A recent survey by Robert Walters Group found that employers are not keen on employees working from home after lockdown, despite most employees wanting to continue working remotely. Some companies have claimed that since their employees started working from home, there has been a reduced level of productivity and work output.
While this is not the case for everyone, an argument can be made that there are those industries that require a more hands-on approach and professional company persona. For example, creative IT, tech, and support services have seemed to manage well with an at-home work set-up, whereas businesses across financial and legal services prefer to have one physical company address, where they can present themselves professionally.
Further to the productivity concerns of working from home, many companies are feeling a loss of brand identity and company culture, which is a crucial part of shaping employee behaviour, values, and attitudes. Studies have shown that when employees identify with a company’s values, they are more likely to engage with their work which in turn increases customer loyalty. It’s therefore in a company’s best interest to keep the work culture alive.
The challenge now though for a lot of businesses, especially larger ones with big teams, is to accommodate the changing expectations of employees brought upon by their ‘new’ way of working, while still maintaining a sense of control. What’s encouraging is that in the same Robert Walters Group survey, almost 50% of employers indicated that they will be looking to adapt their offering in response to the change in employee expectations, and according to a recent World Economic Forum report
, 84% of employers plan to expand remote working. One of the ways in which we are already seeing companies do this is by turning to co-working solutions.
Already a popular concept amongst start-ups, small businesses, and freelancers, co-working spaces are becoming a win-win option for both employer and employee of bigger companies too. This is largely due to the resources that are available to employees within a flexible environment. Workers have access to basic equipment such as printers, scanners, an internet connection, and a physical space to receive deliveries or hold meetings, without the rigidity of a permanent office – which is also a great cost-saver for employers. Another drawcard of this environment is the ability to creatively collaborate and connect with others in the space, something that has been lost during the covid-19 pandemic and unfortunately has negatively impacted employee mental health. By having the option to go into a workspace for a few hours a day, employees can recharge and re-connect with both fellow workers as well as the company culture. Employers are then able to oversee productivity and hold employees accountable, while at the same time offer a sense of flexibility. It’s a ‘meet half-way' solution that considers the wellbeing and sanity of both parties.
In fact, the conversation around wellbeing and work-life balance has been reignited by the pandemic, prompting employers to acknowledge their role in helping their workers achieve this balance. Employees today are looking for more than just a paycheck, they want to work for employers who value wellness and independence, and who can adapt to the changing times. The remote working model is certainly not going to disappear post-pandemic; it will only grow in its appeal, as more employees seek a blended or hybrid approach to how they work. The fast-tracked digital transformation across industries is also making it easier to adopt a more on-the-go flexible work style, and companies that are slow to adapt might run the risk of losing top talent or attracting new recruits.
For employers who are hesitant or feeling overwhelmed by the changes happening within the workforce, they can take solace in knowing that there are workspace solutions that can make the transition into the ‘new’ way of working easier – it’s all about being open to it. The main consideration is to ensure employees feel heard and taken care of, if companies can get that right, the rest will take of itself.
Our offering at Venture Workspace is spearheading the drive for companies to provide their employees with added value and alternative working solutions. The co-working packages we offer affords businesses the following benefits:
- Flexibility – without long-term leases and penalties, companies have the freedom to grow and scale their business, while offering their employees flexible working solutions. Our co-working packages include hotdesking, fully serviced shared or private offices, virtual offices, and meeting rooms across three locations in Cape Town – Claremont, Constantia, and Somerset West.
- Affordability - you only pay for what your business needs now. Companies can now save on the usual fixed office costs such as internet, parking, long-term equipment leases (e.g. printers), cleaning and reception staff, office maintenance, electricity and other consumables.
- Productivity – with office management taken care of workers can focus on their tasks. The work-life balance that comes with co-working spaces also makes for happier employees who are more motivated and productive.
For more information visit www.ventureworkspace.co.za