Flexibility and the demand for work-life balance are beginning to influence the choice of coworking spaces. More people are demanding flexible work hours and additional services in the workplace. A large number of companies are already using coworking and serviced workspaces as a way to motivate employees and give them options on where to work from. In 2016, there were reported cases of work-life integration in workspace locations across the world. This trend is however expected to be a major determinant that will shape workspace patronage and user experience for cowork users and operators this year.
In 2017, workplace trends will be influenced to a certain degree by workplace flexibility. As organisations and workers become more versatile and comfortable with alternative ways of working together with upwardly mobile workspace solutions, the shift most likely to be seen this year is how flexibility will drive productivity in the workplace.
With more workers and companies plug into using serviced workspaces, operators will need to make sure that their workspaces are matching with current trends, value delivery and meeting up with user expectations. For example, people who have used Lagos Cowork can attest to the fact that it has been designed to reflect its millennial work setting status.
Below are some workplace trends heavily influence workspace usage in 2017.
The term “coworking” was coined in the 1990’s by American author Bernard DeKoven.”Coworking evolved when the home office proved to be an insufficient space for freelancers seeking collaboration with like-minded, independent people. Since then, there has been a rise in coworking. In 2012 there were with an estimated 200,000 people using co-working spaces set up by independent providers such as WeWork.
In 2017 corporate coworking will continue to grow and become a work culture among companies of all sizes across the globe giving workers the flexibility and opportunity to choose where they get their work done. Corporate coworking goes along the lines of individuals and institutions that encourage and want to explore collaboration to achieve their goals. Companies, that have studied the current work trend want their employees to mix and mingle across departments and create a genuine and strong workplace culture.
For workspace operators, increase in corporate coworking is definitely an opportunity to expand service offerings and redesign their current workspace. In order to attract multinationals, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and angel investors, there is the need for workspace expansion to give welcome large and small teams, giving them ample space to work from. For this year, conventional workspace won’t cut it anymore; operators have to move a notch higher than the usual as users will definitely demand something bespoke to suit their work style and culture.
Wellness and flexibility
Wellness and work-life balance in the workplace are beginning to shape workspace design as well its culture. With more flexibility around schedules, the concept of work-life balance has transformed itself into that of work-life integration. Many companies and workspaces will have to embrace wellness in their workspace design, operations, and day-to-day activities.
In Lagos, some workspaces now offer games, recreational facilities and a gym while others are starting to use design as a way to encourage physical activity during workdays. This also comes with healthy and wholesome snacks in some workspaces, as well as the infusion of green life and natural light in their environment.
According to a recent survey “millennials at work “ by PWC, respondents said career development and work-life balance are more important than financial reward meaning as much as people would like to work, they still-still some space to unwind.
Focusing on wellness and health packages contributes to members’ well-being. With the current trend in coworking, incorporating wellness into work will be one major factor that will attract and retain large and small clients.
Collaboration has been linked to innovation and creativity, two critical areas that are essential for any organisation and product to be successful and sustainable. Organisations using coworking spaces have seen the value of collaboration and are they finding ways by to drive and encourage collaboration and extend their value chain across startups and entrepreneurs.
To tap into this opportunity, there is need to make sure that the workspace environment is conducive and receptive collaboration and create sustainable areas where co-workers can collaborate on projects and ideas. In 2017, the demand for a collaborative environment will drive many entrepreneurs and startup founders into the open arms of cowork spaces that have created events, activities and master classes to engage collaborators.
Technology has caused an innovative disruption in all areas of human existence. One of the factors that will really impact the coworking space is the ease of integrated technology. Developing and implementing cutting-edge technological solutions that will make the workspace more efficient and comfortable for the end-user is key to retaining co-workers in a cowork space. In a report by PWC, 41% millennials said they would rather communicate electronically than face-to-face or over the telephone.
Integrating technology into workspace management doesn’t have to be too ‘techie’ or sophisticated. It could be as simple as a mobile technology that helps with security and controlling access, or it could be incorporating sensor data into the workspace.
Even having members register, book and pay online will facilitate service delivery for the coworking space.The important issue is to be able to find ways to make the workspace more efficient to keep up with the changing pace and face of tech innovations and solutions.