Landlords of office buildings have been hit hard by the global Covid-19 pandemic. While many companies are able to continue working from home, unfortunately, some businesses have not survived through this tough time. South Africa’s commercial property sector faces a potential longer-term threat from this work-from-home model shift.
With the reintroduction of load-shedding, many SME’s now face another hurdle – how to continue working from home during four-hour power outages. In many instances staff is unable to work during this time should they not have alternative power sources in place. Their work would thus need to be caught up after hours or they would need to find a nearby coffee shop or office where there is power, a back-up generator, inverter, or solar power. This goes against the motive of “staying home to curb the spread of the virus”.
“Many companies have been reducing their required office space needs. We have tailored space around clients’ current needs and have implemented several strategies to accommodate them accordingly,” says Jason Brooks, Managing Director of Cube Workspace.
Cube Workspace innovated its office solutions by launching a “Pay-as-you-work” model, which offers flexibility and mobility to those who may only need an office to work from now and then. This custom-made service allows clients to visit any of the Cube Workspaces in Johannesburg or Cape Town for the day (or multiple days) and have access to their premium solutions, which is usually only available to tenants with a private office. These “pay-as-you-work “clients will have access to fast Wi-Fi, modern meeting rooms, and all other amenities in the office building of their choice. They will even get a delicious Cappuccino on the house – what better way to feel welcomed! “
We’ve seen a trend towards co-working spaces and virtual offices over traditional private offices. There will not be a return to our so-called “normal” any time soon. Traditional office spaces need to, therefore, change and adapt. Corporates have to adjust their working strategies and thinking to accommodate these factors.” Brooks adds. This is in line with data published by Sapoa indicating an increase in remote and flexible workspaces.
Companies are compelled to embrace new workplace strategies that allow their employees more flexibility, taking social distancing, travel (public transport), and load shedding into account. For some, working from home has proven to be more difficult and stressful, while others embrace it. Every business is unique with different office requirements, and the need for customised office solutions is now more imperative than ever before.
Some companies might find themselves in a position of having pricey, large office/s, with the majority of staff not coming in on a regular basis, if at all. They will instead start looking for smaller, serviced office solutions to reduce overheads. These types of workspaces have the added bonus of a receptionist, IT support, cleaning services, an in-house coffee shop, etc.; leaving business owners with space and time to worry about what matters most – survival and growth of their own business.
“At Cube Workspace, we have implemented several safety protocols including mandatory mask-wearing, regular cleaning of high touch areas, sanitiser at all communal points, and contact tracing of all visitors into any of our serviced offices,” Brooks notes.
Companies will have to adapt to this “new normal” through innovative thinking and clever team management, which starts with deciding on which office space solution would be the best fit.
Find out more about Cube Workspaces office space solutions