During Commercial Observer’s Power Briefing, Breather CEO Bryan Murphy discussed the potential opportunities that could be opening up for the flexible workspace industry despite a slowdown due to the pandemic.
According to Murphy, it is during times of crisis when trends of disruption occur. For instance, the Great Recession ushered in the wide adoption of software as a service. A similar trend will likely happen in a post-pandemic society, as companies look to flexible offices to cut down on financial risk, avoid long-term leases and embrace flexibility.
“It’s about managing financial risk,” said Murphy. “There’s a huge capital outlay, and there’s a tremendous amount of uncertainty short term because of COVID and the economy, and longer term because of this work-from-home trend. [So companies are] trying to figure out, what’s our policy going to be? How much space do we need? What does that space need to look like? It will be very different.”
Although working remotely has been found to offer numerous benefits, Murphy added that collaboration and engagement take a hit. That is why returning to offices is necessary for some, but not without a major facelift.
Murphy says there are three pillars in creating a truly safe office: curated design that accommodates distancing, FF&E (furnitures, fixtures and equipment) such as sanitation stations and barriers between desks, and reevaluating operations to meet CDC guidelines.