Many organizations are moving away from traditional assigned desks for each employee and adopting flexible workspace strategies, such as hot-desking or hoteling, where employees can use any available workspace on a first-come, first-served basis or by being able to reserve a space in advance. This shift is driven by a number of factors, including cost savings, increased collaboration, and the desire for more flexible and agile work environments.
In addition to hot-desking or hoteling, companies are also adopting other workplace solutions, such as activity-based working, which provides employees with a variety of workspaces that are designed for different types of work activities, from private work booths to collaboration areas. This approach allows employees to choose the most appropriate workspace for their needs, depending on the task at hand.
Overall, the trend towards flexible workspaces is expected to continue as more companies recognize the benefits of providing employees with more autonomy and flexibility in where and how they work. However, it is important for organizations to carefully plan and implement these strategies in order to ensure that they are effective and meet the needs of both employees and the business as a whole.
But what is next? I recommend organizations to enable the flexibility for emplyees to conduct work in the places they, the remote workers, feel the most productive. That could of course be in the traditional office or from the home office. However, I believe that organizations will need to arrange agreements with hotels, incubators or universities and similar institutions as well as coffee shops that are local to the employees instead of starting up their own offices in smaller towns.
Some benefits to have a wider pool of bookable resources include:
For the remote workers: that they are able to choose workplace, there is a saying in Swedish that goes “omväxling förnöjer” - sloppy translation is “change makes it better” and i believe this is true and rooted deep in human psychology.
For the employer organization: it will be a much higher level of flexibility that can scale up and down depending on need instead of having to move to a bigger/new office if the organization changes or expand to a new region.
For the local (to the remote worker) organizations that has an excess of potential workplaces which have low utilization rate like universities; it would increase the possibility for student/worker networking.
For coffee shops and hotel lobbies which has a lack of control of hourly rate reservation management systems; it would be possible to add a new revenue stream which is to let out spaces for rent for more money than just a one time purchase of a coffee/tea with included refill.