Do you really need a commercial property in the age of COVID-19 and beyond? For the benefits and drawbacks of your office space to help you decide, read on…
COVID-19 has brought with it huge amounts of change. One of the biggest adjustments to our daily lives has been our new way of working; from office to home. Although this transition to remote working was something we never thought would continue into 2021, it looks as though it’s here to stay.
Considering the costs of finding a commercial conveyancing solicitor in Manchester, Birmingham, London, Bristol or wherever you’re based, as well as the ongoing costs of an office space, things are changing. Now, company owners are having to make the very serious decision about whether to continue investing in their office, or to scrap it all together.
With this in mind, what are the benefits and drawbacks of having a commercial office space moving into 2021? Take a look…
The Benefits of Having a Commercial Property in the Age of COVID-19
Although many of us have transitioned very well into a life of remote working, there are still many benefits of office spaces that can’t be ignored. These include:
Maintains Company Culture and Community
First and foremost, maintaining a company culture is almost impossible without seeing everyone day in and day out. Communities thrive on people being together, being able to chat with one another regularly, eat lunch together, and have team meetings regularly.
Of course, some of this is possible in a virtual sense, but it truly isn’t the same as being in the office. In order to maintain these sorts of relationships and cultures, an office space is paramount.
Provides More of a Social Life
On a similar wavelength, being in the office allows you to nurture a solid social life. Especially these days, millennials and Gen-Z-ers are choosing to move away from their hometowns to pursue careers. This means that the only ways they can make friends is through work.
Office spaces provide people with the ability to socialise with their teammates, both in work and after work. Again, it’s all possible via social media, but it’s not the same as heading to the pub together on a Friday.
Provides a Base for Prospective Clients
If your company relies on client relations to work smoothly, having a permanent base to meet with them and collaborate is ideal. This way, you can really paint a professional picture of your workplace. It’ll also allow you to provide your clients with an optimal service, ensuring they get everything they are hoping for.
Easier Team Collaboration
Working as a team is such an important aspect of many businesses; being on the same wavelength with your co-workers is instrumental to how the company is run. Of course, it’s entirely possible to set up team meetings to collaborate virtual. That said, sometimes it’s not quite the same as organically bouncing ideas off of one another.
In some ways, this can limit creativity. Without the ability to walk over to someone and share ideas, this whole element of the creative process is diminished.
Learning Via Osmosis
Learning from your teammates, even unintentionally, is one huge benefit of working in an office environment. Subconsciously, we can all soak up knowledge about the company and the way things work just by being around people from the company.
This simply isn’t possible with everyone working from home. Having an office space will allow this intervention to take place.
Better Mental Health for the Team
Arguably, having a designated workspace is better for your mental health, for a number of reasons. Specifically, it:
- Makes your everyday life less mundane
- Puts a stop to a sedentary lifestyle
- Gives you a schedule to stick to
- Allows you to not take work home with you
- Will encourage you to take regularly breaks
- Dressing in work clothes everyday
Training is More Accessible
Virtual training is all well and good, but there’s nothing quite like a team-meeting or one-on-one to get your juices flowing. What’s more, there’s sometimes a sense of anxiety about interrupting someone virtually to ask questions or clarify anything. In person, training becomes much more personal, and tailored to the individual.
Data Protection is Easier
The transition to remote working meant that many companies were exposed to greater data protection threats than ever before. This was due to a lack of processes in place to avoid human error whilst working at home. It was also due to the lack of home working equipment, and the software to avoid hackers.
In the workplace, with computers and a safe network to work from, as well as shredding devices to dispose of documents, it’s much simpler to protect sensitive data.
Better for Attracting New Talent
An office space is part and parcel of trying to sell your company to potential new talent. Where they will sit and work, as well as what the kitchen space and meeting rooms will look like, as well as office perks, are all a way to attract new talent. Without this, you may not be able to sell your company as easily.
Working from home has been particularly difficult for those who:
- Have children
- Struggle with loneliness
- Struggle to concentrate
- Don’t have an adequate home office
This is because these issues create distractions that aren’t apparent in office spaces. For many, being in an office is a welcome break from home life.
The Drawbacks of Having a Commercial Property in the Age of COVID-19
After taking a look at these many benefits of offices, there’s clearly a lot of redeeming qualities still in play. That said, we can’t deny that there are some drawbacks too, made especially apparent throughout the pandemic. These include:
Money, Money, Money!
The major drawback of having an office space is the amount of money it costs to keep. During the pandemic, it’s become abundantly clear that we don’t need offices to thrive, so why keep it, especially during a time of economic struggle? Imagine the money you could put into other areas of the business without one!
There’s nothing quite as stressful as being involved in office drama and gossip. Being able to work from home is the perfect way to avoid all this.
Brings the Company into the 21st Century
Before the pandemic, there was still very much an idea that you must be seen in the office to prove your work ethic. Now, this outdated concept has been blown out of the water. Instead, people can avoid these traditions, and prove their worth based on their work rather than their attendance.
Similar to the above concept, many companies are also still working on outmoded toxic work environments. By moving away from the office, we’re embracing new waves of thought and technology, which should have many benefits for us all.
Long Commute Times
There’s no doubt that we’ve all reaped the benefits of not having to commute anymore. Whether we’ve made more time for sleep, self-care, exercise, or family, not having to head to the office has given us all more hours in the day for ourselves.
No Work-Life Balance
Being in the office can certainly increase mental health, in some ways, be it through socialisation or having a schedule to work by. That said, we can’t deny that the lack of commute has provided people with a greater work-life balance than ever before.
Although, for some, being in an office helps them avoid the distractions of home life, for others, being at home has been much more productive for them. It really depends on the type of person, and the stage they’re at within life.
Inability to Attract a Wider Array of Talent
Having the option to work remotely means you’re extending your potential pool of talent hugely. This way, you don’t have a home base to work home; you can hire from around the world.
Finally, office spaces are simply not as comfortable as working from home. At home, you can do the week’s work from the comfort of your sofa, in pyjamas covered in a blanket if you want! There’s no pretence of dressing up for the day ahead, creating a more welcoming and comforting environment around your working day.
What’s Best for Your Company?
As you can see, there are huge number of benefits of drawbacks around being in an office space. You can’t deny that there’s much that makes both working from home and in the office desirable, depending on what kind of worker you are.
The question is, what’s best for your workforce? Are they thriving in the work from home world, or are they struggling mentally and physically? Perhaps it would be wise to consider downsizing your office to get the best of both worlds?
Whatever you decide, choosing what’s best for you and the team is paramount. Good luck making the decision!