As the world goes back to work in-office amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the biggest question on the minds of many flex office space operators is this:
“What’s the most important thing I can offer to my members?”
Unsurprisingly, the answer that most people come up with is safety.
And while I’m not saying they’re entirely wrong, they’re not entirely right either.
Hear me out.
Safety Goes Without Saying
There’s a lot of chatter and conjecture out there about how important it is for flex workspace operators to conduct advertising and branding around the fact that their building follows CDC protocols.
Everyone wants to talk about how it’s safe to come back to work.
But here’s the thing: safety goes without saying.
If you ask me, I’d say that fifty percent of people just assume that, as a building owner, you’re going to do whatever you have to do to make sure your space is as safe as it can be. Another quarter really doesn’t care. And the last quarter is just content with knowing it’s happening.
Most people aren’t going to building owners seeking absolute assurance that their flexible workspace is the safest environment it can possibly be. They assume it is.
And in my experience speaking with all kinds of different people in recent months, I can tell you that not one single person has asked me about air quality, extra sanitizers, or social distancing markers in our spaces. They expect to see that stuff and they do. They simply know it’s happening because it’s our responsibility to do so.
Their concerns are focused elsewhere.
The Human Element is the Critical Factor
With safety being assumed, the people I’ve spoken to have shown greater interest in something else: the human element of our workspaces.
People are just craving interaction with other people right now. I witness it every single day.
They’re looking for that hospitality component–the human connection that all the other buildings around lack.
What is the Vital Human Element?
Having a human element in your workspace isn’t something you can fake. It has to be an authentic relationship that you have with your members.
In order to provide that, you must have the right staff on-site to create connections instantly with your members that are authentic and have value.
Because if you just tell your employees to make sure they say hello to everyone every morning for the sake of checking a box, your members are going to see right through it.
But if you have staff in your office who are engaging and authentic, who genuinely care, and who want your members to succeed, it’s a huge difference-maker.
Trying to Sell Safety is a Mistake
The big question is this: if you, as a flexible workspace operator, are all bottled up trying to assure, reassure, and reassure people again that your space is a safe place to be, are you really catering to what they want?
Yes, you absolutely do need to provide a safe environment for people. Of course, you do. But most of us assume you know that and that you’re going to do whatever needs to be done.
Here’s the thing: that doesn’t make you any different than any other building. Everyone operator is doing it. Every single one.
So, if you’re focusing on safety as your biggest selling point, you’re back to being the same as everyone else. You’re a commodity all over again.
As people head back to work, the human element of your flexible office space is your competitive advantage.
Interested in learning about how we Launch Workplaces creates a human element in our spaces that’s second-to-none? Then get in touch with me today. I’d be happy to talk you through our managed model and the benefits it can offer you.