The outbreak of the global health pandemic forced millions of workers to change the office space with the (dis)comfort of their homes. 2020 created lasting transformations in the way we work and operate businesses. Read on to learn why the future is flexible in 2021 and beyond.
Hybrid work will define the workspace
“Employees want the best of both worlds: over 70 percent of workers want flexible remote work options to continue, while over 65 percent are craving more in-person time with their teams,” according to comprehensive research conducted by Microsoft.
2021 Work Trend Index studied more than 30,000 people in 31 countries and analyzed trillions of productivity and labor signals across Microsoft 365 and LinkedIn.
“The data is clear: extreme flexibility and hybrid work will define the post-pandemic workplace.”
“Over the past year, no area has undergone more rapid transformation than the way we work. Employee expectations are changing, and we will need to define productivity much more broadly — inclusive of collaboration, learning, and wellbeing to drive career advancement for every worker,” comments Satya Nadella, CEO at Microsoft. In fact, the company evolved its own hybrid work strategy for its over 160,000+ employees around the world.
Capital’s survey among Bulgarian workers echoes the global tendencies. The results show that 79.9% of the respondents prefer a flexible and hybrid model of work, where they can work both from home and in the office space.
The hybrid work model is clearly winning over 100% work from home or the office. Why? It allows employees more flexibility in how to fit work around the rest of their lives. If executed right, hybrid work might provide the best of both worlds (distance and office work) – structure and sociability, independence, and more flexible time management.
Flexible offices for hybrid workers
What about the physical office? Is it here to stay?
Current research shows that office spaces are here to stay but they will be more flexible and fluid.
Company policies are evolving to reflect these trends – for example, an individual might work from the office some of the time, and then spend the remaining 30 percent of her or his work week working from home, for example.
Physical office presence is also essential for orientations, onboarding, team-buildings, and project kick-offs, but not necessarily for some types of more focused work, which doesn’t require a lot of collaboration.
In turn, this would mean that companies will require more flexible office solutions, which are tailored to their evolving needs and allow them to easily add or remove space (which we provide with our modular move-in-ready workspaces).
Also, there’s a huge difference between more traditional 5+ year leases and flexible termed and month-to-month workspace contracts. At the Campus, for example, our longest contract is 36 months (fully flexible and with added discounts) and we also have extremely flexible month-to-month plans, which can be terminated any time.
Additionally, Campus X's Flex Drop-In office solution requires no contract or hassle and allows workers to simply send a form, walk in and start enjoying our inspiring and safe workspaces for a day, two, or a couple of weeks.
Workspaces facilitating what digital can’t
Technology has evolved greatly to empower businesses and even more so during the pandemic and the rise of remote work. Yet, it has some shortcomings as it struggles to facilitate meaningful social connection, innovation, and productivity.
Social interaction: the physical office matters
Research into onsite office/remote work shows that global workers still need the physical workspace for meaningful collaboration and social connection as technology is not able to replicate the richness of in-person interaction.
At Campus X, we have surveyed our members and conversed on what they missed the most, as they stood confined to their homes during the initial lockdowns. We got the same answer repeatedly: the meaningful interaction with like-minded professionals was missed the most.
“I know from first-hand experience that working remotely (only from home) can get really, really lonely. This is why an authentic, real-life social connection with a community of like-minded people is extremely important for me,” comments Tina Kesova, Marketing Director at Codeable, and a Campus X member.
How flexibility and coworking power innovation
Collaboration trends in Microsoft Teams and Outlook showed that interactions in workers’ immediate teams, or close networks, strengthened with the move to remote work. Nevertheless, interactions outside of the team, or distant networks, have severely diminished.
But why is that a problem?
“When you lose connections, you stop innovating. It’s harder for new ideas to get in and groupthink becomes a serious possibility,” explains Dr. Nancy Baym, Senior Principal Researcher at Microsoft.
Thankfully, studies show hybrid work models and coworking can help revive and expand networks at work.
Also, here at Campus X, we’re firm believers in the power of flexibility combined with a carefully curated coworking community. The companies who innovate under our roof can even go a step further – outside of their teams and collaborate with a community of fellow innovators, who are willing to exchange know-how and ideas.
“Having access to smart like-minded professionals, who are always ready to help is invaluable.
For example, I recently ran a project through a fellow Campus X member. Her feedback was unbiased and constructive, helping us to get a fresh perspective and see the big picture. This is the power of community in action,” comments Angelina Markova – a member of the Campus X coworking community, who’s in charge of the consulting services company Intelligence in Consulting.“
Being part of a larger coworking community allows companies and their teams to expand their horizons, get a fresh perspective, and form valuable collaborations.
Another Campus X member and a CEO of the sports streaming platform FITE, Kosta Jordanov, says:
“The proximity to like-minded professionals and industry experts creates constant opportunities for exchange of ideas with people, facing similar challenges.
For example, we work very closely with the Campus X member and a digital marketing partner VertoDigital. Among other things, their ideas are behind some of the search automation projects we realized that allowed us to greatly scale our campaigns.”
FITE has recently become the top-grossing app in the world across all categories and got acquired in one of the biggest exits for the local ecosystem.
Flexible work is the way forward
In a year like no other, we’ve shifted our mindset regarding the way we work. To attract and retain the best talent and keep growing their businesses, organizations would need to empathize with their teams’ unique and evolving needs.
The recent trends show that organizations and workers are willing to embrace and benefit from flexible and hybrid work models.
Need a flexible office, where everything is taken care of? Benefit from our modular serviced offices, enterprise-grade services, unparalleled safety measures, and tight-knit coworking community. Join us now.