The world of work is changing
By: Andrew Ross-CEO Venture X UK and Ireland, https://venturex.co.uk/
There’s no doubt that the world of work is changing and that the cultural shift which started as a necessity due to the pandemic has made employers re-evaluate the need for physical offices. With the UK restrictions easing, getting employees back to the workplace is on the minds of many employers. Chancellor Rishi Sunak has also urged Brits to go back to the office as he warned home working will harm careers. However, many UK employees aren’t willing to return to the office so easily. Recent surveys released over the last few months show that UK workers, who have been working remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic, are reluctant to return to the workplace full-time.
One of the most recent polls released by RADA Business revealed that of the 3,000 employees surveyed, 45% were either very or extremely interested in making remote working a permanent feature post pandemic, with younger workers particularly in favour of the change. Most of the surveyed employees, however, stated that they would prefer a hybrid approach as they would still like to have the opportunity to work from an office.
It’s evident that the way people want to work is changing and as a result the spaces people work in will need to follow suit. Employers need to rethink how they can create inviting spaces that foster productivity and creativity, if they want to have a truly engaged workforce moving forward.
Focusing on quality
Office spaces have gone through several changes over the years and before the COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional office space was designed, more than anything, to be functional. Now, as organisations strive to retain employees as turnover increases and hiring becomes competitive for talent, getting the office space right is more important than ever.
An effective and inviting office space that meets the needs of current and future staff is multi-dimensional with technological, physical and psychological aspects being equally important. When employees choose to go to the office, they will expect a space that is designed in a way that enables them to be more productive. Comfortable office design, connectivity and access to resources will play an important role as employees will want their office spaces to provide them with elements and facilities that they don’t already have at home. The location of the office is key as well. Adopting a more flexible work model means that trips to the office will not be as frequent so employees and potential new hires may live further away from work.
Ultimately it all comes down to having a strategically located space which employees can easily access and want to go back to. Different organisations will have different requirements but it’s safe to say that the quality of the workspace matters to employees across different demographics. Most individuals value comfortable, inviting workspaces with flexible working arrangements and access to amenities.
Workspaces are more than just bricks and mortar
Beyond the quality of the facilities, the community element is also taking centre stage in the future of workspaces. The importance of networking and collaboration both externally and internally is rising for organisations across various industries. At our site in Chiswick, we’ve witnessed first-hand the correlation between a strong sense of community and success. When people have access to a place where social connections can be facilitated in an environment that offers stimulation and inspiration, organisations experience higher levels of productivity, engagement, retention and innovation.
This is why we strongly believe that the offices of the future will most likely include highly networked, shared, multi-purpose spaces that support collaboration which stretches outside the organisational boundaries.
The silver lining of the pandemic is that it has presented us with a great opportunity to look at the way we work and it has disrupted the idea of the traditional office work environment. As we move forward, modern businesses we will need to think outside the box and find ways to build a better, more flexible future office space for their modern workforce that meets their needs and places collaboration at its heart.
Andrew Ross is the CEO of Venture X UK and Ireland, https://venturex.co.uk/, which has launched in the UK in two London locations providing a perfect balance of work and professional social space to businesses that want to be a part of a thriving community. Venture X is the world’s first coworking platform to be locally owned and globally connected.
Venture X’s flagship UK franchise in Chiswick Park offers 15,000 square feet of premium flexible office space. The second location will soon open its doors in Westfield London, Europe’s largest retail destination at White City covering 19,000 square feet.