- Almost three-quarters of tech companies have not fully reopened their offices.
- Coworking spaces are perfectly positioned to bridge the gap for home and office workers.
- Meeting tech and balloon walls are key to attract this wealth of IT talent.
To flex or not to flex? That is the question for many of the world’s leading technology companies who are still assessing whether remote working initiatives are a viable option for their business.
In fact, a recent report from Teem reveals 72% of tech companies have not fully reopened their offices. Instead, the majority have reopened for essential on-site employees or are limiting capacity.
For remote workspaces, there are many ways to appeal to these companies and their staff — and it’s not just about having the best wi-fi or gadgets. Here are three key tech-first initiatives to consider introducing at your workspace.
#1 Next-gen meeting technology
The State of Workplace Tech report revealed 47% of IT companies are considering new meeting technologies to bridge the gap between virtual and in-person attendees.
This is an important insight — and there are plenty of options for remote workspaces. Video conferencing, for example, is one key technology to implement — but you must ensure your members have a seamless experience. To achieve this, you may want to implement systems within your conference rooms that can accommodate ‘one touch’ or touchless functionality for easy activation.
Location-based VR is another option where your workspace hosts a VR experience, allowing users to interact in ways not possible using traditional technologies. This could unlock virtual coworking business models and, for tech companies, provide the perfect hybrid option between their geographically diverse staff.
In fact, an investment in such next-generation technologies could provide you with a competitive edge as some IT companies struggle to put the latest solutions in place. Some 42% of respondents cited their company’s budget as a reason they hadn’t implemented new workplace technology.
#2 Ease security concerns
Cyber security is a key concern with many remote workers falling into bad habits. What’s more, some 14% of tech businesses fail to implement workplace technology because of security concerns, according to the report from Teem.
For flexible workspaces, it’s key to ensure the security of your members and clearly communicate your security strategies to techie (and non-techie) members.
There are a range of measures required to guarantee security at your workspace. Data security, for example, must be managed and touchless technologies must also be implemented with due diligence to boost the physical security of your buildings.
Network and device security are other key considerations — where visible best practices can help you communicate your stance on workplace security with clarity and confidence.
#3 Offer social and educational incentives
Some 42% of tech businesses are considering employee engagement solutions — and so should your workspace if you want to reach out to this demographic.
This could help cross the divide that now exists in the tech community between those workers who want to stay WFH and businesses that want staff back in the office.
According to a report in the Washington Post: “That has created tension among some white-collar tech workers, as the companies try to balance retaining control with the demands of employees who have grown used to managing their own locations and schedules.”
This is where a coworking space — and the community you offer — could help, providing tech workers with a halfway house to meet with colleagues and partners.
If you can provide social events and other incentives to pull these workers in, this will help build momentum at your space with the tech community. Hackathons, for example, are one way to reach out to tech workers.
Further research reveals that 91% of tech workers want career advancement and continuous learning opportunities. Some 88% also prioritise wellness programs.
So, try to match your events program and day-to-day activities with the priorities of today’s tech workers.
Or just get a balloon wall…
If you do want to compete with the top tech companies and get their talent into your coworking space, it’s useful to know what you’re up against.
According to a report in Wired, the big tech players are coming up with all sorts of weird and wonderful ideas to attract workers back in the office. “Some of the radical pilot schemes Google is introducing in Mountain View include desks which automatically adjust to employee tastes; personalised temperature settings which could finally end office air-con wars; and even ‘balloon’ walls which create on-demand, private physical barriers.”
Other tech companies are overhauling office spaces to include flexible collaborative zones for brainstorming and training. Uber has also reportedly scaled back its individual workstations and installed digital whiteboards for large group sessions. And Microsoft is trialling hybrid meeting spaces to simulate face-to-face interactions.
While the word “gimmick” may spring to mind when you think of such office-based gadgets, you can’t blame the tech giants for trying. Less than a third of UK tech workers plan to stick with their current employer in the next 12 months, according to research from CWJobs.
For flexible workspaces, it’s important to adapt to this ever-changing future of work — and the industries your members now want to work in.