There’s been an ongoing debate as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides between executives and employees about how to handle work flexibility going forward. A lot of businesses are requesting, or at least encouraging, employees to return to the office by a certain date. Meanwhile, a number of workers who have become accustomed to the flexibility remote work provides want to continue to operate out of their homes. Or at the very least want their company to adopt a hybrid model.
Meanwhile, coworking space providers are counting on the employees who are permitted to keep working from home will eventually need a change of scenery—but not their office. They don’t want to deal with a long commute, but also wouldn’t mind working somewhere with a stronger Internet connection and less distractions than what they encounter at home.
It turns out there are solutions for employees who need a break from their house but aren’t interested in taking that break at their office. Forbes recently spoke with several established and startup real estate companies about their plans for the future of work and how they’re shaking up the real estate industry.
The International Workplace Group owns the Regus brand and other co-working enterprises. The company provides workers with professionals that help manage everything they’d get at their traditional office, desk, chairs, technology, etc. so they can just focus on their work.
Regus founder Mark Dixon remains confident in the future of the co-working industry. He believes there are millions of people that want a professional setting to go to without a long commute into a city. Additionally, less commuters helps the environment by decreasing carbon emissions. Coworking spaces also free businesses from traditional long-term leases and renting office space they don’t need.
“In the wake of the global pandemic, the world of work has undergone a wholesale evolution,” Dixon told Forbes. “While employees have wanted the ability to work remotely in recent years, many still want to return to an office environment at least part of the time.”
Daybase plans to lease approximately 5,000 square feet of office space in retail shopping centers, malls and downtown areas of suburban neighborhoods, Forbes reports. The company’s goal is to provide co-working spaces close to where people live. Office spaces come with furnished offices and concierge support for customers’ technology software and operational needs.
“The pandemic completely upended work routines and, with that, the expectations of the workforce,” Daybase CEO Joel Steinhaus told Forbes. “For companies, being competitive for talent in a post-pandemic world boils down to one clear takeaway: there is no full return to normal. Normal has changed. The work environment and work schedule companies offer is the next frontier upon which the coming talent war will be waged.”
“It’s time for a completely new model—one that creates a seamless hybrid work experience and empowers people to work closer to home in the way that best suits their roles, their skills, their schedules and their lives,” add Daybase COO Doug Chambers.
KettleSpace was founded in 2016 and offers workspaces close to its customers’ homes. The workspace technology company partners with restaurants that have private, unused space or are closed during the day. KettleSpace turns that space into collaborative coworking spaces.
“We created KettleOS in response to feedback from 1,000-plus business leaders from various positions within companies KettleSpace Co-founder Nick Iovacchini said. “Our product provides leadership with dynamic solutions tackling dynamic problems in terms of coordinating people, spaces and time in the hybrid environment. For employees, we provide an intuitive work experience app that goes layers deeper than simply booking spaces or finding alternative workspaces.”
KettleSpace Co-founder Daniel Rosenzweig noted that money can be spent quickly on rent and refurbishing spaces for coworking. Partnering with restaurants allows the company to not have to make large investments. In turn, small businesses welcome having people in their restaurants, which creates another income stream during off hours.
“We provide the comfort and connectivity of co-working spaces for a fraction of the cost,” Rosenzweig said. “Our customers enjoy an atmosphere that’s the perfect mix of productive and buzzy. Our goal is to allow them to work and meet where they want, when they want and how they want.”
Gable CEO Liza Mash Levin likes to think of the company as “the Airbnb of coworking.” The company has two types of hosts—the first is the person who already operates the space for their business. Gable helps the customer maximize space usage, such as during the evenings or on weekends. The second type of host Gable works with is the remote worker who wouldn’t mind having some people around. Gable helps them leverage their space to earn additional income.
“A third space isn’t your home, your office or your school, but a place close to home where you can be productive and work throughout the day with your colleagues, classmates or a small group of people,” Levin said.
Gable also helps companies manage their hybrid workforce by offering a selection of vetted and flexible locations, as well as tools to streamline workflow. Office space could range from a desk, couch or living room.
“Most remote workers go to co-working spaces, which are big complexes with the majority in major hubs,” Levin told Forbes. “If someone lives in a residential neighborhood, why would they commute? That’s why Gable is focused on residential locations to make sure that people have easier access to co-working.”
Joe Dyton can be reached at email@example.com.