Why the future of the workplace is flexible

A message from
WeWork

The coronavirus has fast-tracked everything, bringing about trends that might have changed the way people work in 5-15 years in a matter of just weeks and months. 

Why it’s important: Yesterday’s workplace is a thing of the past, as many trends could become permanent fixtures. And companies like WeWork are leading the way to transforming the future of work. 

Here’s how:

1. Enhanced health and safety measures 

COVID-19 did what many believed couldn’t be done – usher in an era of remote work. Now, nearly half of Americans are working remotely, according to an UpWork study. Many are wondering: just how essential is the office, anyway? 

Key numbers: Turns out working from home has its setbacks with reports of more hours worked, burnout and video conferencing fatigue, found a Hamilton Place Strategies and Replica study. According to a WeWork and Brightspot study, the vast majority - 90% of people - want to return to the office at least one day a week while 20% of that group wants to return five days a week.

  • But while employees want to return, over half want to return to a workspace that prioritizes their health and safety, a Hamilton Place Strategies and Replica study found.

What employers can do: invest in a safety-prioritized way to work. What WeWork is doing:  

  • Disinfecting common areas more frequently.
  • Modifying shared spaces by staggering seating.
  • Providing complimentary sanitization products.
  • Reinforcing safety measures with signage. 

WeWork offices feature other enhanced safety measures including upgraded HVAC systems.

2. Supporting the rise of the flexible workplace

When COVID hit, companies rushed to adopt technologies that helped employees get work done anywhere. But there’s a twist. Only 12% of people want to work from home full-time, reports a Gensler survey of 2,300 U.S. workers.

What this means: The office isn’t dead, but rather it needs to adapt to fit the needs of today. What WeWork is doing: 

  • Distance in the workplace, whether it’s having a dedicated space for rotating teams or multiple offices in the same building, offices can now adjust on a dime to fit as few or as many people as needed. 
  • Decentralized office spaces, the office is no longer just one place but rather multiple in a city, to shorten your commute and make your time in the office more purposeful.
  • Real estate terms that adapt to employers’ needs, with flexible commitments and reduced upfront costs.

With more than 800 WeWork offices around the world, employers and employees can enjoy a productive, but flexible work life – however and whenever they need it. 

3. Helping workers reimagine their workday 

People are reimagining their daily commute to work, with workers preferring shorter commutes to their jobs. In most cases, according to a study from Hamilton Place Strategies in partnership with Replica, workers favor a 15-minute trek to work or less. 

The details: 70% of residents from the NYC metro area said they preferred an office space within walking distance of their home, reports the same post.

  • The reason was simple: Over half said they would feel “somewhat” or “very” uncomfortable commuting long distances to their office before a COVID-19 vaccine is available.

With offices in over 40 major cities in the US, WeWork makes it possible for people to work from home and near home in inspired spaces that boost creativity and productivity.

Example: 58% of NYC metro area workers live within a 15-minute biking or walking range of a WeWork office, says a Hamilton Place Strategies and Replica study. For Manhattanites, that number jumps to 96%. 

The takeaway: Workspaces are now more adaptable, centering around what people need - when they need it. Learn more.