Even before the pandemic struck, the world of work was changing. Technologies like cloud computing and video conferencing meant colleagues, even if they were continents apart, could easily collaborate on projects. The rise of the gig economy saw an increase in the number of people working remotely, whether they were running their own businesses, working for a full-time employer, or freelancing for others.
And then, Covid-19 turned up! With businesses now forced to adapt to remote work, many discovered they could retain – or even improve on – their previous levels of productivity outside of the traditional office setting.
Today, employers and workers alike are embracing alternatives like never before. Here are just some of the interesting new approaches to work and office spaces we’re seeing flourish in South Africa.
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A virtual office is an address that can be used by businesses that either don’t have physical premises, or whose employees work remotely from home. Virtual offices usually come with a number of services, such as a mailing address, telephone answering services, and access to meeting rooms and office facilities. This option is perfect for small businesses or start-ups that don’t need a full-time office, but still want to project a professional image.
Coworking spaces are shared offices that can be used by freelancers, digital nomads, or remote workers from any industry. Coworking spaces provide an opportunity to socialize and collaborate with other professionals, as well as access to important office amenities like high-speed internet, printers, and scanners. These spaces are usually rented on a per-day, per-week, or per-month basis, making them more flexible and affordable than traditional office space.
Serviced office space for long- or short-term needs
Serviced offices are fully equipped and furnished offices that can be rented on a long- or short-term basis. These offices often come with a receptionist and administrative support staff, as well as access to meeting rooms and other business facilities. Serviced offices are a great option for businesses that need a professional office environment but don’t want to commit to a long-term lease.
Conference and meeting room hire
Many serviced office providers offer conference and meeting rooms that can be hired on an hourly or daily basis. This is a great option for businesses that need occasional use of office space for meetings or events. Conference and meeting rooms can also often be found in coworking spaces and business centres.
The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly accelerated the trend of working differently – and even now, there are still many employees working entirely or part-time from home in South Africa. However, there are still many business owners and professionals who need access to an office environment on occasion.
Luckily, there are now more options than ever before when it comes to finding temporary or permanent office space. Whether you need a virtual address, coworking space, serviced office, or just a meeting room for the day, there’s sure to be an option that suits your needs.
In fact, providers like Connect Space offer all of the above and more, including storage solutions, as well as venues for events and training. It’s a brave new world, and working remotely doesn’t have to mean working from your dining room table anymore!