Daily Digest News – March 9, 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:

Working Near Home Could Save Money And Time

New research from The Instant Group has found that employees could save over £2,200 annually and 98 minutes per day if companies embraced a “work near home” model.

The workspace company’s research also found that companies could save up to 23% if they used a hub-and-spoke model that focuses on providing offices outside of city centers.

Even more, 57% of employees said they want an office that is closer to their homes. While this bodes well for a more flexible future, research also indicated if demand for office space remains at this level, supply will run out in 18 months.

“With 20 to 40 percent of the workforce predicted to move towards more suburban locations in the coming years, then the office market has some work to do to generate sufficient supply of quality workspace,” said John Duckworth, Managing Director of the Instant Group UK and EMEA.

The beginning of the pandemic marked a stark contrast between demand for office space in major cities and demand in suburban areas. For instance, suburban offices in Manchester saw occupancy rates of over 85% throughout the various lockdowns.

Duckworth added that one of the most essential aspects of the future of the office market is the ability to test out which strategies work best for each company.

Credit: Canva

Workers Want Workplace Flexibility In The Future

While office landlords are ready to bring employees back into their buildings, workers are not as eager according to a new survey from JLL.

The survey of 2,000 workers found that 72% would prefer working from home more often, along with two or three days in the office.

Additionally, 66% said they would like to transition to a hybrid work mode that includes the ability to work from home, in the company office or a coworking space.

“The pandemic has been a very interesting accelerant to accelerate a number of workplace and technology changes that were already underway,” said Peter Miscovich, managing director of strategy and innovation at JLL.

While many coworking firms have struggled over the past year, there is still a clear demand for alternative workspaces in the future.

Credit: Canva

Resetting And Redefining The Workplace

The workplace once relied on workers making long commutes and simply showing up. Productivity was measured in attendance and meeting quotas.

However, the workforce has had an incredibly introspective year. During this time, people have come to a mass realization that showing up for work shouldn’t be the only measure of success. Workers have been able to get through work by flying under the radar and doing the bare minimum.

Now, there is a seismic shift in how both employees and employers view the workplace. Employees struggled to continue operating as a cog in the traditional 9 to 5 machine while working from home. That did not sit well with managers who were not ready to accept the reality that contiguous schedules do not work.

As we approach a post-pandemic life, companies need to have a better understanding of how employees stay engaged and produce their best work.

The past year has taught the world that a lot of work can be done from various locations, but supporting collaboration and community will take more effort in a virtual environment.

Moving forward, it’s important to reset and redefine the workplace. That means identifying the ideal work schedule that suits the needs of all employees and instilling trust into them.

The human touch will be crucial for forward-thinking companies. Doing so will not only create a work environment that is more connected and happy, but will also improve productivity levels.

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IWG Announces £620 Million Loss For 2020

IWG has reported an annual loss of over £620 million for 2020, compared to the £118.5 million profit in 2019.

The pandemic unsurprisingly led to the massive loss, but the company’s CEO Mark Dixon is anticipating a rebound in the coming months.

In fact, Dixon stated that the company signed up half a million workers in the past month, with around one million more in the pipeline.

This news follows IWG signing its biggest deal to date with Japanese company NTT, which will provide 300,000 of its employees access to the flexible workspace firm’s 3,300 work facilities worldwide.

“Something’s changing in the way people work,” said Dixon on BBC Radio 4’s Today program. “Working from home, or hybrid working which is working some of the time from home, some of the time from an office close by to your home and some of the time coming into a corporate headquarters, will become the norm for many people working for many companies.”

IWG has predicted that around 1.9 billion people will work flexibly by 2022 and that by 2030, 30% of global office space will be flexible.

Credit: IWG

How Commuting Will Be Impacted By Hybrid Working

A Gallup survey from September 2020 found that only 33% of respondents were working from home full-time, compared to the 51% reported in April 2020.

While the beginning of the pandemic indicated that remote working could become a permanent fixture in the workplace, some employees have expressed wanting an office to return to.

“The question now facing many organizations is not how to manage a remote workforce, but how to manage a more complex, hybrid workforce,” said Elisabeth Joyce, Vice President of Advisory at Gartner. 

Even major companies like Google and Microsoft have announced they would be adopting a more hybrid approach moving forward. 

However, the method in which these companies bring employees into the office, even for a portion of the week, will need to be well-thought-out with the safety and health of employees in mind.

For instance, the change in commutes have altered commuter benefits programs. With employees not commuting every day, employers are looking to commute platforms that build a commuter transportation program to help accommodate their newfound agile and flexible culture.

Another option for employees has been the use of electric bikes. In fact, Energise E-bikes said their sales have doubled in the last six months. This is partially due to people avoiding public transportation, as well as those looking for a healthier commute option.

Credit: Bigstock

London Coworking Space Uses Design To Engage Workers

As companies prepare to bring their employees back into the office, the way these spaces are designed must be rethought.

Now, companies realize the benefit of prioritizing their employees’ health in the workplace, and the way they are outfitted will reflect that.

This is particularly important as companies shift to hybrid work policies that combine both the office and remote working arrangements.

Utilizing this model of working has led to a spike in demand for alternative workspaces that are fully amenitized and designed with various work styles in mind.

For instance, The Office Group (TOG) has helped restore old buildings in order to create more modern workspaces for clients like Facebook and Dropbox.

TOG has partnered with Stockholm-based firm Note Design Studio to transform the 47,000 square foot Douglas House in London into a multifaceted environment.

Credit: Douglas House

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