The Future of Office Space

17 May 2021

Covid-19 has forever changed the way we work. As we enter the post-Covid world, organisations need to seriously consider their working model for the future – and in this instance, their office space situation.

Anyone who has worked from home this year can tell you that remote-working comes with its share of disadvantages. According to a survey carried out by Digital Business Ireland, social isolation was most commonly named as the greatest challenge faced due to work-from-home arrangements. 36% of respondents said their mental health or mood had worsened since they moved to working remotely. 21% of respondents named unsatisfactory workstations as the greatest challenge they are facing while working from home.

More than two thirds of respondents wanted to have a hybrid model of working after Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, with the option to work from home for some of the week and work in the office for the rest of the week. According to a report by Sigmar and AON just 34% of workers want to return to the office on a full-time basis once Covid restrictions are permanently lifted.

This leaves organisations in a difficult position when it comes to office space as it is often not financially viable to pay for rent, cleaning and supplies if staff only intend to be at their desks for part of the week.

One model which is becoming increasingly popular is co-working. Co-working spaces allow organisations with similar goals or values to come together and share space, resources and expertise. Co-working spaces can be much more flexible than a “normal” office as organisations can rent as many desks as they would like in a fully-serviced shared office with the expectation that only some of their team will be present each day.

For organisations with one person who requires an office for only some of the week, the opportunity to desk-share with another organisation is an effective cost-saving measure while also mitigating the social isolation of a one-person team. When it is necessary for the larger team to meet, co-working spaces provide meeting rooms and even rooms equipped for hybrid meetings, with some people physically present and others attending online.

Co-working spaces are often themed to maximise the benefit of sharing experiences and resources. Carmichael’s co-working spaces are exclusively available to non-profit organisations. While some larger organisations choose to rent a private office within the building while still taking advantage of the shared kitchen and IT facilities, others share an office with one other organisation, or choose a room with several very small non-profits which each have only 1 or 2 people.

Our resident non-profits range from very small, volunteer-only organisations, to high profile national charities and each non-profit benefits from sharing experiences with other organisations, accessing supports provided by Carmichael and sharing facilities. For the full range of accommodation options provided by Carmichael, see here.