With the rising number of remote workers across the world, shopping centers may become the perfect places for work.
Remote working is on the up and it is here to stay. This is not only due to the pandemic but also because of the rapid advances in technology and the psychology of newer generations that hold a more online entrepreneurial spirit compared to the previous generations. By 2025, an estimated 70% of the workforce will be working remotely at least five days a month, according to Forbes.
But we all know by now that working from home can be difficult due to home distractions or demotivating if we are always alone. This is why many remote workers prefer to take their laptops to cafes or to visit coworking spaces.
Co-working Operators Teaming up with Shopping Centers
Shopping centers around the world are seeing this as a great opportunity and are creating co-working hubs to attract visitors. Westfield shopping center in San Francisco did just that by adding to its tenant mix Bespoke coworking space operator.
Bespoke is a trifecta of coworking, demo, and event spaces, which gives an opportunity for people to work, use conference rooms, attend lectures or courses to learn new things.
When you combine all these activities in one space, the mall itself becomes a multi-purpose premise, which is ultimately the future of shopping centers.
In case the shopping center can’t find a coworking operator, there are other creative ways to attract remote workers. In the food court area or other free spaces, special tables could be placed with electricity sockets for laptops, and fast internet can be provided. Lounge areas with sofas can be also arranged to allow remote workers to set up meetings in the mall.
On the tables, barcode digital menus can be placed so it can be easy for the remote workers to order food and drinks from gastronomy operators within the mall.
In case the mall has temporary vacant units or free empty corners across the mall, they can also be transformed into quiet conference rooms or creative working spaces.
Shopping Centers Becoming Multi-Purpose
Shopping centers can be great places for people to work in a social environment and give them an opportunity to complete most of their daily tasks under one roof. This is especially true if the shopping center has a good mix of services, retail, gastronomy, entertainment, and recreational sports. If the workspaces are comfortable it will guarantee the shopping center returning visitors that will regularly visit the mall to work, shop and spend their leisure time.
If the future of shopping centers is towards lifestyle and community, it is time to make the malls into fun multi-purpose places with work hubs.