Office spaces have been places to look out for over the past few decades. As our ideas of and envisioning of a white-collar worker have shifted into a well-groomed individual with a suit and tie walking with polished black shoes and a briefcase to work where they sit down in their private room or cubicle, open up their computer and proceed to work 8+ hours, office spaces have become the natural place for a “respected” individual to work. You may take that word with a grain of salt. Although this has been people’s vision for decades, attitudes and perceptions change, they are in constant change alongside our society and recently our society has undergone a shift unlike any other we’ve seen in quite some time.
The novel coronavirus originating in late 2019 which has spread around the world and infected tens of millions have rattled both livelihoods, economies, and lifestyles across the world. Repeated lockdowns of industries, physical distancing regulations and massive government spending alongside equally massive employment have left some people in a state of panic. This panic, while understandable, is certainly not conducive to getting anything done and seeing the problem is only the first step to solving it.
Life must go on, work needs to be done, people housed and families taken care of. The question now though is, how? Many who have become accustomed to the traditional regime of waking up, sipping a coffee, driving to work, working 8-10hrs, driving back and coming home at around 6-8pm and repeating the cycle. For many however, this isn’t quite feasible anymore. Remote employment has taken over as businesses have tried to shore up expenses and maximize efficiency by sending workers home and not spending money on rent when work can be done online. The question has now become, why have traditional office spaces in the first place? Here’s why.
- Supervision:Perhaps you’re a manager and you don’t trust your workers to be as productive as they can be when they’re working in the office space. Regardless of their motivation for work ethic, being in the office allows for frequent staff meetings and checkups on progress to ensure that everything is on track.
This same level of transparency is limited when separated by 2 computer screens as Internet delays and glitches and missed phone calls and texts get in the way of frequent communication if for instance you need an answer to a question right this second yet the recipient may only send back an email in 3 hours.
- Community Atmosphere: The interesting thing about humans is that we love to think of ourselves as individuals, as free-spirited beings that think whatever we want to think and do whatever we want to do. The only thing is that we still operate great in structured groups.
No matter how individualistic we are, we are made to work together. That is why people come into study halls, gyms and community marathons. When we see others doing something with passion, vigour and motivation, it makes us want to do the same. Having a specific place where our mind is focused on work since everyone else is too is a powerful mental tool. It allows us to concentrate more, eliminate distractions more than we ever before could have thought possible.
- Creativity and Idea Generation: Working in a group doesn’t just mean higher productivity but also makes it easier to collaborate on projects and have meetings where people can share their ideas in informative discussions. These discussions in turn may perhaps plant the seeds in someone else to build on that idea and create something even more grand.
The biggest innovations started off small and gradually as piece by piece came together in the innovator’s head, an idea started to form that only could have formed from external influence. In short, working as a team exponentially increases the brainpower and idea generation possible.
- Costs: This is probably the easiest one to pinpoint and also the most glaring. Obviously not having an office space, regardless of whether or not it is an independent building or in a condominium complex will be more affordable.
Office space and real estate in general has been becoming far more of a problem and now with the real estate market soaring in the GTA, many potential buyers are being scared away by the ever-growing price tags. These price tags grow ever larger the closer you go to the city centre and yet at the same time, you need that location to show off your prestige to attract your clientele.
- Safety Risks: COVID has inevitably made working in close proximity with a large group of people outside of your immediate family for an extended period of time a very dangerous and sometimes even criminal proposition.
As regulations for physical distancing constantly shift from only being allowed to be in a group of 5,10, 25 or 50 people in indoor spaces, finding the appropriate office space, if any, is a major challenge. Small space offices offer a more affordable solution but allow little room for expansion. Ones with larger areas are more expensive and plan for the future but will remain unused so long as COVID rampages through our communities.
- Worker Morale and Productivity: This may in fact be contrary to what was previously stated when it comes to the benefits of working in an office space is increased productivity. However, I ask you to hear me out. A study in the Journal of Economic Behaviour and Organization found that dull tasks, ones that were repetitive in nature were performed more efficiently in office settings whilst more thought-intensive tasks were performed better while at home.
This is to say that when workers feel like they have the freedom and flexibility they need in their lives, they can produce. It also wouldn’t hurt working from home considering according to a new survey by Owl Labs and Global Workplace Analytics, 80% of U.S employees expect to work remotely at least three times a week post-pandemic.
Office space is a concept that is more up in the air now than ever before. Regardless of your decision, the fact that there are always alternatives should not be forgotten. There is never a single way to go about solving a problem. For instance, office space in condominiums is nice, but have you ever considered virtual office spaces or co-working spaces? If not, go out there and see what each has to offer and decide on what works best for you. To learn more, visit https://www.agileoffices.ca/ today!