Taking a proactive approach to the future
To remain competitive, when in this instance the competitor was the home environment, TOG needed to look at the things members found easier and more seamless at home – the things they found important for their work and were supported with. TOG needed to then ensure it was able to offer these things in its workplaces first and foremost, to remain their members’ preferred work environment in the future.
What was missing for TOG members while at home was undoubtedly the social interaction of using a shared workspace.
When working from home, members showed some stand out statistics that related to how positively they found collaboration through technology, indicating how well IT teams managed the process of getting employees successfully set up for home working.
• 84% felt they had access to the IT devices and tools they needed and 92% had access to all the software programs / applications they needed
• 94% felt their home environment supported them with video conferencing
• 94% also felt their home environment supported them with audio conferencing
As members’ experience of technology is largely positive at home, TOG needed to meet these expectations when workers return to TOG spaces, and ensure the experience is as even better. They therefore need to be provided with the ability to use spaces for collaborating with colleagues not on site with them – for example, Zoom rooms, lounge spaces, meeting rooms and general office spaces (if office members).
The existing Leesman+ database shows that 82% of employees feel their workplace is a place they’re proud to bring visitors to. It’s clear that many TOG members decide to use TOG spaces due to the fact it gives them a professional experience and environment to welcome visitors into. While it’s appreciated that the visitor experience will not be the same for some time, this is something that is a crucial USP for TOG and a noticeable motivation behind memberships.
A little over half of all members feel they were able to have larger group meetings successfully at home, so clearly a great deal are not finding virtual collaboration as successful as anticipated / expected when it comes to meetings where more people are involved.
While all members make use of meeting rooms and hosting visitors, lounge areas are often used for informal collaborations and smaller meetings. TOG’s coworking and lounge members are struggling to share ideas / knowledge amongst colleagues (60% and 52% respectively) while at home. Something many find it important to do in their daily working lives.
What is clear from the findings is that the benefits of TOG membership go far beyond being able to use a physical space. TOG had already recognised this and offers a ‘virtual office membership’ to its members, which allows members to have their office address listed in a prime location, without physically having to be there. At a time when there’s so much uncertainty, particularly when it comes to real estate, a reliable business base is a rare find.