension, space, is still a necessity.
Collaboration is key
The workplace had been evolving long before COVID. Remote work wasn’t unheard of as it allowed for flexibility — something all employees across all industries appreciate. The pandemic forced companies to evaluate the reality of remote work and productivity. Some companies, like Twitter, determined a completely distributed workforce was possible.
But for many companies, a fully remote solution wasn’t possible or ideal. The face-to-face collaboration and instantaneous connections coworkers make in the office can’t be replicated. Many companies agree with this sentiment — a PWC survey of over 100 executives and 1,200 employees, saw 87 percent of respondents agreeing the office was necessary for collaboration and building relationships with other team members. What this means is that office space is still necessary and companies should be prepared to offer safe and healthy ways for their employees to make on-site connections.
Offices that previously followed the typical 40-hour work week will now need to accommodate a more distributed workforce. Remote work now allows companies to hire across borders and time zones, a true global workforce. Hot-desking is on the rise, and your office should be prepared to host any visiting employees outside the standard area.
In the same PWC survey noted above, over half of executive respondents report that at least three in-office days a week are needed to maintain company culture. Your office must have enough space to accommodate on-site employees while still offering spaces for hybrid collaboration. This means you need meeting areas that are set up to allow for in-person and on-video connections.
The future may bring less “cube-farms” and more “HQ,” where the space is designed like a coffee shop allowing for more open-air collaboration.
The Reimagined Office
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s monthly employment report, millions of employees are returning to the office each month in some capacity. As cited above, three in-office days seems to be the ideal ratio to maintain company culture and key collaboration. Your office should be equipped to manage full capacity but still support a collaborative environment. Employees who commute are more than likely coming into the office for the community they can’t find at home.
Employees will be spending less time on the individual tasks that occupy them at home and more time collaborating, networking and socializing while on-site. Your office layout should be one that is open and welcoming — one that feels like a meeting location, not a solo destination.
Much like hybrid work is here to stay, the office is, too. If your current space isn’t designed to support the rising trends detailed above, don’t worry. CRESCO Real Estate can help. Contact us today and we’ll help you find the right commercial property for you.
To learn more about how CRESCO, Greater Cleveland’s leading commercial real estate company, can help you with your property needs, contact us at 216.520.1200, or fill out the form below. A CRESCO professional will contact you shortly.