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The Return of The Private Office: Un-normal or New Normal?

Written by Tracy Wilson, Managing Partner of Pacific Workplaces

Forget what you heard about the value of high-density officing (the comradery, the creativity, the shared experiences), at least for a while, and relish the previously un-normal (ode to over-use of ‘new normal’) virtues of a private office to yourself … blissful solitude and plenty of space.

 

The coworking industry has spent the last few years espousing the joys of ‘community’ in the workplace – even, at times, the necessity of it to be successful in your business. In a parallel universe, the corporate world has embraced ever more open space and denser occupancy models, conducive to useful serendipity and creative sharing across the teams.… not to mention a less expensive toll on the real estate budgets!

Then COVID-19 descended and destroyed all of that by forcing so many of us into our homes and demanding we remove ourselves from physical community of any kind. We in the coworking world have worked hard the last few months to hold on to our communities virtually. We’ve held Zoom meetings, sent eblasts enumerating helpful resources for our members, reached out individually, and done all we could to make sure our clients remember … we are all in this together. And, we are. But now, we are going to shift our pitch, a throwback – whatever the day it is … and we are going to remind you of the value of that private office space, the square footage behind that door, that can be all yours. The pinnacle of what it once meant to ‘make it in business,’ the private office!

 

Don’t get me wrong, community is why I personally cannot wait to be released from ‘Shelter In Place’ and get myself back to the office. I love it and I love the people…joyous people of all kinds, interests and personalities. Even those with opinions that kind of annoy me; I miss their physical presence in my life. But, sometimes, when I close the door to my office, I do like being removed from distraction. The phone can, if I so choose, be put on DND mode. To interrupt, requires knocking and acceptance has to occur. And, for the purposes of COVID-19 discussion: the aerosol emanations are mine; I happen to sneeze in my elbow, and nobody need panic; I disinfect the surfaces and the phone and can use them over and over, without worry.

 

For those of you looking for a solution to the COVID-19 workplace reality – where it is clear, the dining room table is not the answer, look no further than your nearest flexible office location. Most of us have private offices. We still have community, we still have friendly staff happy to see you, and we have private offices where you can remove yourself from the world for a bit and be safely, blissfully, by yourself.

 

Forget what you heard about the value of high-density officing (the comradery, the creativity, the shared experiences), at least for a while, and relish the previously un-normal (ode to over-use of ‘new normal’) virtues of a private office to yourself … blissful solitude and plenty of space.

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