Do You Really Need an Office After the Pandemic?

Empty office spaces make us wonder do you really need an office?

We’re hearing from a lot of people that they’re ready to go back to the office. Now that the end of the pandemic is on the horizon, what with President Biden pushing for everything getting back to normal by July 4. We’re even seeing a lot of people getting vaccinated here at the Oviedo Mall, since we’re the primary location for vaccinations in Seminole County

That also means people are talking about going back to the office so they can continue working and meeting face to face.

That’s understandable for the big companies, as they’ve got large buildings and the need to house dozens, if not hundreds or a few thousand people.

But what about the small businesses? What about the companies of five or ten people? Do you really need an office space to begin with? Do you really need to spend $5,000 – $10,000 a month just for everyone to have a place to work?

We know you want to get out of the house and stop working from home. We don’t blame you. But do you really need to have your own office space to accomplish that?

Empty office spaces make us wonder do you really need an office?For one thing, office leases are expensive, and before the pandemic, they were fairly rigid and draconian in their requirements. We knew of companies that had to sign multi-year leases just to get a “decent” rate on their rent, and they couldn’t get out of those leases.

Oh, sure, commercial real estate decision makers are unclenching a little and starting to allow flexibility in their leasing requirements.

But now that employees have learned that they didn’t actually have to be at the office to work, they know they can keep working remotely. And now that business owners have seen that they don’t actually need an office, commercial real estate agents are in something of a pickle, and they’re willing to offer concessions — concessions they weren’t willing to extend previously.

Still, there is a need to return to work, and get back in front of our colleagues, and share space and time with them. This is where a coworking space can help smaller businesses to fill those needs but without locking yourselves into a multi-year, high-priced lease because you think you need a place to store all your stuff.

This is where a coworking space would make a big difference. With a coworking space, you can have a dedicated workspace or a hot desk (an unassigned desk; sort of like working in a coffee shop every day), and you can sit and work to your heart’s content. When you want to talk with someone, you walk over to their desk or you reserve a meeting space and have a meeting.

  • Depending on where you live, you can get a hot desk for anywhere from $49/month in Evansville, Indiana to $450/month in Manhattan, although the national average is $195. (We charge $99 at Neoware.)
  • A designated/reserved desk can top out at around $650 – $700/month in New York, but the national average is $387. ($299/month at Neoware.) (And with a little creative seating and clustering, you could get two reserved desks and two hot desks right next to each other instead of paying for four reserved desks.)
  • Private offices run anywhere from $300 – $1,000/month, depending on where you’re looking, and the size of the office.
  • And some coworking spaces even have large offices for groups, like small businesses, for as little as $800/month.

And think about the benefits and perks you get from a coworking space, but have to pay for when you have your own office space:

  • Wifi
  • Coffee and snacks
  • Printers (within reason; you should be filing documents in the cloud anyway)
  • Office furniture
  • Office decor
  • Utilities: Lights, AC, heat, water

All of those are included in your coworking rent.

Plus, if you get a coworking space in the suburbs, you usually have access to free parking. Downtown coworking spaces, especially in big cities, invariably have some sort of paid parking option with very little free parking available.

Bottom line: A coworking space can save your business thousands of dollars each month just by getting hot desks, designated desks, or even assigned offices for your employees, rather than renting an office that you have to furnish and fill each month and being locked into a multi-year lease that you can’t get out of.

To learn more about coworking and how it can work for remote workers, entrepreneurs, and startups, please visit our website at NeowareStudios.com.

Photo credit: Carl Lender (Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons 2.0)

Author:
Erik Deckers is the Director of Marketing for Neoware Studios. He also owns a content marketing agency and has co-authored four books on social media marketing, including Branding Yourself and No Bullshit Social Media. He was the Spring 2016 writer-in-residence at the Jack Kerouac House in Orlando.