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Coworking and Flexible Work in 2021

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In the wake of the covid-19 pandemic many trends in the flexible workspace and coworking industries will speed up and expand. Remote work will still be a necessity for many employees around the world as lockdowns continue to be a measure used by governments. 

And as traditional office spaces remain unused and long leases are renegotiated or cancelled; businesses of all sizes will be looking for alternatives. 

Here are a few educated guesses as to what 2021 will bring for the coworking and flexible work industries. 

Demand for flexible workspace will increase

Working from home was a temporary solution that helped keep people employed and companies from going bankrupt. But it quickly became clear that for most people, working from home was making them less productive. 

Some had an inadequate internet connection, some didn’t have the proper equipment, others had to improvise an office on their kitchen counter or on their coffee table. 

And if you add this to the many distractions around the house such as children and pets, then you can understand why a lot of people started looking for alternative options. And so, people turned to flexible workspaces to meet those needs. 

This is where the increased demand for flexible workspaces started, and it will only increase in 2021. 

Flexible workspace demand will rise in suburban areas

Another trend that will remain strong in 2021 will be the increased demand for flexible workspace in suburban areas. 

Increased competition from traditional landlords

Property owners have been playing an active role in the flexible workspace market for some time now, and this will continue to be an important factor in 2021. 

Rise of niche operators

Niche operators, such as those catering to artists, cannabis enthusiasts, chefs, women, and many more, will continue to grow in 2021. 

Corporations turning to coworking

As they look to keep their operations decentralized, corporations will turn to coworking spaces to either supplement or entirely replace their traditional office spaces in 2021. The shift towards a remote-first workforce has completely overhauled the way corporations think about everything related to office space, including long leases and the actual need for space itself. 

Open plan office layouts will become outdated

New health and safety regulations will make open plan office layouts obsolete. Operators will lean towards offering more private, enclosed offices, and design elements such as touchless features and providing adequate spacing will be a priority in 2021. 

The rise of cybersecurity

Cybersecurity was something that was taken care of by the in-house IT department, but now with remote work this has been an issue for many companies. As they shifted their whole operations online, companies quickly realized that their data was very vulnerable. 

Having to resort to third party apps for communication and other vital parts of their operations wasn’t ideal, but it was a necessity. Now as they shift towards using flexible and coworking spaces, corporations will look towards operators with robust cybersecurity protocols.

About the Author

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At Shift, we believe that “better” is a worthwhile destination, and we aim to join and lead the journey to get there. We offer private offices, coworking spaces, virtual offices, meeting rooms and event spaces that serve to encourage collaboration, foster relationships, and support you on your journey to work better. We invite you to journey with us—let us support you as we all strive for better.