An article published a few days ago on usnews.com lists five workplace trends which are, by their account at least, making it harder than ever for today’s workers to do their jobs.
What we found interesting is that at least 3 of the items routinely turn up in articles touting the benefits of alternative work environments. So, are they benefits, or liabilities? Or is our industry just starting to re-evaluate what works and what doesn’t?
If you operate a serviced office space, pay attention to this list. Your innate ability to address these issues could give you added fuel in the ongoing debate on the merits of more traditional serviced office space versus those trendy, open plan coworking spaces.
We’ve listed the 5 trends below, with our ‘take’ on each, but we urge you to read the full article to get all the details:
- Decline in support/admin positions. Traditionally, providing administrative support has been one of the great benefits of business centers. By continuing to include some ‘people power’ to do things like book travel, arrange a meeting and handle reception duties, business centers can continue to keep this burden off the backs of your tenants.
- Fewer amenities. Not sure we agree with this one. Coworking spaces are becoming famous for their free locally brewed coffee, organic juices and recreational attractions such as ping pong tables. Not to mention regular seminars and access to local investors. Amenities are more important than ever. As a business center operator, you should take a hard look at your amenities from a competitive standpoint. Even small additional services offered here and there can make a big difference.
- Open office spaces. As we know the jury is still out on the long term benefits of open floor plans. The noise levels can be distracting, not to mention the goldfish bowl effect of working out in the open. Business centers offering a mix of open collaboration areas and private offices may be the winners here.
- Hot-desking. This was a surprise. The article makes the point that not knowing where you may sit tomorrow is a disadvantage. A case can be made for that — you cannot leave that photo of your BFF on the desktop, your favorite coffee mug needs to be taken home, etc. While hot-desking has its advantages — you can sit wherever you want, whenever you want — there is a downside, as noted in the article. Business center space, on the other hand, is reserved. Your desk is your desk. You don’t need to pack it up before you leave each night.
- The pressure of never ‘unplugging’. Frankly we were wondering when this would crop up as a potential negative. Today’s millennials have stretched the boundaries of work/life balance. The old 9-5 concept of work has seemingly been changed forever. Or has it? Will workers begin to feel the need to always be ‘on’? Will they feel the pressure to balance that 2-hour ping pong tournament in the middle of the day with calls and deal making later at night?
The take away? Perhaps as the alternative workspace tidal wave begins to recede, we may start to see some of the less compelling so-called ‘amenities’ burn out and the real amenities, such as a balance of open space and privacy, become more marketable than ever.
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How is your center positioned to respond to lists like this one? Are you situated to provide the best of both worlds? Business center owners and operators may have much to gain if trends like this continue to populate mainstream publications like usnews. Let us know your thoughts.