Hybrid work was once an exotic term.
A mysterious perk, available at startups and tech companies.
But in these post-pandemic times, it seems like it’s turned into the norm. The now and the future of work.
And that’s good for the flex space industry as hybrid work is about to drive more business for it.
To answer the question “How?”, we invited our friends at Deskpass, a platform that offers as-needed access to an ever-growing network of professionally managed workspaces.
By working with thousands of spaces worldwide they’ve been closely observing the current dynamics and have valuable insights to share.
Find them below.
Written by Megan Eileen McDonough, Community Director at Deskpass
The past year was tough on nearly every industry, and coworking is no exception. The good news is that with more companies supporting a flexible work arrangement, things are looking up.
As with any change, it’s important to stay ahead of the curve and brace for impact. For workspace operators, finding new audiences is key.
We’ve outlined four ways that hybrid work can increase business for your coworking space, as well as tips for getting eyes on your product.
While initially, you might have seen a drop-off in active members at your coworking space, there is already an uptick in companies allowing for longer-term remote work.
According to a recent study, 64-percent of employees are willing to pay for access to office space to support hybrid work. Furthermore, 75-percent of employees would give up at least one benefit or perk for the freedom to choose their work environment. The desire to choose was the biggest trend reported, with 95-percent of those surveyed wanting some level of control over how, where and when they work.
Fortunately, companies are willing to hand over that control. Remote workers are being offered stipends from their company to use towards coworking. We’ve heard from our partner spaces that companies are providing stipends starting at around $200 per month to be spent on day passes and up to $500 per month to go toward dedicated desks or small offices. Coworking spaces should prepare for those employees and focus on attracting them (more on that later).
Joining a network like Deskpass is a great first step to being seen. To take it a step further, you really want to make sure your coworking space offers unique experience others in your area don’t.
Deskpass makes this easy, with filters like Women-Owned, BIPOC-Owned, Mother’s Room, Standing Desks and Outdoor Space to select and display on your profile (find more about the benefits of Deskpass at the end of this article).
We recently rounded up three ways coworking spaces can prepare for the wave of remote workers, because ready or not, here they come! Similar to Dropbox, many companies are going ‘virtual first’, meaning that they are allowing employees to work from home or a workspace of their choosing.
For coworking spaces, this means that larger companies may start using your space as well.
One way to appeal to companies in your area is to reach out directly and ask if they are trying to solve for remote work. You might also want to update your marketing messaging to better appeal to these companies. Redesigning your space to meet the needs of new coworking members and potentially turning large offices into brainstorming/training rooms are other practice steps you can take to meet this demand.
Keyless entry is another big selling point, especially with a majority of remote workers wanting 24/7 access to work during their most productive hours. Spaces are looking at new ways to provide a seamless experience where members can easily enter the building, unlock specific offices and open a laptop to get to work.
A good starting point here is to think about all the different touch-points a person has when accessing and using your space. Are there ways to make this experience better and more seamless?
Lastly, consider flexibility. If there’s one common thread we’re seeing, it’s that workers want flexibility and a lot of it. For many companies, that might mean monthly leases instead of longer terms, renting private offices for the day, or getting creative with new part-time memberships.
On Deskpass, we’ve noticed a huge increase in demand for private offices for the day or week and the ability to have employees visit multiple coworking spaces less than 5 miles away from their house.
One of the biggest advantages of supporting a hybrid work model is an increase and openness for diversity. Hybrid work helps companies recruit top talent, and keep them happy. It also means that talent is everywhere, even halfway around the world.
Location bias is also less divisible, as many of the most desirable companies to work for have offices in expensive and unaffordable markets. Switching to a hybrid work model instantly widens your talent pool to different locations, economic backgrounds, cultures and skill sets.
With a goal of diversifying your team comes other benefits such as cultivating new ideas and embracing other cultures. As Bame in Property points out, diversity in people equals diversity in through. When working with people from different backgrounds, one gains perspective around different working environments and cultural ethos.
As a coworking space, prioritizing diversity is one way to attract new members and get them excited about joining a thriving and supportive community.
Hybrid work opens the doors to coworking spaces for larger companies. When a company becomes familiar with a space, they are better able to imagine that space in their team’s future. Switching to coworking might be gradual before it becomes a more permanent solution. The first step is getting those decision makers through your doors.
Joining a network like Deskpass gives you instant access to hundreds of coworkers in your city. Deskpass is a Work From Anywhere solution for companies with remote or distributed teams. Through their network of thousands of workspaces across the US and now Sydney, they provide on-demand desks, meeting rooms and private offices by the hour, day, week and month.
Deskpass connects your coworking space with people looking for a place to work. There are three different types of Deskpass members: those who day-hop, those who work from companies with a remote and/or hybrid work model and teams who are looking for in-person meeting rooms or private offices.
Instead of paying extra to advertise your space to potential coworkers, listing your space on the Deskpass network is free and ensures that workers in your area can easily reserve a hotdesk, meeting room or private office. As a space on the network, you get paid for every reservation made through the Deskpass network.
Coworking space owners on the Deskpass network report brand awareness, more members and the ability to show off the product to prospective clients as reasons for joining. It can also convert members. As one space manager explains, “Deskpass has positively impacted our operations by bringing in a variety of potential members to try out our space. They see the value we offer to our members and then convert to our platform.”
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