The pandemic has demystified the world of remote working. Employees are now well acquainted with ‘working from anywhere’, whether that be at home, in the office or a ‘third workspace’.
Businesses and their workforces are realising the benefits of mixing up where and how they work in order to maximise output, creativity and talent retention.
Moreover, moving away from spending every day in the office means that employees can cut down on the environmental impact of commuting, and businesses can reduce the operating costs of traditional office spaces. With the advantages of ‘on-demand’ workspaces clear – particularly in the age of Covid, where restrictions and preferences are constantly changing – it is now time for all business leaders to re-evaluate where and how their teams work best to trigger long-term change and improvement.
Throughout the pandemic, we have seen a lot of change in the way people travel, with many businesses having no choice but to go fully remote during lockdown. However, we have seen that it works – we do not need to be in an office every day to generate the best outcomes. In fact, employee wellbeing and happiness are key to retaining the best talent and boosting output in 2022. So, why not couple that with reducing our carbon footprints?
Cutting the commute
It is now time for business to consider cutting down on unnecessary travel for good, choosing instead to ‘work near home’. Not only will this reduce congestion and emissions, but
it will give employees back valuable time and flexibility. This will ultimately allow them to prioritise wellbeing, spend more time with their friends or family and, in turn, make them more productive day to day.
One thing that many businesses have had to consider during the pandemic is the impact of employees working at home and being alone for longer periods than usual. While it is sometimes great to allow employees to crack on with complex tasks and projects, there is a downside too, as a lack of collaboration and socialisation means that mental health and productivity levels can suffer.
What we have seen is that the environment around us has the power to change this entirely. For example, working in a flexible space near home allows employees to cut down on costs and commuting, all while being able to mix remote work with in-person collaboration. Not only is it a space to connect with colleagues; it is also an opportunity to meet new people and form relationships in a way that employees who are working at home five days a week would not be able to.
Looking at the bigger picture, there is still a lot of uncertainty. With restrictions changing regularly as new waves of the virus hit, employee safety should be a priority for all. On-demand workspace provides a lifeline for those businesses that cannot – or would prefer not to – commit to huge office leases. It gives them and their employees flexibility in choosing where to work, with office space at their fingertips whenever they need it. It allows businesses to meet the needs of all their employees.
In turn, businesses will reap the benefits of happier teams that value freedom and the benefits associated with flexible and on-demand workspaces. Our environments have the power to dramatically alter how we are working, so it is now time for more businesses to leverage the platforms and tools to unlock the benefits of new ways to work.
Dan Murray is chief executive and co-founder of NearU