Returning to Work From Remote

Returning to Work From Remote

Shifting to a remote workforce is no longer a prediction for the future — it’s our reality. The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a wrench in millions of lives all over the world and put the American workforce’s evolution in overdrive. As states entered emergency shutdowns and social distancing, nearly 7 in 10 employees started clocking in from home. While some companies made the change permanent, others were just waiting for the all-clear to have employees fill their offices again. 

As of October 2020, 40 states have officially reopened or are in the process of reopening, with only 10 states and Puerto Rico reversing back into lockdowns. Reopened states means reopened businesses and, in turn, employees returning to work. Despite state officials giving the green light, do employees feel safe reclaiming their spot in the office or would they prefer to work remotely indefinitely?

A Return to Normal, Safely

A recent study by Office Depot shows the workforce may be farther along in the return to “normal” than some think, and employees are surprisingly happy about it. The study found that 67.4% of employees had already returned to work, and 56.2% of those who hadn’t were looking forward to doing so. On the other hand, only 26% of employers intended to keep their employees working from home indefinitely, despite major companies like Microsoft, Indeed, Google, American Express, and Airbnb making the shift.

Tech-driven companies may have an easier time making the permanent shift to remote work, but allowing employees to work from home is only one way employers can protect their staff. For businesses that simply can’t make the transition to full remote work, it is the employers responsibility to make the workplace a safe space to return to

Having hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes at the ready is sure to help workplace hygiene, but most employers took safety a step further. A whopping 83% of employers hired outside resources to conduct on-site assessments and benchmarking to ensure the workplace was safe for reentry. Once they determined the workplace was safe for business to resume, over 46% of employers purchased PPE for their employees and 27.5% did so for themselves, too. On average, employers spent nearly $650 on PPE to prepare for employees’ return.

Employers didn’t stop there, though. Following in the footsteps of 33 states and the District of Columbia, 63.5% of employers created mask mandates, requiring employees to wear masks at all times, except when eating or drinking. Over half of employers only required employees to wear masks when interacting with clients, while others only required masks to be worn during meetings or around clients and customers.

The CDC offers employers recommendations on how to keep themselves and their employees safe in the workplace, and social distancing and masks certainly top the list. But smaller changes, like encouraging hand washing and disinfecting the most trafficked surfaces can also do wonders to keep the workspace low risk. According to Office Depot’s study, the most common steps employers took to safen up the workplace were adding hand-sanitizing stations, frequently disinfecting workspaces, physically distancing employees, allowing flexible work schedules, and carrying out a workplace risk assessment.

While these precautions should be applied throughout the office for ultimate protection, there are certain work spaces that managers feel are more risky than others. Meeting and conference rooms top the list, followed by common areas, bathrooms, and break areas. Of course, the best way to mediate the risk is to limit the number of employees allowed in these areas at once, and increase the frequency of sanitation.

Split Sentiments

Employers taking extra precaution in making the workplace a safe place to return to certainly helps employers feel more ready to return, but what exactly do employees miss about the workplace the most? The survey found over 55% of employees were looking forward to seeing their co-workers again, while 42.5% missed their personal workspace and 37.3 craved the work-life balance that can be hard to obtain when working from home

Nevertheless, over half of employees said they’d still prefer to work remotely, and would be willing to sacrifice vacation days to do so. Studies show working remotely has plenty of pros and cons, but according to nearly 60% of employers and over 62% of employees, the main benefit of remote work is the flexible hours it comes with. On the flip side, remote work limits face-to-face time and team connection  — downsides of which have been painfully felt by millions during the pandemic.

Should You Stay or Should You Go

Whether your company has already brought employees back into the office or has transitioned to a remote working style, it’s imperative that employees tune in to their working needs and find ways to meet them. Some employees thrive in their home office, while others feel their productivity and work-life balance suffer. If your company is trying to find the perfect balance with a hybrid workforce, considering alternatives to traditional office spaces may be the answer. Allow employees who prefer to work from the comfort of their own home to do so, while providing others with an office space designed for their success. 

At Nexus Workspaces, we created office spaces to do just that — help businesses and professionals accomplish their goals. From startups and small businesses to large, growing corporations, our workspaces and extensive services are designed with you and your business in mind, so you can focus on what matters most: doing what you love, successfully. To learn more, visit us online or at one of our properties today.

The Office Layout Best Fit For Your Business

The Office Layout Best Fit For Your Business

Everyone likes to boast about open office spaces as if they’re the best thing since sliced bread. A collaborative environment where walls barely exist, lounge areas are in every corner, and snacks and ideas can be easily shared with coworkers around you. But what most won’t tell you is that open office spaces are riddled with distractions, often doing the opposite of what they are intended: dragging productivity down. Open office spaces may not be right for every employer or employee, but are there positive aspects to the layout at all?

Of course. Here, we’ll take a deep dive into the pros and cons of the open office layout and identify which types of businesses can benefit from it most. Open office layouts one-size-fits-all. Doing the research and picking the right layout can mean the difference between stagnation and success.

Open Office Spaces

In the aftermath of the 2008 recession, the modern open office plan originally designed by 20th century architect Frank Lloyd Wright became the answer to the economic and population strains of the workforce. Tearing down walls meant more employees could fit into the same sized space without increasing operational costs. But the open office layout Wright created is far different than the one touted by offices around the globe. Rather than incorporating a focus on natural light and plenty of space between employees, modern open office layouts tend to cram employees into a small space, placing them side-by-side for “enhanced collaboration and productivity.” There may be positive aspects of this office layout, but the numerous cons prove the idealized version of open office spaces is far from reality.

The Positive Side of Open Office Layouts

Team-Centered Collaboration

Proponents of open office layouts often cite increased collaboration as a major selling factor, but this positive only applies if the layout is done correctly. Sitting employees next to each other randomly seems like it would foster communication and collaboration that otherwise wouldn’t happen, when in reality it could do more harm than good. If situated away from the coworkers they typically collaborate with, employees are more likely to turn to email or instant message to contact them. Instead, separate employees based off of teams or groups that already collaborate daily. When members of teams are in close proximity to each other, they’ll opt to communicate in real-time more often than turning to sending an email or instant message.

Cost Effective

Breaking down walls and replacing standing desks with one long table is a no-brainer if you’re concerned about costs. One study found that purchasing 50 cubicles cost around $60,000, while 50 individual standing desks would only set your business back $24,000. While standing desks may seem like a great alternative monetarily, think about it in terms of square footage: research shows the popularity of open office plans dropped the square footage per employee by one-third in the past seven years. Turning that into costs, adopting an open office plan would save large corporations like JP Morgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America around a billion dollars per year. Of course, cost is just one part of the equation. Consider the cons of this office plan before making the jump just to save a bit of change.

Increased Flexibility

Unlike traditional office spaces, open office layouts are designed to be flexible. If an influx of new workers comes onboard, you can easily tack on more chairs to the end of a table or slide a desk anywhere there’s room. Or, if your employees feel the current layout of desks and chairs is hindering their productivity, changing it up is quick and painless. There are no walls to break down or large cubicles to rearrange; change is always welcome, so your space can grow along with your business.

Negativity Out in the Open

Decreased Communication

Despite open office layouts being marketed as the best design for communication and collaboration, studies have found the layout to be anything but. A 2018 study found that in every case analyzed, face-to-face communication dropped by 70% in open office spaces, while electronic communication increased. Rather than being encouraged to talk to nearby coworkers, employees tended to socially withdraw out of fear of being too loud or disrupting others.


Along the same lines, distractions in open office spaces are impossible to avoid. While most employees have been shown to shut down socially, open office layouts mean no barriers, so every conversation — on the phone or in-person — can create noise that walls would have prevented. Even if employees are cognizant of others and take conversations in private areas, employees sitting in close proximity to one another may find themselves getting annoyed by small ticks or habits of others. Pen-clicking, foot tapping, and even loud chewing can all distract employees from their work.

Decreased Productivity & Lowered Employee Morale

Between decreased communication, a plethora of distractions, and lack of privacy, productivity is bound to suffer. The open office layout may have been designed with an increase in productivity in mind, but studies show that 1 in 3 employees feel distractions and noise inevitable in open work spaces negatively impacts their productivity. One in six employees also say the added distractions and noise hinder their creativity.

Taking decreased productivity into account is vital for businesses to accurately assess whether open office plans are worth the investment, but employers also need to consider employee morale. One in eight employees working in open office spaces said they’ve considered leaving their job simply because of the layout and feel resentment toward executives with private offices.

Not Worth the Risk

Open office plans look great on paper: Put all of your employees in the same room to eliminate hierarchy and facilitate collaboration while saving a significant amount of money in operational costs. In reality, open office spaces do little as promised. Instead of increasing communication, open office plans hinder productivity and can cost your business something more valuable than money: your employees. Unless you’re a freelancer looking for shared working spaces to interact with like-minded professionals, open floor plans may not be the right choice for your business.

At Nexus Workspaces, we’ve moved away from the traditional office and created a unique alternative designed for professionals to succeed. From executive-style offices to shared workspaces, our office spaces and expansive services fit the needs of any business — small startups, medium-sized firms, and large corporations alike. Visit us online or at one of our Florida locations to see how a new layout and new environment can boost your productivity, connectedness, and networking.

South Florida 2020 Moving Trends

South Florida Tops 2020 Moving Trends, For More Than Just Climate

For as long as the northeast has experienced bitterly cold winters, Florida’s year-round warm sand beaches have been the destination of choice — even if it’s just for six months each year. But as the country enters the fifth month of pandemic-level chaos, migration trends and population shifts from states in the North and Northeast to states in the South have been exacerbated. Economic depression, restrictions to social activities, and a shift to remote work are leading people to look for cheap places to live with plenty to do outside and the flexibility to work from anywhere. It’s no surprise their sights shifted to the Sunshine State.

Dating back to 1990, Florida was the top third state with the largest increase in population size. Over the next 28 years, Florida grew from a daily growth of 556 people in 1990 to the state with the highest net migration between 2017 and 2018. By 2019, the state had resumed the number 2 spot on the list of fastest-growing states, with 950 people moving to the state daily. Despite South Florida’s reputation as a cultural melting pot, attracting people from all over the country, the influx of population stems from New York, Illinois, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts more than any other state, likely due to a mixture of climate and tax requirements.

While Florida has seen a consistent influx of new residents, with a 35-year average of 777 daily population growth, the timing and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic have only increased the current. In March and April of 2020, the country rushed into efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. Travel was halted, businesses shut their doors, and millions of people were furloughed or laid off. Economic stress became the new pandemic, and it all hit when Americans were already preparing for financial strain: tax season. In an effort to find shelter from COVID-19, the impending doom of winter stuck indoors, and high tax rates, Americans began fleeing their homes and more than ever before.

Warm Weather Brings Northerners

Every year, as Northern states and Canada experience brutal winters, Florida’s coastlines become packed with snowbirds looking to escape the cold. But with COVID-19 travel restrictions in place, the snowbird season of 2020 seemed to be put on pause. However, as Florida enters phase 3 of reopening and colder weather begins to seep into the North, snowbirds are becoming stayers. With no definite end in sight and the beginning of flu season upon us, residents of Northern states are preparing for another round of quarantine, hoping to spend it in a state with nicer weather this time around. Since the beginning of the pandemic, home sales in some parts of Florida have more than doubled, with 45% of migrants making a move to South Florida particularly.

Tax Incentives Worth Moving For

Residents living in states in the North and Northeast have more than snow to worry about; they also happen to get hit the hardest by taxes: New York has by far the highest tax burden by state, followed by North Dakota, Hawaii, and Vermont. Maine, New Jersey, and Connecticut join the top 10 states with the highest tax burdens, while Florida comes in as the state with the third-lowest tax burden across the country. With no state income or estate tax and homestead exemptions of up to $50,000, as well as a cap of 3% per year on home assessments, Florida’s warmth isn’t the only attractive climate. While these tax incentives are here year-round, they are particularly appealing this year as Americans face the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

Moving to a New Way of Working

The climate and tax incentives of Florida are so attractive, in fact, that they have fueled 2020 moving trends in addition to decreasing number of cases. While there is no telling how the population increase will impact COVID-19 cases, deaths, or the fluctuating restrictions that come with the pandemic, migrants may bring some positivity with them. The increase in population, coupled with Florida’s reopening, may bring the unemployment rate back down to pre-pandemic levels. Plus, the uptick of employees working remotely means a boom is coming for shared, flexible, and modern workspaces

As millions of Americans ventured into remote work and social distancing rules simultaneously, the isolating and lackluster aspects of working from home revealed themselves. But the pandemic proved to companies that they can save money by transitioning their workforce to full-time remote work, leaving it up to employees to fill in the social gaps. Flexible modern workspaces offer the perfect balance: remote work with an office’s structure and (familiar or unfamiliar) faces abound. When it’s safe to do so, modern workspaces in South Florida, like the new Nexus location in Coral Gables, are likely to see a significant increase in occupancy. This will shift the workforce as a whole and give the South Florida economy a much-needed boost.

Keeping the Top Spot

Whether it comes in the next few months or well into 2021, life will eventually return to normal. COVID-19 has impacted every aspect of Americans’ lives, including migration trends between states. While most would expect the pandemic to shut down moves and keep people sheltered in place, loosened restrictions, tax burdens, and an uncertain winter has brought Northern residents down to bask in the South Florida sun. Freedom from state income and estate tax, plenty of outdoor pandemic-approved activities to enjoy, and a promising economic and workforce outlook mean these migration trends are not restricted to a COVID-19-stricken 2020. Florida has been the top destination for movers, and it shows no signs of slowing down.

At Nexus Workspaces, we’re working hard to keep up with the constantly changing workplace environment and workforce trends. As thousands of people move to Florida each day and millions of Americans are returning to work, we’re continue to expand across the state to ensure everyone has a productive and safe place to work. Our unique alternative office spaces are designed with businesses in mind, to help boost productivity, interconnectedness, and networking. Visit us online or at one of our locations to see how we can help you and your business succeed.

Office Desk with Supplies

Returning to Work? Here are the Best Ways to Sanitize Your Workstation

It may seem like a lifetime away, but just seven months ago, most of us were notified by HR to pack up our things and work from home. The notice was abrupt, serious, and completely unclear of when we would return to the normalcy of office life. If we ever do.

The COVID-19 pandemic sent the entire world into a whirlwind. In some parts of the world, people were confined to their homes for extended periods, with only emergencies being a valid reason to leave. Closer to home, businesses shut down, offices closed their doors, and restaurants and grocery stores essentially became drive-thrus. But gone are the days of destitute shelves, free from a single bottle of hand sanitizer and roll of toilet paper. While some states continue to keep places of entertainment closed, or are transitioning back to tighter restrictions, offices in every state across the country are back in business.

Returning to work may be a step back to normalcy, but it isn’t a full green light to forgo all COVID-19 precautions and tackle your workday pre-pandemic style. In fact, returning to the workplace may mean you need to take moreprecautions than you did at home. In the comfort of your own home, your biggest worry may be the mess your kids (or significant other) make and cleaning it up before hopping on a Zoom call. But back in the office, the desk you’ve been missing for months is ridden with germs. According to a 2018 study, the average office desk is home to 400 times more bacteria than a toilet seat. COVID-19 aside, dirty office spaces are a significant health hazard — one that is easily amended and prevented.

To help you prepare to return to the workplace safely, we’ll outline the top five ways to keep your office space sanitary and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Keep the tips handy, because even after the pandemic-panic subsides, keeping your workspace clean and tidy can help to make sure you don’t have to dig into those sick days.

  1. Keep Hand Sanitizer Handy

Since the start of the pandemic, health professionals worldwide have pressed one thing: basic hygiene. Washing your hands for the proper 20 seconds can prevent hundreds of germs from entering your system, and does wonders for avoiding deadly viruses like COVID-19. But for those without a sink nearby or the time (and patience) to visit the bathroom after touching every surface, hand sanitizer is an adequate alternative.

Now that shelves are restocked with hand sanitizer, grab a few bottles of varying volumes to keep on you and at your desk at all times. Keep a small, portable hand sanitizer in your pocket, in your purse or briefcase, or even on your keys. When you have it easily accessible, you won’t have to wait until you return to your desk or make a stop in the restroom to clean your hands after you’ve walked through a few doors or shook someone’s hand in the hall. And whenever you start to think sanitizing your hands after touching every surface is overkill, remember that a single doorknob has the power to spread viruses through half an office building in just a few hours.

Having a small, portable bottle in your bag is one thing, but be sure also to stock your desktop with a larger one. Even if you have a private office all to yourself, the mouse, keyboard, desk chair, and even tape dispenser you use can carry thousands of germs that can easily make you sick. Every so often, make sure to take a break to sanitize your hands — especially if you have a bad habit of touching your face. 

  1. Stock Up On Clorox Wipes

Sanitizing your hands every hour on the hour can quickly get irritating — both for your psyche and your skin. To remedy the issue, keep a pack of Clorox wipes nearby, and make sure to wipe down your office space each morning upon arrival, during any breaks, and before you leave for the night. If you’re the only one in your office, consistently wiping down surfaces can prevent the buildup of bacteria and dust. But if you have frequent office visitors or share spaces with a coworker, Clorox wipes can rid surfaces of any germs expelled during breathing, talking, and, of course, touching. Just because you can’t see the germs on your desk doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

Considering they are invisible, it can be challenging to know if you’ve covered every surface. Create a cleaning routine in which you wipe down your desk and accessories in order. If you have numerous accessories on your desktop, start by gathering them on the side and wipe down your desk. Then, pick up each accessory and wipe it down thoroughly; that means every side, including the bottom. As you move through each accessory, place them back in their original, now sanitized, location. Once you’ve replaced your last piece, wipe down the surface on which you gathered them, and rest assured you’ve done a thorough job.

  1. Take Meetings Virtually

COVID-19 has transformed the working world and catapulted us into a realm where everything can be done virtually. Remote work has increased drastically, with numerous companies making the switch permanent. Working from home may come with benefits, but ever since face-to-face interactions have been labeled as dangerous, the value has only been magnified. However, until we are clear to resume life as usual (or the “new normal”), employers and employees should heed health professionals’ warnings and do as many tasks as possible in a social-distanced fashion.

As you re-enter the office space, don’t forget the convenience and safety virtual meetings bring. Your coworker may be down the hall, but the risk of exposure to COVID-19 and other illnesses increases with proximity. Instead of calling group meetings in the conference room, send out a virtual invite, and take the meeting from the safety and comfort of your own office. And in the event an in-person meeting is mandatory, be sure to wear your mask (covering your mouth and your nose) and stay as far apart as possible.

  1. Clean Consistently Throughout the Day

Washing your hands once a day doesn’t do anything to prevent the spread of germs, and neither does cleaning your desk once and calling it a day. Be sure to use the Clorox wipes you have at your desk numerous times a day. If possible, remember to wipe down all of the surfaces you come into contact with right when you get to the office in the morning. And on your lunch break, save time to wipe down the surfaces again before you start eating. After you’re done, only clean up any messes you’ve made. Then, before you head home for the day, give your desk and all other surfaces around your office space another wipe down. Staying on top of cleanliness gives germs less time to multiple, spread onto other surfaces, or enter your system.

  1. Minimize Employee Foot Traffic

Whether you were the social butterfly around the office before the pandemic, or have also wanted an excuse to put up a “DO NOT ENTER” sign, now is the time to limit the number of people coming in your office space. Once you’ve returned to work, don’t be afraid to put a sign on your door, asking coworkers to contact you virtually before entering. Chances are, the question (or gossip) they came to talk to you about can be discussed over email or instant messaging platform. And in the event it’s a more serious matter that requires a face-to-face chat, they can virtually schedule a good time to meet before just barging in. 

Instructing employees to reach out virtually eliminates unnecessary exposure and provides an opportunity to set precautions before sitting down in the same room. When an employee or employer requests an in-person meeting, instruct everyone you’re meeting with to wear a mask at all times when in your office and have hand sanitizer ready for them upon entrance. Depending on your line of work, it may not be possible to forgo all interactions entirely, but minimizing foot traffic is a step in the right direction.

Creating a Workspace Conducive to Safety and Success

They say a clear space creates a clear mind, and when it comes to your office space, they’re not wrong. In the midst of a pandemic, keeping your workspace clear and clean is more than just staying organized. It’s about wiping down surfaces, disinfecting the things you touch the most, and being mindful of others around you. Keep hand sanitizer near you at all times, and limit the number of close interactions with others. When in-person meetings are necessary, wear a mask, disinfect your hands, and kindly ask others to do the same. Additionally, if you have symptoms of COVID-19, the flu, or even the common cold, stay home to reduce the chances of spreading germs to friends and colleagues. Staying on top of cleanliness will not only rid your mind of COVID-19 worries but can also boost your productivity. 

At Nexus Workspaces, we’re all about increased productivity, interconnectedness, and networking — and doing it all safely. Our alternative office spaces are located across Florida for optimal access and designed with you in mind. Whether your business is just getting started or is years in the making, our office spaces and accommodations can help you reach your goals. Visit us online or at one of our locations to see how we make a difference in the way people work.