The city of Boston is known as a leader in education, technology, real estate, and of course, marathon running — and the team at Boston Magazine is dedicated to holistically capturing their beloved city from every angle. Whether it’s a Q&A with Beth Israel Lahey Health President and CEO, Kevin Tabb or discovering the best urban hiking spots close to home, the staff at Boston Magazine have worked tirelessly over the last few years (and since the company was founded in 1971) to deliver investigative reporting, transparent profile pieces, insightful features, stunning photography, and eye-catching design to the people of Boston.
As Boston Magazine continues to prove they deserve a seat at the table (they were named among the three best city magazines in the nation once more by the City and Regional Magazine Association in 2022), the road has been far from easy, especially in light of the challenges brought on by the pandemic, which put them without a central office due to unprecedented stay-at-home orders.
This left Boston Magazine in desperate need of a multifunctional space that could support everyone from executives who required quiet spaces for meetings to team members in need of more face time with their managers, and younger employees who simply wanted a break from the humdrum of work from home (WFH) life.
Zapped of energy and feeling unproductive, the staff at Boston Magazine had nowhere left to turn — cue Workbar’s TeamShare offers convenient locations throughout Greater Boston and functional, collaborative workspaces.
Finding a Workplace that Meets Everyone's Needs
While writing and publishing may seem like an isolated field on the surface, the reality couldn't be farther from the truth, as Eric Benjamin, National Account Director at Boston Magazine, recounts his frustrations with his previous work environment, stating, "[My] work environment was 100% WFH with only digital connectivity between team members. [This was] not an optimal situation for a job that requires frequent short chats on topics pertaining to specific clients, and certainly not one that encourages camaraderie," he explains, "there is no substitute for physical proximity to the people you work with."
There is no substitute for physical proximity to the people you work with."
~ Eric Benjamin
Eric Benjamin isn’t alone in his sentiments either as a study published in Nature Human Behavior analyzed Microsoft’s WFH policy during the pandemic and found that collaboration and communication became more siloed among remote workers, as synchronous communication stalled.
The study broke it down further, detailing that employees at Microsoft spent more of their collaboration time with their stronger established groups, and less time with weaker established connections, despite those weaker ties being more likely to pass on new information.
Kayleigh Schweiker, Integrated and Sales Marketing Coordinator at Boston Magazine, describes how her previous workspace conditions just weren’t cutting it, saying, "Living with three other roommates, I’m very glad to have the opportunity to work remotely from a co-working space. [...] I would say previous challenges included noisiness, distractions, and lack of natural light."
Living with three other roommates, I’m very glad to have the opportunity to work remotely from a co-working space."
~ Kayleigh Schweiker
The Holy Grail of Collaboration
As Workbar created a safe place for workers to return to in-office spaces with mandatory vaccination policies and superior standards of cleanliness in place, Boston Magazine staff felt comfortable resuming in-person meetings and used the spaces for different purposes along with its unique features.
Emily Geller, National Account Executive at Boston Magazine, described her experience, saying, "The workspace was quiet and spacious, and location-wise, it was great to have several options of places to go depending on where my meetings were and what aligned best."
The workspace was quiet and spacious, and location-wise, it was great to have several options of places to go depending on where my meetings were and what aligned best."
~ Emily Geller
One of the biggest advantages Workbar provided for the staff at Boston Magazine was the option to leave their home and commute to a designated workspace if they wanted to. Some days staff chose to WFH for convenience, but when running a meeting or desiring a break from staring at the same four walls, Workbar’s bright and upbeat spaces provided a necessary change of scenery.
The trend to have more options when it comes to workspaces continues to rise in America, as the Pew Research Center found in a nationally representative study of 10,237 U.S. adults that workers with jobs that can be done remotely are still choosing to go into the office.
Simply put, six in ten of these workers say a major reason they rarely or never work from home is that they prefer working at their workplace, and a similar share (61%) claim to be more productive at their workplace.
Staff members like Claire O’Brien, Account Manager at Boston Magazine, enjoy using Workbar because of the opportunities it provides, saying, "[...] I am now able to walk to the Back Bay location which is extremely convenient for me. The change of scenery has been great for my mental health. I also like that it gives me the ability to meet with my team when necessary or when being in person would be more beneficial than being on Zoom."
I Got 99 Problems but a Workspace Ain’t One
The distraction-free environment, spare chargers, private phone booths, and meeting spaces offered Boston Magazine staff the best of both worlds: collaboration for important projects and alone time for getting work done.
Other perks of the program include great Wi-fi, natural light, and delicious coffee — all of which help staff members to stay productive and energized throughout the day.
Claire O’Brien details her favorite aspects of the program, saying, "The meeting rooms and phone booths were great for taking my longer meetings, especially the ones that I was driving. I mostly enjoyed the main area where there was a little bit of office chatter, but overall maintained an ideal level of noise. I also enjoyed the kitchen area and all the amenities provided there throughout the day. Everyone who works there is very nice and helps to provide a clean and productive workspace."
Everyone who works there is very nice and helps to provide a clean and productive workspace."
~ Claire O'Brien
When it comes to the future of work, the landscape is changing, as a PwC Pulse Survey found that out of a base of 1,007 full-time and part-time employees, almost a fifth (19%) of all employees prefer to be fully remote and 22% prefer to be in the office most days with fewer than one day being remote, and others leaned toward a hybrid model.
Companies can look toward workplace solutions like TeamShare to cater to the wide range of tastes and preferences when it comes to the ideal work environment and what works best for each individual.