Government of Canada Staff Opting for Modernized Offices in the Form of Coworking Space 

With the onset of return to office mandates for the Federal Government of Canada and the subsequent pushback that has been expressed, coworking spaces have spiked in popularity. 

After 2 and a half years of working from home, people appeared to be settling in, and returning to what was is, unsurprisingly, not high on employee to-do lists. Returning to the office full-time, or even part-time, was not popular.  

However, as a seemingly middle ground, government coworking spaces that were established back in 2019 featuring individual and group working spaces. In recent months with the mandates for return to the office rolling out, these areas have seen a spike in bookings. This spike includes an 80% or more daily occupancy rate. 

These spaces are located closer to suburban areas and worked to remove one of the challenges with returning to the office – the commute. Coworking spaces allow for staff to still work remotely but meet in person if needed at one of the locations. As we see, the general sentiment around the modern workplace shifts to a higher demand for more social and collaborative areas rather than cubicles, coworking offices are offering just that.  

Employees are looking for an alternative to returning to the office full-time, and with more options like coworking, we are likely to see hybrid environments evolve further to include IoT networks and sensor technology. In the case of Federal coworking environments, some locations currently make use of IoT networks to measure areas such as occupancy and desk or space tracking. Putting the data that is being collected now is going to help fuel decisions down the line in future coworking environments to find out what works and what needs to be revisited. 

Most of the employees in the public service are still working from home, and the public service still requires social distancing measures to be followed in the office, so all 300,000 employees cannot return at once.  

Coworking spaces as they stand cannot support the whole public service, but they need support for their space as well. Currently, these spaces can be booked through an online booking system on the Archibus platform. The workplace modules found in solutions Archibus give hybrid working environments like coworking an added layer of accessibility for staff.  

Supporting 100% of the coworking environments in the Federal Government, Archibus allows remote workers to book their coworking space from home and plan their hybrid schedule.  

The importance that a digital solution like Archibus has in the new-look modern office can be overlooked, but without it the efficiencies we are so used to cease to exist. Accessible hoteling or booking from an application or floor planning and space management to aide in design and occupancy decisions. These capabilities are often overlooked as things like space management are done behind the scenes but giving facilities managers the option is what is important here.  

Coworking spaces are leading the way in the return to office movement because of their value added to those who use them. Even prior to the pandemic, companies such as Spotify were investing in updated office space that was more conducive to modern employees. 

Offering large social areas for collaboration and private working rooms gives the office a multi-purpose feel. Transitioning from a space that is 90% cubicles without much flexibility for how an individual wants to work to an area with multipurpose workstations? This is change to the foundation of the traditional office brings it into the new age of work that is designed with the people in mind first, not the work that needs to be done.  

Are coworking spaces going to become regular work? Only time can tell but the trajectory of in-person work for the office is certainly pointing that way.  

Return to office is on the top of everyones mind, if you’re planning your organizations return or want to learn more about workplace solutions to help elevate your space, here are some more of our articles! 

5 Areas of focus for return to office  

Turning the office into a destination  

Best practices for hybrid working