It’s worth considering if a shared space is still relevant and lucrative for a range of organizations, particularly software as a service and other tech-based structures.
Since 2020, millions of office workers have moved to work from home, and among the most vocal supporters of long-term remote work have been SaaS (software as a service) firms like Twitter and Amazon Web Services. So, as the future of work evolves, the question arises: Does your firm require an office?
# Why do we use shared spaces for work?
People were convening in cafés and libraries to collaborate as early as the 17th century. Of course, people are still working at coffee shops nowadays, but they are doing it remotely from their laptops, rather than interacting with the people around them.
Private workrooms were created as a method for top government officials and academics to cooperate, and they were fundamentally similar to today’s — locations that enabled individuals to connect easily because mailing letters back and forth required time.
Even when telephones were introduced, in-person meetings remained the most convenient manner of exchanging ideas, and workplaces have remained the location to nurture creativity and cooperation until relatively recently. While a result, as we explore the future of work, we must also evaluate the best way to foster both of those attributes.
# Designing an office that reflects the times
It’s intriguing to learn about the history of workplace design. While the information on extremely early ones is scant, we do know that layouts in the twentieth century frequently evolved to fit work culture.
Most locations in the early 1900s were large open-concept areas, akin to a factory floor, and were noisy, energetic settings. The supervisor’s office was frequently elevated to provide a better view of the shoulder-to-shoulder desk employees.
Beginning in the 1950s, German office design became important in the United States, with one of its goals being to organize space to reflect worker functions. In this new Bürolandschaft (literally “office landscape”) design, irregularly spaced workstations and conference tables replaced the regimented rows of desks, and the same trend has been introduced to the cubicle so that workers might have privacy to focus and distance themselves from collaboration places.
By the 2010s, most offices have returned to the spacious and open-concept architecture, with cubicles seen as impediments to networking and cooperation at the time. While these designs were not always feasible (as demonstrated in a 2019 Harvard Business Review article), they remained the prevalent form heading into 2020.
To put it bluntly, office spaces have always changed to reflect the current work culture, and they have the potential to remain a significant business component as long as they stay up with trends.
# What functions may an office perform nowadays?
In a world where so many people may now work remotely, you may be thinking, “What is the sense of having a communal workspace?” (This is especially important for SaaS organizations that do not need to keep physical items.) In fact, they can perform a variety of critical duties, even for remote-first firms.
The following are the most important considerations to consider while considering whether or not you require one:
- Employees: Would they utilize the office? Even if they can work from home, some may want to utilize it only a few times each week, or only for important meetings. Hiring new employees might also be simplified if you have an onsite facility for interviews and training.
- Events: Would have a location to host stakeholder or progress meetings, holiday parties, or other events assist your company? Investing in a specialized place may boost brand confidence among investors, workers, and others.
- Mail: Even if you run a SaaS business, don’t underestimate the value of having a mailing address. You’ll need one to register your firm and create bank accounts, and an office is an obvious choice.
- Storage: Many businesses require storage for servers, equipment, and other stuff. If this is the case for you, then renting an office space might be a terrific alternative. Of course, many buildings have built-in security mechanisms to help keep them secure.
- Community: While employees may choose to work remotely, at what cost? If your company is stagnant, an office may help to restart creative cooperation; face-to-face interaction with coworkers may inspire fresh ideas while also building a feeling of community.
# So, does your business require an office?
The simple answer is, perhaps. Even as an internationally scattered corporation, though, having an office has been critical.
There’s a lot to think about before making a decision. An office offers more advantages than disadvantages for many enterprises. If you’re considering getting one for your firm, you probably already know why you need one. The ideal answer will be one-of-a-kind to you.