The mood within the office industry has slightly lightened. Now that society has the tools to live alongside Covid-19, companies have started to bring employees back into the workspace.
While some have committed to full-time remote work for many staffers, many are taking a hybrid approach to their office returns and allowing workers to come into the office throughout the week.
However, this return isn’t so simple, as pointed out by IWG CEO Mark Dixon, who stated that offices will need to set themselves apart in order for workers to actually want to return.
Some corporations have already addressed this by updating their office design to encourage collaboration and innovation among employees.
For instance, Google created its “Team Pods” that start off as a blank canvas and can be designed based on a team’s unique needs. Creating such environments offers variety to the office, making it more enticing for workers to come in.
Dixon believes that even full-time remote workers won’t continue to view this arrangement as “remotopia” as the lack of work-life boundaries and home-related distractions begin to weigh on professionals.
Still, workers in the suburbs are still unlikely to pick up their long commutes again and would rather deal with the obstacles of working from home.
As a result, Dixon predicts that suburban offices will play a larger role in companies’ office plans.
IWG, which owns Regus and Spaces, is betting on this shift, recently announcing that it would expand its suburban flexible office footprint by 1,000 locations.
“In the wake of the global pandemic, the world of work has undergone a wholesale evolution,” said Dixon. “While employees have wanted the ability to work remotely in recent years, many still want to return to an office environment, at least part of the time.”