To make your space a hybrid work go-to, consider these six factors.
The new year will hold vast new opportunity for coworking spaces. Employees are pushing back against the traditional office — studies show the majority would rather quit their jobs than go back to their old office for 40 hours a week — but they still need places to connect, to be productive, and to build community. That’s where you come in.
Your space can be an upgrade to the home office, giving hybrid workers a better place to get work done, with all the natural light, plants, networking opportunities and heads-down focus space they would not get at home. It can also offer proximity to other handy services nearby—from post offices to healthcare and gyms, which are often amenities at corporate HQs.
But competing goes beyond just having kombucha in the fridge. Here are six things to consider if you want to expand your clientele to encompass the enterprise workforce as their employers shift to flex and hybrid work.
1. Combine the best of the HQ and the best of the home office.
Spaces that can bridge the best of residential and the commercial will become a go-to for these freshly untethered workers as they devise their own custom-tailored “future of work” arrangement.
Your ambiance and accessible conveniences — ergonomic chairs, standing desks, a well-designed, fully equipped kitchen, fresh air, natural light, even great views — may trump even their optimized home-office set-up. Then, look at how you stand up to the convenience of the traditional office: everything from fast WiFi and state-of-the-art A/V to access to mail services, quietude and privacy, and access to IT help that some office workers may be used to.
2. Is your space — and your wifi network — secure?
Coworking spaces are traditionally seen as creative environments for independent workers, freelancers, and startups. But there’s a whole new opportunity blooming in hybrid work hubs — and that comes with a new set of priorities.
We’re not talking about just sole proprietorships, hip boutique agencies, and upstart tech firms anymore. Big companies around the world — from Facebook to Schneider Electric — are seeking satellite offices (“spokes” to their main hub, if they even keep their main hub at all) more conveniently located for clusters of their employees. Those spokes could overlap with your coworking space — but operators must prove that they can satisfy the strict security requirements of these global enterprises.
This includes everything from maintaining secure networks that prevent hackers from accessing employee computers — this could involve unique WiFi access credentials for each user, and other measures — to 24/7 security and access credentials to get into the space.
These are concerns that many space operators have never before needed to deeply consider. To make their space a go-to for hybrid workers, an operator must rise to meet large employers’ security requirements, including IT.
Global companies are constantly keeping an eye on things like global data privacy compliance — under data privacy laws like the GDPR. If companies violate these laws, it could cost them millions of dollars in fines, and their caution needs to extend to the vendors they work with.
4. Where do you stand on ADA compliance and accessibility?
To compete for new business, your space should be accessible to everyone — including people with disabilities.
Spaces are working to ensure they can provide wheelchair access, handrails and other mobility features for parking, entrances, restrooms and meeting rooms. However, mobility isn’t the only issue to consider. There are also ways your space could be accommodating people with vision impairments, hearing impairments and neurodiversity, from clear signage to decluttering your space.
If your coworking space doesn’t meet your country’s accessibility standards, it could get you in hot water with regulators.
5. How flexible are your hours?
Flexibility is another selling point of the work-from-home option. Emphasize your space’s hours and accessibility as tools for workers to take full advantage of workday flexibility.
6. Are you offering a variety of space types?
Global teams with hybrid workplace policies have diverse space needs, from individual workers in markets around the globe who need desks on the fly, to whole teams or even whole companies booking meeting rooms and private space for off-sites that may be span hours, days or weeks. Are you offering enough variety to tick all their boxes?
On Upflex, Space Partners have flexibility, too. You can list the inventory you choose — from hot desks, to meeting rooms, to private spaces for short- or long-term flexible booking. Take advantage of your ability to mix it up, and offer new users choice.