Over the past two years, work life has changed. Employers are trying a bunch of different strategies. Some are creating smaller, localized offices in the neighborhoods where their employees live (one recent New York Times report shows corporations opening offices in Brooklyn, of rexample). Meanwhile, the high-end, luxury members club NeueHouse is planning to open in Miami after the pandemic slowed down their plans, which includes a coworking office space for their members.
With the hybrid work model comes a rise in coworking, which has recently started to see a comeback. There’s a lot of companies downsizing their office space. It’s much easier for teams to meet at coworking spaces in their local neighborhoods and have Zoom meetings with executives.
Some companies, however, are willing to pay more for spaces, whether it’s for wellness amenities, better design or better location for their office space. The goal is to bring employees back to some kind of office life.
Anish Michael is the CEO of Firmspace, a private office space company that calls coworking “proworking,” with a prime focus on productivity. Featuring five-star amenities, they utilize upscale technology and have multiple spaces across the country from Austin to Chicago.
As Michael said: “From the outset, our private office membership was designed to be shared with an additional person per desk. Now we are introducing even more options to configure your workforce. Firmspace Hybrid combines our proworking model with the flexibility that discerning professionals of the future need.”
Their hybrid working model is not new, but for a post-pandemic workplace, it’s the perfect model for employees who work in the office only a few days a week (and work from home the other days). Their coworking spaces are quiet, productive, airy, spacious and typically have wooden floors.
Michael spoke to Leverage.com about the future of coworking and office space in 2022, and more.
Why is coworking seeing a boom right now?
Coworking has become the most risk-averse, cost-effective, and easy-to-use office solution today. Since the pandemic, as our COO, Kenny Kane wrote in Forbes, for employers, shared offices are an obvious way to provide a central hub without paying for a lot of space that sits empty. Additionally, it enables companies to recapture the benefits of in-person work without forcing a full-time return to the office.
Why is flexibility key at Firmspace?
Flexibility is one of the biggest benefits we can offer to our members. In addition to one’s private office, with individual secure IT infrastructure, and access to additional amenities as needed, we offer flexibility in membership length starting at 2 months, free day-office use in all our locations when members travel, or a virtual membership for professionals who don’t need an office but need a business address and access to conference rooms.
How do you feel about cross-country membership for coworking spaces in multiple locations?
As mentioned in one of our articles, the most desirable office spaces will have locations in multiple cities where people want to be and will offer transferable memberships or the option to reserve space for a single day or week. We provide that option through our day-office offering for all our members.
How are hotels catching onto this trend, and catering to digital nomads?
Hotels like Accor and Hoxton offer shared workspaces for this very reason. And while those two focus on high-end spaces in international markets, the most compelling offerings domestically will not necessarily be defined by luxury but by environments of enduring value using superior designs, the most innovative technologies, and a support system that enables productivity and growth.
What do you forecast to happen with coworking/office space in 2023?
Though the home office will continue to be a viable option, in order to retain and/or attract new talent, many employers will seek solutions that provide a safe, productive, and culture-enhancing space that will not be a traditional arrangement with a long-term obligation. Some of those solutions might look like a social club or a hotel. At Firmspace, our concept provides those solutions, but also with a focus on the privacy of work. It’s what distinguishes us from the rest.
What’s next for Firmspace?
While we continue to focus on catering to our primary audience and our core offering of privacy, security and support, we will also pursue a thoughtful approach to grow the Firmspace brand in strategic markets with the right partner.