Working from home once seemed like a temporary solution to a temporary problem, but as we prepare to experience a second wave of COVID-19 infections, it has become a necessity for workers.
However, many employees have expressed the want to come back into the office. In fact, a survey from business equipment company Raja found that 65% of 2,000 respondents missed the social interaction of the workplace.
While it may be unreasonable to open up headquarters at full capacity right now, coworking spaces could provide a proper solution and provide a more flexible option for employees.
“What a lot of people miss most of all is the ‘pushing back your chair’ moment – raising your head up from your laptop and asking your colleagues a question,” said John Burgess, associate director for real estate at Grant Thorton and member of London-based coworking firm Hatcham House. “I’m talking to young colleagues who have just joined us in the September graduate intake that haven’t met anyone in the organisation. Perhaps they’ve moved to London because of this job opportunity, and they’re really feeling lonely.”
Working from home has taken a mental toll on many people, and coworking spaces provide a sense of community that cannot be replicated online. This is particularly ideal for those who want to avoid entering the main office in a busy city.
However, going into these shared offices should be done with caution. Coworking operators will need to emphasize the importance of sanitation, distancing and mask wearing, rather than the normal sharing of amenities and dense nature of these spaces.