Daily Digest News – April 7, 2021

Daily Digest April 7

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:

Office Landlords And Coworking Firms Team Up

Office landlords and coworking operators in Dallas are finding common ground as doors begin to open up again and employees return to the workplace.

Now, some have merged to offer tenants both coworking and traditional workspace solutions to accommodate the varying demands of employees today.

For instance, building owner Westdale Real Estate Investment and Management announced it would be partnering with coworking firm WorkSuites to provide Westdale tenants with access to discounted subscription coworking services across 15 different WorkSuites outlets.

The Citywide Workpass program will be particularly helpful for remote employees who want access to meeting and training rooms, as well as private office rentals.

“They wanted to be able to offer an amenity to tenants,” said Flip Howard, CEO of WorkSuites. “They have a lot of people looking for traditional office spaces with them to be their corporate headquarters, but the [Westdale tenants] also have employees who want to work remotely in other locations.”

According to Angelique Hamilton, founder of HR Chique Group, said that this is the ideal solution for companies who are struggling to transition workers back into the office in a seamless manner.

“What is happening is employees are pitching that to their employer, so the employers are starting to try to bring individual employees back to the offices in a more staggered approach,” said Hamilton.

Credit: Bigstock

Quest Workspaces Signs Long-term Lease In Manhattan

Flexible office firm Quest Workspaces will commit to a long-term lease at its Lower Manhattan location on 48 Wall Street.

The operator signed a 10-year lease taking up 43,542 square feet of space of the 32-story Financial District building.

The company has rented space in the building since 2018 on a short-term basis, but it has now been adapted to a long-term lease. 

“Especially in these challenging times as workspaces are being ‘re-worked,’ the ability to provide workspace solutions that are flexible, adaptable, and provide the best financial options — for clients, landlords, and owners — will determine success for all,” said Laura Kozelouzek, CEO and founder of Quest Workspaces.

Credit: Canva

The Importance Of Employee Wellness In The Future

The new normal of work will be a place that values remote working and the technology needed to support this. This is a necessity, as research has found that 80% of U.S. workers would prefer to work from home in some way post-pandemic.

With this inevitable shift, organizations need to adopt new policies and adjust current structures that support this more flexible workforce.

Part of these changes will be the need to prioritize employee wellbeing. Even prior to the pandemic, workplace stress cost U.S. employers almost $200 billion in healthcare costs annually. 

This number has likely risen in the past year, which is why employee experience needs to become more valued in the workplace. Workers have experienced unprecedented stress, so having a workplace that focuses on the best wellness methods will be crucial moving forward.

Leaders can alleviate any hesitancy or anxiety about returning to the workplace by incorporating strict sanitation protocols, physical distancing and normalizing remote working policies.

Additionally, the hyper-personalization of talent management will need to be more central to company operations. Having an understanding that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to wellbeing programs will be crucial in optimizing employee productivity and engagement.

Whether its health insurance, extra workplace safety protocols, childcare help or access to mental health services, taking a more personalized approach to wellness offerings will make a significant difference in the employee experience.

Credit: Bigstock

Changes Needed To Support The New Workforce 

With over one-third of U.S. adults receiving the Covid-19 vaccines, there has been a slight sense of relief over the nation. However, it has become increasingly evident that things will never return to pre-pandemic normalcy, especially in terms of the workplace.

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Over 60% of workers have expressed wanting a hybrid work model, a combination of both in-office and remote working arrangements, meaning companies will need to adjust their policies and real estate to accommodate this new way of working.

However, leaders will undoubtedly face challenges when trying to resolve all of these changes.

For instance, organizations need to address how job loss disproportionately impacted women in the past year. Those who lost their jobs were not paid well to begin with, and this absence is a glaring issue that needs to be remedied.

“Even if we assume some of these silver linings—of increased telework flexibility, and men doing more childcare—our model predicts that it could take 10 to 20 years for the gender wage gap to return to pre-pandemic levels,” said Jane Olmstead-Rumsey of Northwestern University. “That’s a really significant setback for women…and all of these things that we’re talking about are particularly severe for women of color.”

Additionally, both the physical and mental health of employees has become a central focus over the past year. Now, companies have a role to play in nurturing their employees’ overall health and listen to what their employees want from their healthcare benefits.

Credit: Canva

Floating Workspace Concept Is As Futuristic As It Gets

Agnieszka Białek, architectural designer, has proposed a unique twist on traditional workspaces in an effort to accommodate new workplace solutions caused by the pandemic.

The project coined Enclaves on Vistula River aims to help employees who are experiencing remote working fatigue make the return-to-the-workplace transition more seamless — floating on a river.

The design focuses on providing a private workspace that protects the users personal space, which has become increasingly important over the past year.

Each module can be booked hourly and would require users to use a kayak so they can be transported to one of the floating workspaces.

“Modules consist of enclaves that are part of interconnected cells,” said Białek. “An enclave is a private workspace installed on a platform that rests on floats. The whole thing forms a single floating cell. These cells are anchored to the river bed and connected, allowing them to create modular structures on the water surface.”

While the project is still in the conceptual phase, it offers a distinctive approach to the future of the workplace, especially as remote working becomes more of a mainstay.

Credit: Agnieszka Białek / Monolight Studio

Hyflex Could Be The Ideal Workplace Solution

Remote working is officially part of the new normal as the pandemic solidified the idea that employees could work from wherever they wanted, and still be just as productive as they would have been in the office.

According to a report from Capgemini, over six in ten organizations saw a spike in productivity during the third quarter of 2020 thanks to less commutes and the adoption of collaboration tools.

Even more, remote working has allowed companies to cut down on real estate costs, facilities management, business travel and more.

On the other hand, some companies and employees have experienced the downsides of remote working. For instance, professionals have expressed feeling fatigued due to overworking, as well as blurred lines between their work and home lives.

Now, companies are exploring ways to reap the benefits of both work arrangements by adopting hybrid arrangements, or Hyflex.

Hyflex allows employees to enjoy the freedom of working remotely, while also allowing them the socialization and collaboration of the workplace through flexible offices.

Some organizations have adopted this strategy by implementing a 3-2-2 work week in which employees work onsite for three days, remotely for two days and have the last two days off.

But in order to make the transition to this new arrangement, companies will need to create new policies to better lead and manage this distributed workforce.

For instance, flexible offices should be arranged to suit collaboration, and employees should be provided with more tools to improve their remote working experience.

Credit: Unsplash
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