DO NOT POST Ahead of the Curve: Why Businesses that Embrace Coworking Are Still Thriving

DO NOT POST Ahead of the Curve: Why Businesses that Embrace Coworking Are Still Thriving


Though many states have begun rolling out plans for phased ‘reopening’ plans following the COVID-19 outbreak, most Americans are still operating under strict stay-at-home orders. Those who can work remotely (and there are millions) are doing so, but not all of them are happy about it.

“As someone working from home this week, it’s not entirely thrilling,” Derek Thompson writes in a recent piece for The Atlantic. “My desk is a kitchen counter, the constant cleaning of which makes for good procrastination, and my cafeteria is an emergency-stocked fridge, the routine raiding of which makes for even better procrastination.” Other discontented remote workers report loneliness, overwork, and constant interruption from non-job-related entities (children, pets, TV, etc.).

Yet numerous newly minted work-from-home employees are adjusting to their new ‘offices’ so well they’re unlikely to want to go back even after the pandemic has been controlled. They’ve started to realize what organizations that long ago embraced coworking and other remote work have known for years, if not decades: People want more flexibility when it comes to their jobs. For many positions, there’s just no good reason to go into a central office every day.  

Many of these more agile, forward-thinking businesses are having an easier time during the current pandemic than their more traditional counterparts. Below, we break down the top three reasons why organizations that already had distributed workforces when COVID-19 hit are thriving.

The ‘transition’ to remote work was no transition at all.

For many employees of businesses with remote teams, the shelter-in-place mandate has likely meant working no differently than before. That’s because these workers were already accustomed to the self-discipline that remote work necessitates. This quality is certainly required for starting and ending work at appropriate times (if one’s job necessitates being online and reachable during specific hours), but perhaps more importantly, it’s also crucial for staying on-task and focused during the course of a workday. That’s where seasoned remote workers really shine. They are accustomed to having to meet deadlines and deliver content without in-person check-ins or the perception that the boss is watching them from a nearby office.

Those who are successful at being part of a distributed team are also able to work independently a good part of the time, often with little direction from their supervisors. This is a valuable quality in times of global panic when leadership’s attention may need to be turned elsewhere unexpectedly and employees must be counted on to make necessary decisions and work on their own. 


They understand work-life balance.

These days online forums and business publications are full of advice for bosses on how to effectively manage their newly scattered workers. The reason: Many company leaders still fail to fundamentally ‘get’ the idea of work-life balance and are demanding full productivity and conventional hours from their teams despite school closures and other restrictions to daily life. 

Leadership at companies with remote workforces are ahead on this score, too. Why? Because they probably already employ the mom or dad of three who also regularly pulls down a 50-hour workweek while being the main child caregiver. They probably already have on staff the dedicated son or daughter who looks after their aging parents while working a full-time job. Thus, they’re accustomed to treating their workers like people first, employees second, and giving them slack when they need it. Perhaps that’s one reason the retention rate among remote workers is higher (13 percent) than it is for onsite workers.  

Their employees were already more likely to be happy.

Unsurprisingly, those who figure out how to ‘do’ remote work and do it well are more content than their commuting counterparts at work as well as at home. Starting in a good place emotionally helps provide a buffer for those times when external forces apply added tensions and anxiety (such as the sort resulting from a global pandemic). Happier employees are also more productive employees, which makes remote work a win for companies, too. 

Need more reason to let your workforce go remote on a permanent basis? Compare what it costs to run your own office vs. simply letting Metro Offices do the work for you.

And you might want to check out these other recent articles:

The Remarkable Benefits of Coworking

Five American Takeaways from a European Coworking Survey

Pop-Up Coworking Spaces vs. Metro Offices: The Choice Is Clear!


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