The Future of Work and Why Coworking Offices Became the Unexpected Winners of COVID-19

April 27, 2022 Mihaela Lica Butler

Soon after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world experienced traumatic changes, and many of them affected our lifestyle, the workplace, healthcare, and all the major industries.

Suddenly, our living rooms, bedrooms, and kitchen became multi-functional spaces as we were forced to remain indoors because of lockdowns and new remote working arrangements.

When the restrictions eased, companies still looked for solutions to satisfy their employees' desire to work remotely. The coronavirus outbreak eventually spawned new working trends and the need for flexible or hybrid working spaces.

Although many workers are ready to return to their offices, many of them enjoyed the benefits of working remotely: spending time with their families, more flexibility in aligning working schedules with day-to-day tasks, and even increased productivity.

Businesses enjoyed the benefits of coworking spaces even before the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Increased productivity: eliminate the distractions of home offices (kids, pets) or busy corporate offices (too much foot traffic, calls, non-scheduled client walk-ins). Coworking spaces are ideal for entering a "work mode" and getting things done quicker.
  • Creativity: Coworking spaces are creative hubs where workers can exchange ideas with other workers from different industries, gaining new or fresh business perspectives.
  • Networking and collaborations: Just like they are conducive to creative thinking, coworking spaces allow workers to forge new relationships and partnerships with others from a similar field of business or others that can provide other services.
  • Hybrid work schedules: Coworking spaces are ideal for companies that intend to reduce the number of hours employees must be in the office to allow them time to work from home or other remote locations.
  • Flexible costs: By rending office space only when they need it, companies can save a lot in the long run. Many coworking spaces include extra perks like coffee, snacks, business mail, and more in their prices. For example, ROOMS by Fattal Hotels understand what the other salient benefits of shared workspaces are. In ROOMS you can rent a workstation by the hour and according to the most tailored needs for companies or freelancers. From a stylish and modern office to unique services just like room service and a vibrant community life.

Coworking spaces are not a fad:

  • there will be some 41,975 coworking spaces worldwide by the end of 2024, according to Statista;
  • the number of employees in coworking spaces is likely to double between 2021 and 2024, reaching five million.

Predictions could be wrong, sure, but there are already all kinds of resourceful coworking initiatives that give the trend legs. For example, you will find workspaces in hotels, supermarkets, cafes, and even apartment buildings. At the same time, you can expect industry giants to reduce their office space and partner with coworking startups that manage modern spaces with exceptional perks and services for their occupants.
On Book a Space, for example, you can already find a wide variety of workspaces, both formal, like a conference room in a hotel, and more alternative ones. The range offered on the site, together with the flexibility given to everyone to book a workspace or conference room at a time convenient to them, creates an excellent ecosystem of hybrid work in this new era.

With the new need for coworking spaces that support a modern, hybrid work environment, you can expect to see a wave of startups that help people find workspaces or companies to manage those spaces. And yes, Google is already leading the way with its hybrid approach to work.

In May 2021, Google announced a few changes to benefit employees. Among these:

  • a hybrid work week where Googlers would spend three days in the office and two days wherever they work best;
  • opportunities for Googlers to apply for completely remote work (away from your team or office) based on their role and team needs;
  • work-from-anywhere weeks allowing Googlers temporary work from a location other than their main office for up to 4 weeks per year to give them more flexibility around summer and holiday travel.

Google also launched Google Workspace: a set of business apps and tools to help companies navigate hybrid work or prepare for the future of work. In addition, in October 2021, the company conducted a survey that revealed that 75% of the survey respondents believe that hybrid work will be standard practice by 2024.

"The future of work is flexibility," said Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet.

Experts also believe that small, neighbourhood-based workspaces will sustain businesses in a broader way:

“Hotels combine destination services like coworking space with retail, coffee shops, and themed dining venues to attract visitors and locals alike,” according to the Harvard Business Review.

Based on these observations, we can conclude that the future of work is flexibility, innovation, adaptability, and collaboration.