Due to the nature of their missions, for some nonprofits, remote work is not an option. However, for nonprofits that can function remotely, now may be the time to consider downsizing physical space in order to save money and reduce expenses. In a recent article from NonProfit Quarterly, Sofia Jarrin-Thomas explores why nonprofits should consider using shared spaces to make this shift.
The author first examines the results of a survey about how tech companies have already begun to switch to remote work in large numbers. The June 2020 survey found that the many are exploring hybrid models and one in ten plans to shut down their offices permanently. The largest concerns expressed surrounded the impact on company culture, the ability to support career growth, and the lack of social interaction. These are all items that nonprofits should take into account as they consider moving toward more remote work.
One alternative to going completely remote is to use a shared space. Coworking spaces allow members to access Wi-Fi and office space for the fraction of a cost of owning or leasing an entire office. These types of spaces are already in use in a number of spheres, so the legwork of figuring out what sorts of setups work best is already done. Many coworking centers exist specifically for the nonprofit sphere itself.
While shared workspaces are not a panacea, the author does believe that they are a good halfway solution between continuing to work in an office and switching to completely remote work. Nonprofits can consider seeking out a coworking space to join, especially if their lease is nearly up. Alternatively, they could consider offering up some of their unused space to other nonprofit partners, establishing their own coworking center. Jarrin-Thomas concludes that “the most significant value of shared spaces, for those that live up to their mission, is the ability to rethink our communities beyond individual profitability towards the common good.”
For more details, click here to read the article in full at the NonProfit Quarterly.