In the era of remote working, do we still need office spaces?

office spaces

With the rising pandemic situation, most major corporations have shut down their offices. However, the work never stops. This is evident from the remote working facilities that have entirely dominated the job scenario. This brings us to an important question about how offices now work. Office space for rent in Bangalore is pricy, given the limited real estate.

Even a Coworking space in Bangalore does not come cheap. Given the changes that have taken place during the pandemic, the entire scenario is bleak. Does that beg the question as to how will companies adjust their real estate strategy accordingly?

The COVID-19 crisis has laid bare the truth about offices that have long been known but mostly remained unsaid: They have become obsolete in their current form. Companies have now shifted to a more flexible working environment. Employees can work from home as needed.

However, access to office space for team meetings and collaboration is still required from time to time.

So how does having a workspace help?

It is because these spaces foster collaboration and big ideas. There are several reasons, one of them being reduced productivity. Another recent study shows that the current working class also experiences a disconnect from their co-workers.

Many firms have realized that having a 100% remote workforce is not a sustainable answer. The struggles are evident in areas like collaboration, on-boarding, and team management.

To put it in a nutshell, offices are highly imperative for fostering ideas and collaborations, which are the foundations for any firm and team culture.

So what should firms do next?

Commercial real estate is undergoing a transformation based on the new needs and requirements. Since the remote working model has seen a reduced in-office capacity, offices now have to be purpose-driven. The office is now becoming a hub for productivity, and collaboration, with safety considerations and physical distancing.

Companies are now avoiding long-term leases or rent due to the risk factor. The mitigation of these risks is only possible when companies can forgo leases altogether. It favours flexible space solutions to use and pay for office spaces as they need them and work effectively.

A good solution is a dedicated office space rented by the month or meeting space that can be reserved by the hour or day.

What kind of solutions do flexible office spaces offer?

The emerging trend of Coworking space offers an in-person appeal of traditional private offices while discarding the long-term obligations of inflexible leases. These spaces come equipped with amenities right from cafeterias to security. Everything is readily made available and optimized for productivity.

Most importantly, they come with specific hardware and software that is used to enhance audiovisual capabilities. This, therefore, enables smoother functioning from remote areas. The flexible payment option can be used on a month-to-month basis as well as hourly and daily.

Since more companies are moving to remote models, employees can get the flexibility to access workspace on demand and near their homes. Today flexible solutions have become an excellent opportunity for the private sector – either limited to individual companies or teams – as it gives them autonomy. They can control their environment and reduce any risk of disease transmission, given the current pandemic problem.

What are the other benefits?

Many researchers have found that larger companies are beginning to adopt the hub-and-spoke office model. This means that companies are downsizing to accommodate around 70% of their employees to work in an office setup. This has also led to a rise in smaller offices, also known as “spoke” offices.

The advantage of having such offices is that they can be set up anywhere. In the process, employers get to retain the reach of company culture minus the commute. Companies are now gradually accessing such specialized spaces on demand.

A lot of firms are already operating 100% virtually. This removes the need for a fixed office space. The much more cost-effective on-demand offices or meeting spaces are now widely used for conferences, team meetings, etc., when and where they need them.

What kind of activities can be conducted?

Although there are many uses of an on-demand office space or a Coworking space, it has its challenges. There are quite a few physical or manual activities that cannot be done remotely. This can include activities that require fixed equipment, operating machinery, using lab equipment, processing customer transactions in stores, caregiving, etc. 

In the case of Coworking spaces, there must be proper community guidelines. These spaces transform the meaning of networking and are incredibly valuable for community building. You will often find a range of networking events, workshops, seminars being held here. This gives people an area to meet and brainstorm on upcoming innovations, technologies, etc. Often, events dedicated to leadership, diversity, and advocacy bring different industry professionals together who aim to develop innovative textiles. 

Bangalore serves as the hub of technology and innovation. With the new demands, the city has seen a rise in managed office spaces in Bangalore. All of these spaces are equipped with the latest requirements, yet; there is more to come. With technology getting reinvented, this is a crucial point in human history.

We can soon expect voice tech-enabled systems to avoid touching, autonomous cleaning solutions, air-improving systems, sensors, a wellness check, etc. A lot of firms are focused on sustainability and zero-energy consumption buildings to reduce energy usage. The pandemic has shaken up the foundations of the old and ushered in the new. 

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