What’s next for the office?

By Penny Atkinson

The COVID-19 crisis has forced brands, companies, and employees everywhere to think outside the box, and prove themselves to be capable of unprecedented adaptability & reactivity.

For years, people have spoken of a shift to flexible working, whether in the form of flexi-hours, working from home, or unlimited holidays. Employee wellbeing, and a healthy work/life balance have long been identified as key contributors to boosted employee engagement and productivity. The pandemic has forced companies to put their money where their mouth is and put into practice what so many have been preaching for so long.

What’s more, it works. We’re quickly learning that people can balance parenting, varied hours and homeworking without compromising on the quality of their work. In a lot of ways, the onset of a pandemic-induced lockdown has just accelerated pre-existing trends, from the death of the high street, to online grocery shopping and businesses’ undergoing digital transformation… Flexible & homeworking is no different.

That said, there is an increasingly large contingent who miss the office. As Sathnam Sanghera wrote in a recent piece in The Times, , “let’s face it, the silver linings of this lockdown are getting harder to identify.” So as talk begins to turn to the eventual end of lockdown, when we all emerge from our homes and are forced to readjust to office life, we find ourselves asking how traditional, outdated working models can survive. Co-working spaces were already becoming de riguer pre-pandemic, and now more than ever businesses can look at flexible solutions to use the opportunity to save money on office space.

Neo-Nomade, a French company who is part of the Impact 2020 cohort, identified this trend way back in 2010, when it launched its platform which lets people reserve spots in coworking spaces & flexible workstations.

“We need to change how we think about work — at Neo Nomade we think of work as a thing that you do, rather than a place you go, and that’s how it should be. It’s about working outside the box. For workers who use our platform, the world becomes their office.”

Neo Nomade offer a range of solutions for companies looking to break free from the shackles of real estate whilst improving employees working lives which cover completely flexible access to work desks, mid-term office space for longer term solutions, and event spaces too.

Neo Nomade is already a success in France, where the company boasts over 1000 working locations on its books across the country, and whose list of clients includes household names like Capgemini, Credit Agricole and Bouygues. They are now eyeing international expansion, notably in the UK where flexible working is an increasingly popular choice, giving companies, entrepreneurs and employees the unique opportunity to set up their office, wherever they like.

Somehow this seems like the solution that could tick a lot of boxes after lockdown, as it makes it possible to enjoy the undeniable benefits of office life with the benefits of more independence and greater flexibility.

People across the board are making predictions about what different facets of life will look like post-lockdown, but everyone agrees that life won’t be as before.

In every crisis, there are winners and losers, and the current one is no different. Companies like Neo-Nomade who built solutions for flexible working pre-pandemic are certain to benefit in the post pandemic world.

To find out more about Impact UK, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, or visit the website.

If you would like to learn more about neo-nomade, visit their website, or LinkedIn page.

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