Co-working spaces are shaping the future of how we work by finding innovative solutions that support employees holistically. Venture Workspace has steadily grown as the leading South African company in this field. Their centre locations are strategically chosen and designed to offer integrated, welcoming and functional co-working offices that are conducive to productivity and balance. The ideal position for this is in a suburban or remote area with beautiful surroundings and relaxing views. The goal is to bring workspaces to areas where people live, rather than focusing on overcrowded central business districts. This meant that they not only maintained their existing client base during the pandemic but have experienced consistent growth since the initial hard lockdown. Occupancy levels in their mall-based operations have increased by fifty to seventy percent during the second and third quarters of 2021.
Large corporates with permanent headquarters subscribing to strict dress codes and nine to five shifts are rapidly disappearing. The shift towards adaptable office solutions was already visible when lockdown 2020 hit and accelerated the transition. With modern technology now widely accessible, employees can work from anywhere and only need a few key things to keep in touch with their co-workers and employers. Companies are now opting for remote work solutions. In the process, they are giving their employees more individual responsibility and more choice in how they structure their days. Without constant meetings, interruptions and the daily commute, many employees are significantly more productive, but working from home has its own set of challenges.
In well-developed countries with proper infrastructure, this switch was quite effortless. In countries like South Africa, however, there is still inequality in resource management and many find themselves in unsuitable environments at home. A zoom meeting is a nightmare if your space is dark or cluttered or even worse: if your children and animals interrupt that important pitch meeting. And in the uniquely South African situation where load-shedding is a regular event (load-shedding refers to a pre-scheduled timeslot during which areas are left without electricity to conserve limited resources), it can be maddening to sit for hours without power to charge your laptop or maintain a basic internet connection. Putting aside all the technical issues and a home office is still unsuitable to certain personalities who quickly feel isolated or struggle to shift into work mode in their normal relaxation space. And where does a company hold their meetings or training sessions if they no longer maintain a permanent property? Co-working office spaces are the solution.
All you need to do is show up with your laptop and work. The rest is provided, including Covid screens between desks and other protective gear. Full screening is done on entry since safety is a priority. The company is also set up to maintain power through load-shedding. These centres offer much more than just office tools and supplies. They provide a service that improves the way you live. By positioning themselves in smaller, upmarket shopping centres, Venture Workspace provides the basis for a simpler life-work balance. Consider this: on the way to work you stop by the gym, then head upstairs to work, grab lunch at the coffee shop downstairs and pop into the store on the way back to the car. This is the accessibility and ease on offer. No more driving around in stop-start traffic, since all you need is in one central location! At the end of the day you return home with your work done, shopping completed and no reason to leave the house again. It is possible to switch off and spend your time with loved ones. Since lockdown 2020 people are reassessing what is important to them, and a focus on balanced living has become the most important trend.
Another focus is the social aspect, which should be considered in the design and layout of the office. Co-working spaces allow clients the opportunity to form new connections. At Venture Workspace, communal areas and balconies are available to take a break, get some fresh air and chat with a new acquaintance. The opportunities to make friends are endless because different faces can be seen every day. Since people choose a co-working space in their area, this platform helps locals network and feel part of the community. In a rushed and often disconnected world, it is important to create safe spaces where personal and professional contacts can be formed. Companies that no longer maintain permanent offices can make use of boardrooms and meeting spaces when required and additional services are available to maintain their brand identity and cohesion between employees.
If the last few years have taught us anything, it is that we should not be spending our lives tied to a desk. Rather than arranging our lives around our work, the future lies in flexible solutions that support our lifestyle choices. Co-working offices offer a range of choices to suit modern lifestyles. Venture Workspace’s ethos is underscored by constantly finding creative and innovative solutions to support a healthy and balanced approach to work and living. This approach opens up exciting possibilities and ensures that these spaces continue to adapt to our ever-changing world.