The Future of Work is Hybrid:
Employees Want to Work from Home AND a Workplace
As more people are getting vaccinated and kids are going back to school, many for the first time in over a year, there is a sense that things are going, well, back to normal. What does that mean for the workplace? Will businesses start asking those who have worked from home to come back to the office permanently? Some workers are saying not so fast. Many employees have seen the advantages to remote work, and some have even moved to be closer to family or live in a lower-cost city.
This has many companies such as Facebook, Slack, Zillow, and Shopify, giving employees the ability to work from home indefinitely. Still other companies are going for a hybrid model – announcing policies that allow employees to divide their time between home office and some sort of shared workplace – a system many believe will be the “new normal” for millions of office workers.
Salesforce surveyed over 3,500 people to gain a pulse on how workers view the prospect of returning to the next normal. It found that in the long-term, 64% of workers want to spend at least some time at an office, or another type of workplace, as opposed to working entirely remote. This reality has many enterprises looking for opportunities to get creative to help retain talent.
A Flexible Workspace Model Appeals to Multi-Generation Talent
Studies show that Gen-Xers, the first generation to really see telecommuting as a thing, are comfortable with remote work, as long as it provides flexibility and life-balance, while millennials want choices. A recent Gallup poll found many millennials desire flexibility and a greater work-life balance, and 75% who work off-site right now want to keep doing it.
Generation Z, soon to become the largest segment of the workforce, seems particularly interested in a hybrid approach to work, with time split between home and workplace. About 74% of individuals classified as Gen-Z prefer splitting time at home and work, and 37% say they want to continue to work full-time from home even after the pandemic, while 64% would like to spend “some time” working from an office or location outside of their home.
Yet many Gen Z workers state they are bored and even lonely. They have just started their careers, and the prospect of working 100% of the time from home is not what they imagined their dream job would look like. Forbes reported that 48% of Gen-Z workers say they are bored with their work-from-home jobs.
With so many companies closing their offices permanently to reduce overhead costs and accommodate remote teams, many are looking for alternatives.
Coworking: Flexible Superhero Solution for Employees and Employers
Businesses in the U.S. stand to collectively save more than $500 billion a year, equal to the GDP of Sweden, by allowing employees to work at home at least half of the time and an offsite office the other half, a separate Global Workplace Analytics and Design Public Group report shows. Those savings translate to almost $11,000 for each employee who uses a hybrid work model, according to the report. This calculator shows the savings that can be found by ditching a traditional office and creating a flexible coworking arrangement for remote employees.
So, what’s the solution for employees who need a change of scenery, socialization, and infrastructure to be productive? And what works for employers to enjoy the costs savings and the retention of happy employees? Coworking.
Seeing this, Downtown Works recently launched a new program designed for enterprises – Flex+. This flexible and affordable program is ideal for companies needing rotating office space, desks, audio/video-rich meeting rooms and business services. And it comes with a host of amenities to support work-life balance for remote workers at a low, monthly membership price.
The Flex+ automated reservation system allows for an almost unlimited number of employees to rotate within one or multiple private offices at a fraction of the cost of a commercial office rental. Meeting rooms are available to each member to reserve when needed. Downtown Works provides secure technology, business equipment infrastructure and concierge-like services delivered by professional community managers.
Downtown Works also offers free, full day coworking passes to any LExC coworking space with locations around the world, supporting the flexible, hybrid “work from anywhere” culture we are in, as we emerge from the COVID crisis.
No doubt our work culture is changing. Enterprises that embrace the change and look to creative and flexible hybrid models will be the winners with happy, productive employees.