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Metro Offices Offers Facility Services; Investors Bet on WFA

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Image: Westend61 GmbH - Alamy Stock Photo
Welcome to the latest WorkSpace Connect News Wrap, our periodic recap of the news related to the modern workplace, the professionals that make it happen, and the products and services that enable it. In this edition, we look at the expansion of workspace-as-a-service, a call to prioritize employee experience in 2022, and investor interest in a service offering high-end spaces to remote employees who blend work and vacation.
Metro Offices Debuts Workspace-as-a-Service Offering
Metro Offices, a Washington DC-area-based company offering turnkey facility rental services, announced a new product line aimed at the federal government called Flexible Workspace as a Service. The company will be partnering with furniture rental company CORT to scale up operations; both companies say they'll be helping clients.
"Flexible Workspace as a Service solution provides an agency with a turnkey facility including furniture, utilities, communications, IT services, and all related infrastructure, and full-time support staff under a services contract. Contracts are flexible, scalable, and applicable for one to five-year terms,” Metro Offices CEO Kathlene Buchanan said.
The expansion of this office service comes at a time when workplaces have begun assessing how their real estate needs will shift in response to the increasing acceptance of hybrid work and employees' increasing comfort with asking for workplace flexibility. Also of interest: Earlier this week, WeWork announced a partnership to expand its office-as-a-service line of business.
Work-from-Vacation Startup Raises $20 Million, Opens Booking Platform
Wander, a short-term luxury rental company that offers 1GB Wi-Fi at its five available properties, announced a Series A round of funding, signaling strong investor interest in a real-estate business model aimed at a work from anywhere customer. Workers are also showing strong interest, with 2,000 founding members who each pre-paid a $100 credit on their account and a 30,000-person waitlist.
Amy Dobson, a senior contributor to Forbes, wrote:
“[The fundraising] shows a strong desire within investor communities for a business model ready to withstand not just a widespread pandemic but also the trend towards Web3.0 (increasingly referred to as Web3). Typically described as decentralized, autonomous digital platforms and communities, Web3 is forcing many businesses, and their investors, to rethink how to be profitable in an age where people are less likely to congregate in the same place for work or leisure.”
Wander's promise of a turnkey live-work space in premium recreation destinations reflects a shift in Americans' travel patterns as more remote workers blend vacationing with working. The New York Times recently reported that the pandemic boosted demand for "off-season" travel as people capitalize on the ability to work from anywhere there's Internet access.
Why Employee Experience Should Be Critical HR Priority in 2022
Writing for HRMorning, a provider of HR news, Derek McIntyre, chief operating officer, TCP Software, pointed out that the Great Resignation has demonstrated that the American workforce has reached the point where people are willing to remain unemployed rather than put up with terrible employee experiences.
McIntyre wrote, "It’s often minor things related to daily responsibilities that put workers over the edge: inefficient manual processes, scheduling conflicts, improper wage calculations, and delayed paychecks, among others."
Consequently, HR needs to pay attention to employee sentiment on what workers want. Data points include the following:
  • 71% of employees want a hybrid or fully remote working style, even after the pandemic ends.
  • Companies that let people work from home experience 25% less turnover.
  • Employees are 13% more productive when they are happy in their roles.
  • Engaged business units see a 41% reduction in absenteeism and outperform units with low engagement by 22% with respect to profitability.
To improve employee experience, McIntyre wrote that workplaces should invest in tools that simplify employee scheduling and streamline other financial, project, and time-management tasks to make them less onerous for employees and give them more control over their work.