Daily Digest News – February 18, 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:


WeWork Reduces Its Prices throughout Its U.S. Locations

WeWork has reduced the price of most rental units, which points to a potential slow recovery following the coronavirus pandemic. Data compiled by Bloomberg found that the average price reduction ranged between 10% and 25%. 

The pricing information is not displayed to WeWork’s website visitors, but Bloomberg was able to obtain it from the source code of the website. 

WeWork isn’t the only one experiencing a drop in prices. Throughout the U.S. office rental prices have dropped as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most workers throughout the country continue to work remotely, with only an estimated 20% being back in the office as of December, 2020. 

A CBRE forecast estimates that asking prices will drop by 7% by 2022 before they start to rebound to pre-pandemic levels. 

Credit: Bigstock

Flexible and Adaptable Work Environments Are the Future

Recent research from Cushman & Wakefield and George Washington University’s Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis found that flexible and adaptable work environments are the future of the office. 

While most workers report a positive experience working from home, many do miss going to the office. Offices around the country may now be empty–vacancy rates are hovering above 10% in most cities in the U.S.–but they won’t stay that way forever. 

The office will continue to be the focal point of collaboration, innovation, and company culture. Moving forward, companies will be tasked with the challenge of balancing remote work with in-office work. As a result, hybrid work ecosystems will become the new norm across industries, with tech giants leading the way. Generally speaking, most workers will work remotely between 1.5 and 3 days per week, with the rest of the days spent in the office. 

While the hybrid work concept has gained traction in recent months as a result of the pandemic, these arrangements were already implemented in some companies pre-COVID. Companies that already had hybrid work models implemented were better prepared to face the challenges brought forth by COVID-19 lockdowns. 

Looking forward, companies will need to find ways to attract workers back into the office, and one way to do that is to focus on creating healthy workplaces. One way to go about creating such a workplace is by providing workers with choice about how and where they work. 

Credit: Bigstock

Remote Work Can Help Increase Gender Equality

What will the new normal look like is a question many have asked but few have an answer to. 

Remote work is likely to be part of the new normal; however, the number of workers working remotely is likely to decrease once restrictions are lifted. While companies have experienced first-hand the benefits of remote work, most companies will adopt a hybrid approach to work, where employees work remotely some days of the week and from the office the others. 

Hybrid work models will not only help maintain a healthy work-life balance for workers, but they also have the potential of increasing gender equality. By allowing employees to work remotely part-time, mothers will be less likely to interrupt their careers to take care of the family. 

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And while the benefits of remote work abound, there are some disadvantages, like increased monitoring from employers. While this is commonplace at the moment, the longer employees work remotely, the more leaders will trust that their teams are doing what they’re supposed to be doing, even while working from home. 

There’s also the matter of work creep, which could make it harder for employees to separate their work time from their personal time. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to changes in the workplace, some of which will be long-lived. However, many of the issues that affected employees before the pandemic are likely to remain in a post-pandemic world. 

Credit: Bigstock

1871 Acquires Rival Catapult

Coworking space, 1871, is acquiring the assets and intellectual property of Catapult. Catapult was founded in 2012 with the goal of providing tech startups with access to affordable space in downtown. Both companies, Catapult and 1871, provided its workspace members with access to mentoring, educational, and networking opportunities. 

As part of the acquisition, Catapult will vacate 12,500 square feet of space at 227 W. Monroe Street. While 1871 will not take over Catapult’s real estate, it will take over Catapult’s programming for tech startups. 

The acquisition is part of 1871’s strategy to reduce its reliance on real estate and instead focus more on its educational and mentoring programs. 

Credit: 1871

How Companies Can Prepare for the Return to the Office

With the vaccine rollout already underway, many companies are starting to think about how they will bring back workers to the office. While some employees are eager to return, others are not so excited and would rather stay at home. 

To make the return to the office a positive experience for all, here are some guidelines that can help companies plan for a COVID-free workplace. 

Have clear plans 

Bringing back people to the office cannot be a spontaneous affair, like sending them home to work was when the pandemic hit. Rather, companies need to have a strong plan in place to make the transition back into the office as seamless as possible for all departments. 

Your plan should include issues like: who will return to the office when (will you provide staggered shifts or bring back people by area) and protocols that will be in place (use of face coverings, temperature checks, etc.)

Have a Contingency Plan Ready should You Need to re-Exit

People have already been called back to the office, only to be sent home again. Even with the vaccine, it is possible for cases to rise again. Your company should be prepared for the worst-case scenario and have the necessary tools and resources in place to continue to support workers both remotely and in the office. 

Prepare for Flexible Work Environments

Flexibility is part of the new normal. As you prepare your organization to return to the workplace, you need to make sure that your workplace environment will be able to support new work models (online and offline). 

Communicate

The most important element of any return to the office plan is clear and effective communication. It’s critical that all stakeholders have clear expectations about what the return to the office will be like. This means sharing all relevant information and making sure that all employees have access to tools and resources that will come in handy. 

Credit: Bigstock
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