Workspace after the Pandemic: What to expect

Goran Kalanj, CEO

Business

20.04.2020.

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It has been a month already since we started adapting to the new normal, that sort of looks and feels like Orwell's dystopian novel 1984.

This new pandemic has caused paralysis of many industries, canceled flights, complete disaster in tourist sector and mass quarantines.

On the bright side, it has proven that technology made it possible for many public services and businesses to continue their work. Moreover, it opened eyes to those whose jobs were more „tactile “, digitized them and in the end, helped them create a new incremental source of profit in the long run! We see these examples every day, small businesses like family farms shift their way of doing business to new distribution models and online marketplace, small restaurants partnering with food delivering platforms more than ever, etc. They might not even be aware of it, but they are certainly changing their strategy and shifting their business thinking to the world that awaits after this pandemic.

Now, many companies had to feed the need for home office as there were no other options. As millions of people are now working home based, it is hard not to ask ourselves; Is this the end of the workspace we knew?

Moreover, what can we expect after the pandemic is over?

1. Remote working will work if clear guidelines are implemented

According to Global Workspace Analytics, there has been increased demand for working from home and it seems that, with Pandemic taking place, employees have come to see the light at the end of the tunnel. There has been a lot of scepticism, mainly coming from the top management, but was forced to vanish due to the new situation. This also caused many employers to invest in technology, such as for example video conferencing as well as new equipment. However, to keep this new remote work productive, companies need to create a clear set of guidelines to make the work hours productive and efficient. At Serengeti, we practiced distributed teams even prior to Pandemic and we have established a system that manages and rewards teams that are not under the same roof.

2. Demand for office space might go down

Think of it this way: If you were a business owner, and you see that things can function remotely, why bother and build up your costs on office space rent?

3. Open space design might need to change

For people to feel safe at their workplace, companies will need to re-do the office plan. For years, open space office has been practiced. Prior to open space, companies had regular offices or at least cubicles where employees were separated from each other. At Serengeti we practice the traditional office, however wearing a modern uniform.

4. Coworking spaces will have to adjust

Before COVID-19 crisis, many companies were taking advantage of this flexible approach vs long term leases. Currently there might be a decreased demand for their services. However, thinking of the uncertainty that has been infused in our lives more than ever, it sounds logic to think that the demand for coworking spaces might go up, because of their flexible leasing terms that go hand in hand with rapid changes of companies' needs. Just like regular offices, there will be more dividers and cubicles imposed in order to keep the office space safe. Not to mention increased cleaning and hygiene.

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