The COVID-19 crisis has proven the viability of full-time remote work for many companies, which has prompted many companies to announce that their employees will be allowed to permanently work from wherever they’d like.
While that’s great news for people who are content in their home offices, others rely on a dedicated professional space to get work done and push their businesses forward. And for many, the decision of when, how, or whether to return to the office is a tough call.
As you plan for the next phase of work now and on the other side of the pandemic, you should take your employees’ preferences into account. A flexible remote work policy may be the right path forward. Here’s what to consider on your quest to provide your employees with options and access to a safe, secure, and sophisticated workspace, if they want it.
Many Professionals Miss the Office
A recent survey of US workers revealed divergent opinions toward long-term remote work. Once the threat of disease has passed, 43 percent of workers wish to work remotely more than they did before the pandemic, but 35 percent want to go back to their old in-office schedules. Another 12 percent even want to work in the office more than they did previously.
According to the survey, there are several reasons why people who want to return to the office think that working from home indefinitely isn’t a good idea:
- 27 percent would feel isolated.
- 19 percent wouldn’t feel connected to their company.
- 17 percent would feel distracted.
Not all work-from-home setups are created equal, after all. It can be challenging for professionals to work from home full-time with kids at home or if they don’t have a dedicated home office.
Even if people who enjoy working from home full time are in the majority, there’s still a critical mass of workers who prefer operating from an office space that helps them feel productive and engaged.
Listen to Your Employees
When it comes to what workers prefer in their workspace, one size doesn’t fit all, and that’s always been true. Psychological wellness in the working environment now will look different for each employee, and you should assess different needs when thinking about your return to work plan.
To get a sense of how your employees are feeling about a return to the office, ask them what they think. Consider creating a survey for your team about their work-from-home setup, how they would feel about going back to the office, and if there are certain things that would make them feel more comfortable in the office.
You should expect differences in opinions and plan to give your employees choices. Those who prefer to work from home should be able to continue doing so, and those who do their best work in a private, secure, and professional office space should have that option.
A Safer, Secure Alternative to Consider: Proworking Spaces
If you’re in the process of assessing the benefits of redesigning or downsizing your office space as you prepare for a return to your old workspace, you may also be considering relocating altogether. If you are, you’ll need to select a space that adheres to social distancing guidelines and gives employees the environment they need to succeed.
The Firmspace model for professional workspace (or “proworking space”) caters to professionals who want their own private workspace and concierge-level support, which includes:
- Keycard access to doors and shared spaces to foster a sense of privacy.
- Soundproof walls and ambient noise cancelation to eliminate distractions.
- Sleek design that provides a strong first impression to guests.
We have also made sure our spaces are maintained in keeping with the CDC’s current recommendations:
- We’ve minimized physical and shared touchpoints throughout our spaces.
- Firmspace now requires face coverings for staff and workers.
- We recently updated cleaning protocols and hired day porters to maintain common areas.
Employees who are hesitant to return to the office likely don’t know that this kind of controlled workspace is an option, but the socially distanced workspace has been an option since before this outbreak began. Our suite-style offices enable professionals to continue their operations in a controlled environment, with every touchpoint from the parking garage to their office door accounted for.
Firmspace’s Proworking Spaces Are Up and Running
It takes time to design a professional office space, especially one that incorporates all the features that will allow workers to feel peace of mind during the pandemic.
Firmspace proworking spaces are already licensing offices in Austin, Denver, and Houston, and soon in Atlanta. Our offices were designed with privacy and security in mind, and they’re currently being updated to protect professionals’ safety and well-being, now and into the future.
Schedule a tour or reach out to find out if a proworking space will be the right fit for your team’s needs.