Companies Going Remote: Why it’s Relevant to Workspace Providers

A trend we’ll be seeing this year in the work environment is many more companies going remote

As a workspace provider, you don’t really need a remote work strategy; however, knowing how companies come about going remote and knowing the strategies that they might pursue can be beneficial to you. The case might be that companies looking for affordable options to provide remote working might look into renting out some office space, or employees with flexibility benefits might look into workspaces other than their homes.

We spoke with experts from remote.co in order to learn about how companies make the switch towards remote work. Here’s what we learned:

“The first step [that a company needs to take]  is really assessing why you’re considering making a switch to remote work. There are a number of reasons that companies have switched to remote work, but each one has different motivations, and it’s important to figure out your own.”

What problems or pain points do you think remote work will alleviate? What benefits do you foresee from remote work?

“Without this first crucial step, companies might unfortunately craft a remote work program that doesn’t really suit their needs.”

Examples of companies that were able to successfully determine their reason for going remote

Codebusters said they switched to remote work to keep up with a changing field. “We decided to go remote because there was a decision to move the office and because we saw that our industry was heading in this direction. We wanted to be more than ready for it.”

Sticker Mule used remote work to attract and retain the best talent. “Our first hire in software development was in England, and that went over incredibly well. A few months later, our customer service lead asked if he could relocate. Initially I was concerned, but then we saw it as an opportunity to improve our processes so that we could support a remote customer service team. After a while, it became commonplace for our team to be remote.”

Once the right reason is established, it’s important to remember that switching over to remote work takes times; it’s a process that works differently for each company, depending on its particular needs.

The process comes with its challenges and obstacles. The most common one being that many approach the switch with an all-or-nothing mentality. The team at remote.co explains to us that this need not be so and that it can be a slow process that moves forward gradually. As a workspace provider, this gradual move towards remote could be a business opportunity, as you have the ability to offer different types of membership and layout plans with the necessary flexibility that can aid businesses into making the gradual remote switch.

“One challenge for companies going remote is feeling that the transition needs to be all-or-nothing. There are actually lots of companies that operate with partially-remote teams, where some people work in the office and some work from home. So it’s not necessary for companies to flip a switch and have everyone start working remotely immediately–it’s something that can happen over time. The process can be a gradual one, and this gradual approach is really helpful to work out all the questions and issues that may arise as you move forward. Four team members at Dell recently shared their experiences in becoming remote workers within a company that has both in-office and at-home employees.”

As for the actual space in which remote workers decide to work, we got some interesting words of advice:

“Don’t obsess over a beautiful kitchen with an espresso machine or a Zen garden in your office. What is your office for? Clearly define those principles and find your space so you can do meaningful work. It’s about functionality, not appearances. It’s about having a good-enough table to share a meal with your team, not a table where you play foosball.” -Paul Jun, Content Marketer

Granted, Paul Jun said this focusing on the workers, as a workspace provider, can help you define the principles that are most important to your workspace. Each community has different needs and if you’re able to clearly define the needs and wants of yours, you’ll be better able to cater to them.

Also keep in mind that one of the reasons why remote workers choose home officing is because they can personalize their space as much as they need. We might want to take note on this and maybe find a way around letting clients customize their workspace as much as possible–whether it be colors, lighting, or furniture.