July 2020 – Cracks are starting to emerge in the work-from-home scenario that has been brought about by the COVID-19 lockdown. Besides many workers complaining that they feel disconnected, projects are being drawn out; on-site training is challenging, the lack of on-site mentoring is hindering personal development, and even recruitment and onboarding is proving to be more problematical. It is also becoming increasingly apparent that, with the resurfacing of a second wave of the virus in Europe and Asia, the majority of workers will not be going back to “business as usual”.

According to a McKinsey Consumer Pulse Survey carried out in March 2020, more than 80 percent of survey respondents were already looking at reducing their spending habits. This, together with decreased spending, cutbacks and other business disruptions during the lockdown, impacted on an already vulnerable economy and indicated a sharp decline in company profitability.

In this new normal, businesses are looking for innovative and flexible ways in which to reduce their costs and increase their profitability, while still ensuring the health and safety of their employees. Once the pandemic has been brought under control, employees may end up alternating between working remotely from home on some days, and in the office on other days to reduce the health risks brought on by congested office spaces. This translates to savings for businesses that may not now require as much office space as they did pre-COVID-19

The Trend Towards Sharing Office Space – Safely

This provides a strong case for an increased demand in the renting of co space or shared office space, where companies only pay for the workspace that they use and share certain business services and facilities, resulting in an overall cost saving.

There are plenty of office spaces to rent in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, as well as throughout the rest of South Africa, which can help mitigate the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 crisis. Tenants can leverage the latest technology provided by these commercial property landlords, such as;

  • access to high-speed fibre optic internet
  • access to high internet bandwidth
  • video conferencing facilities

Coworking Office Space Is Not Affected By Geographical Location

Coworking office spaces also allow the tenants to focus on their operational efficiencies and drive innovation. Geographical restrictions for employees are no longer a constraint when searching for a small office space to rent, because the employee can choose from one of many shared office spaces across the country. It also means that recruiting highly-skilled candidates from all over the country becomes easier, in that they are not always bound to geographical locations.

The trend towards the uptake of coworking space also means that employers can provide their employees with, not only a reduced commute time but also, safe and hygienic places to work in – without necessarily increasing their costs by implementing the rigorous COVID-19 sanitising procedures. Providers who rent out commercial office spaces, are required by law to ensure that their premises are regularly sanitised and to adhere to all the latest health and safety regulations on containing the spread of the virus.

Is Your Office Workspace Regularly Sanitised?

When searching for commercial property to rent, the following protocols should be present to support minimising the impact of the virus on tenants within the building;

  • Sanitising stations should be present at all entrances of the building, and throughout the workspaces.
  • Thermal screening should be used at all entrances of the building.
  • Compulsory wearing of masks on the premises.
  • Regular disinfecting and sanitising of workstations and deep cleaning of high-traffic areas.
  • COVID-19 awareness material on display.
  • Use of HVAC air conditioning filtration systems to ensure a constant flow of fresh air throughout the offices.
  • Social distancing implemented in open plan areas, canteens and coffee stations.

The Business Exchange is a provider of commercial office space to rent in Johannesburg, with offices in Sandton, Rosebank and Morningside. They also have offices in Mauritius. The Business Exchange adheres to stringent COVID-19 regulations to ensure that although things may look a little different when employees return to work, they will still be highly functional and most importantly, safe.

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