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Workplace shake-up

Businesses of all sizes are changing the way they use their workplaces as the coronavirus pandemic continues to drive an employee-led revolution that refutes the monotony of 9-5 and a long commute in favour of a greater work-life balance.

Last year proved that people can work anywhere at anytime with employee presenteeism no longer viewed as an essential factor in corporate life.  This presents our generation with a fantastic opportunity to redefine the way future generations fulfil career and personal aspirations.

Here at Oxford Innovation, we welcome an increased work-life balance, but it is also important to recognise the limitations that working from home can bring.

A recent study by the Nottingham Business School* considers the psychological wellbeing of remote workers during COVID-19.  Amongst the issues found were overworking, lack of human interaction and loneliness, bad health habits (with lack of exercise) and isolation and lack of support (a particular issue for workers who are less tech savvy).

Face-to-face interaction and connecting with other people is a basic human need, which also applies in the workplace and is essential for driving forward innovation and business growth.

According to a survey by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) less than 1 in 10 (6%) of working adults said they are going to continue to work all of their hours from home and an additional 23% of working adults said they plan to work some hours at a work location, and some hours at home*.

Remote working doesn’t have to mean working from home and we are very much in favour of a hybrid approach. To give businesses and employees the best of both worlds, we have created a flexible solution that will meet this growing demand.

New Year, New Workspace  

Oxford Innovation has kicked off 2021 with the launch of our Corporate Co-working Membership, a pilot scheme in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire that will give businesses the chance to offer employees an opportunity to collaborate at a convenient workspace close to home, which can also be used to escape unwanted interruptions or to help improve general wellbeing.

We are excited to be at the forefront of a workplace revolution and have an overriding aim of being able to support businesses of all sizes across the UK to meet the growing needs of employees as well as promote collaboration.

Our Corporate Co-working Membership will provide flexible access to contemporary workspace in blocks of 160 hours, which can be used by up to four employees in a centre at one time.

We have chosen to pilot the scheme at our Grassroots centre in Oxford, owned by Oxford Sciences Innovation, along with our Bucks Hubs in High Wycombe and Aylesbury, owned by Bucks New University.

Oxford is a vibrant city full of young professionals, many of whom live in a shared house.  They still want the flexibility of being able to work from home, but with the balance of an accessible, high quality workspace close to home, where they will be able to meet like-minded professionals or work alongside colleagues if they choose to work in the same place.  Likewise, people in Aylesbury, High Wycombe and surrounding towns will now be able to benefit from working in a professional environment without a long commute to London or unwanted interruptions experienced at home.

All three centres offer COVID secure co-working space with the perfect blend of privacy and community, and our team of community managers are on hand to provide support as required. Our Hubs in Buckinghamshire have the added benefit of an Entrepreneur-in-Residence.

If our pilot scheme proves successful, we are planning to rapidly roll it out across our network of 26 Business and Innovation Centres in England and Northern Ireland, helping to support companies of all sizes that want to retain and attract good talent.

The ways of office working may have changed forever, but dynamic workspaces are here to stay and can help businesses cut costs associated with a traditional office lease in favour of a far more flexible solution.

For further information about our Corporate Co-working Membership scheme, now piloting in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, visit: grassrootsworkspace.com or bucks-hubs.co.uk.

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