Skip to main content
newsletter

Déjà Leonard is a copywriter and freelance journalist based in Calgary.Handout

This is the weekly Careers newsletter. If you’re reading this on the web or someone forwarded this e-mail newsletter to you, you can sign up for Globe Careers and all Globe newsletters here.

Déjà Leonard is a copywriter and freelance journalist based in Calgary.

As we begin to return to some semblance of normalcy – and the office – many companies and employees are wading through the murky waters of what “return to work” really looks like. Will employees be allowed to work from home full-time? Will they be expected to come back into the office? But there’s other questions gaining traction: Can employees work in a co-working space – and will companies pay for it?

Some companies such as JPMorgan Chase already have a solid set of rules, where specific teams can schedule work-from-home days from Tuesday through Thursday. Technology company Sabre Corp., which is headquartered in Texas, has significantly reduced its campus space and plans to bring about 25 per cent of employees back on site at least three days a week.

However, others, including Calendly, an Atlanta-based manufacturer of scheduling software, are giving their people the option of whether to come into the office, and are providing staff with memberships to co-working spaces – a trend that seems to be the perfect fit for employees who don’t want to work from home, but also don’t want to endure the dreaded, often time-consuming commute to the office.

It makes a lot of sense. While working from home holds immense appeal for many, it can also be distracting and more difficult to create healthy boundaries between work life and home life.

As chief executive officers try to weigh what they think is best for the business against what employees are demanding, it’s creating a new type of tension. And in some cases, employers will need to bend, or they’ll lose out on top-level talent.

According to a recent survey from insurance company Prudential, 42 per cent of current U.S. remote workers say that they would leave their job if their company did not continue to offer remote work options, signalling a potential war for talent.

At the same time, popular co-working spaces such as WeWork are preparing for a surge in interest as COVID-19 subsides.

Rebecca Pan, co-owner of the San Francisco co-working space Trellis, had this to say about the rise in demand: “Before the pandemic, it was that you were in the office full-time. I don’t think this will be the same in the future. People really appreciate flexibility. From a co-working point of view, fewer people go to a corporate campus, but [instead go] home or [to] Trellis.”

Should employers pay for it? Why not. On top of attracting a wider range of quality talent, co-working spaces save companies money by reducing the need for office space and common employee amenities. Plus, employees with access to co-working spaces are performing better than those without it, a U.S. workplace survey suggests.

At the same time, it seems that even if firms won’t pay, the majority of employees are more than willing to cover the cost of co-working spaces themselves if it means they can have more flexibility. A report by WeWork and independent research firm Workplace Intelligence indicates that 64 per cent of American employees are willing to pay out of their own pocket for access to office space to support hybrid work.

So, as we move closer toward “return to work,” we’ll likely see the conversation broaden to include the possibility of co-working as more employers balance the needs of the business and all of their employees with diverse needs.

What I’m reading around the web


More opinion from Globe Careers

When looking to advance my freelance career, I found support in the unlikeliest of places: Facebook Groups Often, the groups that she found the most welcoming and helpful were aimed at female-identifying and racialized individuals, writes Karen K. Tran in Leadership Lab.

More from the section

Why many racialized people feel they need to ‘code-switch’ in the workplace Code-switching involves modifying the way you speak or behave to accommodate different norms, then switching back to your way of being when you are outside these spaces

Can I appeal the decision to reduce my maternity leave benefits because of a COVID-19 workshare? In this week’s Nine to Five advice column, a reader asks about what they should do after COVID-19-imposed work policy caused her to be eligible for less benefits.

What does it mean to be ‘happy’ at work? Is it unrealistic to expect to find joy or happiness at work – particularly in a pandemic?

Wherever you see one employee with burnout, you’re sure to find many more Managers can help prevent burnout in their workplaces by looking out for their employees’ well-being through ensuring a more mindful work culture


Leadership Lab is a series where executives, experts and writers share their views and advice about the world of work. You can find all Leadership Lab stories at tgam.ca/leadershiplab and guidelines for how to contribute to the column here.

Have feedback for this newsletter? You can send us a note here.