Daily Digest News – January 14, 2021

Hand selected flexible workspace news from the most reliable sources to keep you ahead of the pack. We find all the latest news, so you don’t have to. Morning and afternoon updates. Stay in the know.


Here’s what you need to know today:


Employees have been given more of a say in the workplace in recent years as employers realize the value of worker opinion.

Thanks to the mass transition to remote working, this shift in power is more evident than ever before.

Discussions about workplace arrangements take little to no negotiation now. Workers now have the power to choose their work environments and schedule that best suits their needs.

This inevitably is requiring companies to reevaluate their strategies in order to better support a hybrid business model, allowing employees to choose to work in the office or at home.

Business leaders will still need to ensure that their employees are staying engaged, productivity levels stay high, workplace culture does not take a hit and that workers have the resources necessary to do their best work.

One of the biggest challenges of operating with a distributed workforce is the ability to collaborate. Colleagues who are trying to bounce ideas off each other over Zoom understand how difficult this process can be.

That’s why keeping some form of office space dedicated to collaboration within a company’s operations will be crucial.

Not only that, but offices will need to be reconfigured to meet these needs. This means hotdesking, soundproof areas, meeting rooms equipped with remote technology and high-speed Wi-Fi.

Offering a flexible, agile work atmosphere not only keeps employees satisfied in their positions, but it also boosts their productivity levels and output.

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Washington D.C. Company MakeOffices Is Shutting Down

Washington D.C.-based coworking operator MakeOffices is closing down after facing financial challenges during the pandemic.

According to COO Josh White, falling membership rates, increased terminations and a tumble in revenue made operating the workspaces incredibly difficult.

The firm recently notified members at three of its locations that they would be shutting down and transferring management of the coworking spaces to JLL and other operators.

JLL will take over at MakeOffices’ flagship location at The Wharf and will transition the office space to unknown new branding. Memberships, staffing and payments will remain active and transition to JLL on Feb. 1.

During its momentum prior to the pandemic, MakeOffices brought on commercial real estate veteran Jeffrey Langdon as CEO to help the company scale.

“Jeff’s job was to scale the business, and once we came to the realization that wasn’t going to be possible given the financial constraints the business was undergoing because of the pandemic, the decision was made to focus on unwinding in a way that prioritized continuity with members and landlords,” said White.

MakeOffices is just one of many coworking companies that has struggled since March of 2020 after worldwide lockdowns caused people to flee their offices and work from home indefinitely.

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India’s government announced several new measures to help IT employees and BPO companies to work from anywhere permanently last year.

This marked the first of many steps that would totally transform the future of the country’s workforce.

Now we understand that the workplace is becoming increasingly digital, accelerated by the unprecedented pandemic.

Policies like this are helping optimize the workforce for future competitiveness, particularly those within the technology sector.

So what can we expect next from the future of work? For one, working from anywhere will be the new norm. 

In fact, a recent Boston Consulting Group survey found that companies anticipate 40% of their workforce to opt for remote working in the future.

However, the future will likely feature a combination of both the home and the office as some people prefer being in the physical workplace at least part of the week.

Additionally, the gig economy will see a huge uptick in the coming years. Short-term, on-demand and freelance work will continue to grow as more employees seek as much flexibility in their work arrangements as possible.

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The incorporation of artificial intelligence and other automation will also become a mainstay in the workplace and take over menial tasks. 

This allows employees to focus on high-level projects, while also creating new jobs needed to work alongside this technology.

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Commercial Real Estate Needs A Technology Makeover

Commercial real estate firms are looking to advanced technology and digitization in order to keep their operations afloat, as well as thrive after the pandemic is over.

Now, the quest is not only which technologies can help support re-entry into the workplace, but how it can support engagement with tenants and employees.

CRE leaders are now faced with the challenge of their industry being historically slow at adopting modern technology. However, incorporating these tools is absolutely crucial in order to maintain agility and profitability in the post-pandemic era.

For instance, updating current processes for leasing managers to something more automated could give employees a chance to better accommodate their clients, while also opening up opportunities to advance their own skills.

Not only does this technology help current employees become more efficient, it also serves as a great recruiting tool for business leaders. For instance, within one app, potential talent can apply, then easily sort through resumes and screen the best possible candidates.

Companies can then use automated interview scheduling programs that are synced with the interviewers’ online calendar.

Additionally, such strategies can help attract and retain a diverse, multigenerational workforce that can help companies improve their productivity and creativity.

Credit: Pexels

Novel Coworking Revamps Chicago Locations

Chicago-based commercial and multifamily renovation company Mosaic Construction has revealed a new renovation for Novel Coworking.

The coworking company’s revamped location in The Loop in downtown Chicago follows another transformation that Mosaic completed at Novel’s River North location.

The two workspaces have both been updated to create a more safe, enclosed office environment for when users come back into the workplace. 

Mosaic converted The Loop location’s 1,500 square foot open space into 10 private offices that feature sliding doors, small tables and are lockable. They have also been updated with a new HVAC system lighting, carpet and insulation.

“We’re proud to contribute to a positive return to work environment for Novel Coworking members and staff to inhabit safely, with an eye to social distancing protocols,” said Ira Singer, Principal at Mosaic Construction. “We value our relationship and look forward to partnering with them on future projects together, both locally and nationally.”

Credit: Unsplash

Workplace Transformations Will Continue In 2021

While many are hoping for a semblance of normalcy in 2021, it will continue to be a year of even more major transformations for the workplace. 

Taking the lessons learned from 2020’s tumultuous atmosphere, from social justice reawakenings to the overall physical and mental health of workers, companies have a long road in modernizing their work operations.

One of the most discussed concepts of last year was finding methods of improving the employee experience. In the new year, this will shift to managing the life experience of workers.

The pandemic has offered a vulnerable look into the daily struggles employees have had to face over the last several months. Realistically, much of their stress is likely attributed to the workplace, so it is vital for business leaders to make an effort to do what they can to improve their daily lives.

Additionally, companies will likely be more transparent on societal and political stances in the new year. In fact, Gartner research finds that nearly three-fourths of employees expect their employer to be more involved in cultural debates.

Being more involved in these issues has been found to boost employee engagement, and can even help diversify the workforce.

One downside of the last year has been the high levels of women having little choice but to leave the workforce. In the future, this may cause the gender-wage gap to widen even further.

However, the growing popularity of the hybrid workforce could help companies achieve more equality by giving working mothers a chance to still be part of the workforce.

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