Remote Work is the New Normal
Working remotely, at this time more than ever, has become the ‘new normal’. Given the economic and behavioral changes facing our society today, both professionals and employers have opted to take a flexible approach when it comes to when and where to work.
While remote work has been a growing trend in the United States for the better part of two decades – since 2015 the number of remote workers in the country has increased by over 140% – it wasn’t until recently that it took the front seat as the preferred alternative for a very diverse workforce.
It is no longer just freelancers, entrepreneurs and small businesses looking for flexible remote workspace – today, companies of all sizes and all industries, based both locally and globally are engaging with remote work and see it as a solution – often the only viable solution – to remain productive and engaged with their employees.
If before the challenges brought by the pandemic professionals saw flexibility as a top priority when choosing an employer, currently, that trend has only become stronger. The battle for talent, more than ever, depends on a company’s ability and willingness to provide flexibility – and that, almost organically, translates into an evolution of the concept ‘the office’.
Working From Home vs. Working Remotely – Advantages of a Remote Office
While it has become clear that for most, working remotely is entirely possible, and in some cases, much better than working from a traditional office, we know that working from home very often isn’t.
Virtually everyone who had to swap their office desk for the living room sofa has shameful ‘working-from-home’ stories to share. From taking phone calls from the bathroom to avoid noise or housemates to having to sit out of important meetings due to poor internet connection, we have all struggled.
We finally understand the struggles of our friends and colleagues who have been working from home for years. Even for those with a dedicated workspace within the house and trustworthy wi-fi, the distractions, and responsibilities associated with being at home are more than enough to halt productivity. Moreover, many remote professionals agree that simply getting out of the house, clearing the mind, and changing the environment around them helps give structure to their day and enhances productivity.
Working parents, even more than other segments of the workforce, have had to adjust in order to find a balance between work and childcare. Apart from adding homeschooling or play dates to their daily to-do lists, many parents report that having to stay at home every day has also given them a new appreciation quality family time, which in turn, means they are working during unconventional hours or splitting their workload in a way that accommodates their loved ones’ needs. What it means for employers is an even stronger demand for flexibility.
Place To Work
With the current climate, it becomes naive to think that the traditional office as we remember it will remain a top choice when it comes to deciding where to work. As all employees have gotten a taste of what it is like to work remotely, more often they will demand flexibility from their companies. And this is where alternatives such as flexible remote workspace and coworking memberships become more and more attractive.
As many companies return to some kind of normality and recover from the impact of COVID-19, it has become a priority to give their employees access to flexible space where they can feel protected and cared for, yet work efficiently – today, we crave a space that as safe as home but as productive as the office.
While many companies might still have traditional offices, and this will be a suitable option for some of its staff, it is just simply not enough to satisfy the needs of all employees, at all times.
So, as cities lift some restrictions when it comes to gatherings and social interactions, and fewer are made to work from home, yet don’t feel comfortable going back to work in a full office, one that they often have to access via public transportation, remote workspaces offer the flexibility, safety, and amenities companies and companies are seeking.
Actually, your job can be done remotely
As most workers in the country, and the world, spent months with an effective ‘stay at home’ order, both employers and employees were forced to adjust to a new and unprecedented reality in order to survive.
Being forced to work from home for an extended period brought many lessons – perhaps the most crucial one for many professionals is the fact that the job they were often told they had come into the office to perform actually can be done remotely, and quite often, with increased efficiency and better results.
This realization will shape not only the demands of the workforce in the coming months and years, but will also turn into a wider variety of roles and contracts being advertised as remote, and a larger section of the workspace to move to a fully remote setting.
In fact, studies now tell us that between 5% and 15% of Americans worked remotely before the pandemic, yet as of now, at least half of those who were employed before then report working from home.
However, the fact that many tasks can successfully be done away from the office, workers, and companies realized after a few weeks of lockdown that home very often isn’t the best place to do them.
WELLNESS AT WORKBAR
The undeniable truth of today’s workspace, regardless of if is a coworking space, a traditional office or home space, is that safety is a top priority. As a leader in wellness in the workplace, the Workbar network includes the first and only WELL-certified coworking space in the world – Workbar Back Bay, a workspace meticulously designed to support the health and wellness of its occupants.
Through 2020, as professionals everywhere face new challenges to their wellbeing, Workbar’s leadership team and our remote work experts have worked to update our amenities and ensure that all of our locations meet the highest standards of safety.
Workbar’s remote workspaces are wellness-focused and boast unique features designed to improve the member experience and make sure professionals in our spaces feel safe and cared for.
Our wellness-focused offices and remote workspaces feature:
- Upgraded HVAC systems, cleanliness stations, thermal scanners, and desk dividers
- An improved space layout to allow for social distancing and visual reminders throughout workspaces that make it easier to keep your distance
- Reduced density in our spaces and an online tracker that allows members to know how many others are working from each location each day
- Constantly updated readiness plan that integrates local, state, and federal guidelines
In sum, in a world where we are both obligated and excited to give remote work a real chance, finding spaces that are conveniently located, offer the flexibility needed to fulfill diverse schedules and workloads and allow us to stay productive while keeping our health and peace of mind in the midst of the largest workplace transformation in decades has become crucial.
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Inspiring, flexible workspaces within 20 minutes from anywhere in Greater Boston.