The COVID-19 pandemic forced many people to work from home in 2020, but as restrictions are eased in the post-pandemic period, flexible office space may prove to be an important stepping stone back into the workplace.
Jane Sartin, executive director of the Flexible Space Association, says there will be “a degree of permanency” to some of the changes that occurred during 2020, as people look for a balance between the benefits of working at home and of having a designated workplace.
In an article on the Association’s website, she explained: “Many people will find a mix of working from home and at an office to be effective, both professionally and personally.
“Businesses having seen remote working is viable may now see financial appeal in not having to provide a dedicated desk for every employee.”
Why not work at home?
Lockdown restrictions meant that, across the UK, those who could work from home were asked to do so as much as possible – and that had some immediate advantages as it allowed employees to experience life without a morning commute or an evening rush hour.
However, Ms Sartin noted that there are downsides to working alone at home:
- No ad hoc conversations to spark new ideas.
- No learning opportunities by observing colleagues.
- No variety of surroundings day after day.
She added: “We’re not only working from home; we’re simultaneously living at work.”
Flexible space such as serviced offices bridges the gap between homeworking and having a permanent workplace, allowing employees and entrepreneurs to get a much-needed break from the kitchen table or spare bedroom and return to a dedicated office environment.
Little and large
Ms Sartin said the Flexible Space Association has seen demand from large and small organisations, starting from as little as one-person offices.
“High demand for 1 to 3-person offices has been a clear theme, as people look for workspace near to home rather than at home,” she wrote.
“Large companies are starting to examine the merits of workspace which doesn’t tie them to a fixed amount of space for years to come, and can perhaps see them based in more locations.”
Whether you are an individual entrepreneur, an SME or a large corporation, serviced offices in London and Manchester hold the potential to meet your unique needs, whether it’s a flexible workplace near you, or an affordable way to start trading in a new location.
Stay at home with virtual offices
Finally, if you have found working from home a sustainable long-term solution, there’s no reason why you should feel obliged to return to working from a physical office.
Our virtual offices in London and Manchester give you real-world contact details at our serviced office buildings, complete with postal address and telephone number, but you don’t physically work in the premises.
Instead, you can work from home – or any location of your choosing – while we present a professional client-facing appearance and forward any business communications over to you.
You can choose
The pandemic brought unprecedented disruption, but for many entrepreneurs, SMEs and big businesses it was also an opportunity to experience a new way of working.
As the economy gets back on track over the course of 2021, it’s up to you to decide which of the benefits you want to keep hold of, whether that’s more flexible terms on serviced office space, or working from home via a virtual office instead.