– By Sanjay Chatrath
With constant changes in the work culture and dynamics of the corporate world in the last couple of years, companies now have the chance to reorganise their workspaces in response to the shift in employee expectations and goals. Flexibility, employee wellbeing, and sustainability are taking a center stage and must be prioritised in today’s workplaces as they shift from being work-centric to employee-centric.
Increasing use of managed workspaces
Managed workspaces are no longer just for startups, freelancers, and solopreneurs. Today, large and medium-sized companies from all sectors and industries see them as strong alternatives to the traditional workplace. Enterprises are using affordable strategies to expand their capacity and streamline office administration as the hybrid and distributed workforce models grow more common. Companies can focus on their core operations, enabling employees to focus on strategy and creating space for innovation, by outsourcing administrative and facilities management functions.
The future of the workplace will be centred on technology. It is one of the primary forces influencing transformation in the managed workplace sector. Several managed office providers take pride in providing the most modern IT infrastructure and tools to support businesses in their success. If flex office providers can design cutting-edge locations that provide the firm and its employees more power, many businesses are willing to pay more for their services.
For instance, tailored apps in a shared workspace with amenities like conference rooms, gyms, and creches can assist users with real-time information like temperature control, sanitization drives, and availability. Similar to this, automated visitor management systems are tailored to fit businesses’ unique regulations while lessening the workload of administrative staff and streamlining safety and operational requirements.
Deep technology, such as AI and IoT, will become more integral to office operations in the future. The modern workplace is changing as a result of technologies that improve data protection, team integration, communication and cooperation, and virtual help. We anticipate that these and other new technologies will greatly improve the employee experience and make it possible for more flexible and dynamic working.
Flexible workplace Managed office spaces have long been influenced by the need to provide an adaptable working environment. Yet, as an agile workspace gives employees the flexibility to change how they use a certain workplace, it will play an even larger role in 2023 and beyond. As it provides minimal financial impact, having an adaptable workspace is also advantageous to the company. It gives us a peek of what the workplace of the future will be like and what space and design represent from a work viewpoint.
A decentralised method of office management is required by the flex work concept. Instead of forcing employees to travel for work, managed office spaces now allow businesses to relocate for their people. Employers are now beginning to take into account flex offices outside of the core business areas of big cities like Bangalore, Pune, Chennai, and Hyderabad in addition to focussing on those that are a little further out. The issues with employee commutes led to a shift in priorities, or so-called decentralisation. To prevent their employees from having to make long trips, employers are seeking for alternatives to office space in city centres.
The future of the flexible workspace sector will be greatly influenced by the commute factor. It forced service providers to consider decentralised sites as an alternative to deal with the problem of staff transportation.
Sustainability and wellbeing
Many people’s perceptions of what constitutes a healthy environment have changed as a result of months of mask regulations, social isolation, and improved cleanliness standards. Citizens found relief in outdoor areas when improperly ventilated office buildings become possible public health threats. According to a survey by Boston Consulting Group, the pandemic also seems to have increased public awareness of the climate crisis as the hazards to humankind and the impact of human behaviour on the natural world have become clearer. This change sparked a new trend in workplace design that put emphasis on the health of both workers and the surrounding area.
We may anticipate seeing more environmentally friendly designs and practises in flexible office spaces as environmental concerns continue to rise. This could involve using more eco-friendly commodities, building infrastructure that is energy-efficient, and implementing eco-friendly regulations. These actions would not only lessen the carbon footprint of the workplace but also enhance the general health and happiness of the employees.
The role of managed space providers in the future will become even more crucial as companies focus on the fluidity of the workforce, establishing hub-and-spoke models and increased flexibility of deal structures, making India one of the largest and fastest-growing managed office space regions in the world. The state of the economy and the constantly evolving workplace will continue to have an impact on workplaces. The best solution for any of these issues, as well as for organisations of all sizes, is flexible workspace. These trends provide an early indication of the route the industry will take in the future, and they may be used to achieve corporate goals and steer a company in the right direction.
(Sanjay Chatrath is the Managing Partner – India at Incuspaze Solutions Private Limited)