Remember working from the office, back before things changed forever?
Back when you could simply pop in to ask someone a quick question and meetings were in person. There were "watercooler chats", new faces and friendly introductions, and opportunities to grab a bite with your peers. The spontaneity of it all injected a type of energy into the workday and made conversations more interesting, whether the topic of discussion was work-related, personal, or something entirely random.
Tomorrow's workplaces look far different from what we were traditionally used to, and one growing trend that workplace leaders are paying close attention to is the implementation of shared office space.
When companies first signed on for a fully remote work model, it was out of necessity.
What started out as a gradual shift in the theory of workplace management accelerated pretty rapidly once the pandemic hit. Now, this shift in thinking has turned how we think about the office on its head.
Many business leaders didn't have any inkling a work-from-home model would be as successful as it's proven over the course of the pandemic. There were so many unknowns. Would there be a lack of accountability? How will it impact operations? Will employee engagement suffer?
Now that employers know productivity doesn't revolve around physical presence, it's clear that the real value of office-based work isn't what it was once thought to be.
Sure, working remotely is great in terms of convenience and flexibility. But here's where the benefits of shared office space win out: After a long time away, people have an appetite for connection. They want interactions that are meaningful, for the kind of experiences that aren't possible outside of the workplace.
There are some experiences that are only possible from the workplace. And a great workplace experience strategy helps reduce turnover. Even with advancements in technology and a growing number of solutions aimed at recreating those unique in-person interactions within a virtual environment, it just isn't quite the same as working together in a shared office space.
Here, we're covering different areas of the workplace that stand to benefit from shared office space. Plus, we've included simple ways you can make shared office space work best for everyone in your organization.
Jumping back to the times prior to Covid, think back to the full experience of working in a shared office space. What sets a shared office space apart from remote work?
How can you help get employees excited about your return? What people really miss about being at work is the energy. It's the buzz of shared office space that draws people in and generates excitement.
As you start planning your return to the office, consider the lessons we've learned in the aftermath of the pandemic. Prior to COVID-19, things that seemed insignificant at the time — something as simple as looking someone in the eye and saying hello — can seem pretty special now.
It wasn't just about shared office space — people shared smiles as they walked by each other in the hallways, they exchanged pleasantries and jokes, and asked each other about their weekends. Employees want their workplace experience to include the best parts of working together — such as sharing ideas and getting advice, asking for guidance and passing along tips and best practices.
Creating shared office space should coincide with moving toward a more hybrid approach to working. When combined, the workplace shines as a place employees can go to experience a vast array of approaches, skillsets, perspectives, and ways of working. Sharing office space with other teams and departments gives everyone the opportunity to work together more easily.
What shared office space offered was more opportunities to grow and develop professionally, to learn through our connection with others, and to get "outside of the box".
Striking the right balance between freedom and security is a difficult challenge. Employees today expect higher levels of flexibility and more control over where and when they work, which could make it difficult for people to know who's working in the office at what time and which spaces will be available for them.
One way to get full visibility into the availability of desks and rooms is with space booking software that integrates with occupancy sensors. Occupancy sensors provide real-time data showing employees which spaces are empty and which are available.
With a system that connects to your company calendar, like Teem's space booking tool does, booking spaces is even easier because the reservation information syncs with their schedule without having to add the details manually.
So if you need a quiet room for a call with a client, or need to find a desk near your next meeting to finish up a last-minute project or a presentation, having an easy-to-use tool with real-time usage information that syncs with the tools they already use is a simple and modern way to put the power directly in the hands of your workforce.
Flexible work looks a little different depending on where you are. No matter where your office is located, one thing doesn't change: Whether you're considering shared office space for teams within your company, or different companies entirely, planning to effectively manage your shared office space is an important key to success.
Because flexible work brings a heightened level of fluctuation that can make the workplace difficult to manage, it's important for companies to anticipate how many people are going to be in the office at any given time and how their space is being used.
Cost-savings and efficient operations are a huge priority for business leaders today, which is why so many are considering implementing a shared office space strategy as a way to reduce expeces and cut down on wasted space and resources.
As employees book desks and reserve conference rooms, your space booking system collects that information. But without a way to leverage your workplace data, you can't optimize your space. Thankfully, solutions such as Teem's space booking software allow you to gain valuable insight from the information it collects, all from dashboards and reports that are customizable and easy to digest.
One of the most prevalent problems with shared office space is scheduling out meeting rooms.
Without information that flows between your scheduling tool and your space booking system, it’s nearly impossible to keep the conference room schedule straight — or make sure you're looking at the most up-to-date information.
However, with the right solution in place, you can easily track and report conference room availability in real-time. Look at the bigger picture and provide answers to questions like “How many meetings go unattended?” and “How many hours a day are rooms being used?” Get custom reports for a better idea of how individual rooms or entire campuses are being utilized.
Issues, such as a high number of meeting cancellations, ghost meetings, or misalignment between available space and meeting needs can be addressed in less time, without relying on guess work. This streamlined process helps track the most important metrics to optimize your shared office space so everyone can truly enjoy using the workplace.
Shared office space benefits many areas of the business, some of which can really impact the bottom-line. The biggest benefits of shared office space, however, have more to do with the meeting of minds that drives innovation.
But it also presents a few operational and management challenges.
Whether you’re a startup or a long-standing company in your industry, shared office space benefits are easier to realize when you implement the right workplace technology.
Space booking software really shines in scenarios like needing to largely utilize an open workspace concept, while giving partners dedicated office space. One way to create a unique work environment is to maximize the use of private space as share office space.
There are a few things that you can do to make this arrangement unique in terms of your office configurations. For example, you can add Teem's conference room displays to every dedicated office and set it up so that when a partner is away from the room, it will revert to being an open, bookable space.
When you get your strategy right, you can push past the limitations of traditional work models to realize the full potential of an environment where great ideas are sparked, departments collaborate often, and success is a collective achievement.
With these suggestions, and Teem's space booking software, you can take in all the best that shared office space has to offer, from reimagining the workplace to regaining a sense of understanding as you navigate all the changes up ahead.
Don't forget to keep an eye out for employee burnout! For tips on how to recognize the signs and strategies to help overcome employee burnout, download our new e-book.