It’s hard to consider the future of anything right now, let alone coworking, which requires the use of shared office space. Each week it seems like we have a new set of regulations, restrictions, and suggested lifestyle changes to adapt to the presence of a global pandemic-causing virus. And let me just say before anything else: You are doing the best you can and I am proud of you! You may be wondering, “Okay, but…who are you??” Perfectly valid question. My name is Megan Cardenas, and I’m Hashtag Bakersfield’s Community Catalyst. It’s my job to get Bakersfield jazzed about the arrival of our slick, state-of-the-art coworking space, and to make sure I’m helping foster the best environment for our members and community. Once it’s safe to be in the building, I’ll start giving tours and lining up events and hosting lunches and and and…! Speaking of being in buildings, chances are you’re reading this blog post from your home office space, which could be anywhere from your bedroom to your newly-converted backyard shed. How’s it going for you? In this Hashtag blog post, Sadie offered some excellent tips and tricks for adapting to life working from home. Have you been able to establish a routine? How about minimizing distractions? I know for me, I’ve experienced benefits and challenges working from my house, and I can definitely say that I am very much looking forward to getting into our newest coworking space. But now that this pandemic is informing and shaping the rest of our lives, will coworking still be a thing? In a word: absolutely! Since Hashtag Bakersfield is still under construction, I’ve been learning all I can about coworking spaces in both pre- and post-COVID times. It has become abundantly clear that although many have temporarily closed, coworking spaces are expected to expand in both membership and in number all over the world once it’s safe to share spaces again. Companies both large and small have realized that they can still remain profitable after sending their office employees remote, and are looking for ways to maximize both productivity and efficiency. This includes ensuring employees have access to typical office amenities, such as fast and reliable internet, printing capabilities, and conference rooms. Hello, coworking spaces! Now with remote work more widespread, companies have also discovered they can permanently reduce office space/size and therefore lower their daily operations costs. A monthly coworking membership fee for their employees is often far less for some than their rent. For more on what else companies around the world are discovering about remote work, check out this thread from Firstbase CEO & Founder, Chris Herd. Another resounding truth I’ve read is that community is essential to recovery. Video conferencing is no substitute for face-to-face contact when it comes to collaboration, creative thinking, and social interaction. Combine these facts with the growing popularity of remote work, and it appears that the future of coworking may be brighter than ever! If you or your company are interested in partnering with Hashtag Bakersfield when we open, feel free and send me an email at [email protected]! I’d love to chat more about Hashtag and how we can help you do whatever it is you do, whether you’re a single-person startup or an established company! Megan Steinert Cardenas is our Community Catalyst for Hashtag Bakersfield, where she oversees the day-to-day operations and helps cultivate the community of our new Hashtag location. She is excited to promote Bitwise’s message of inclusion, “No one belongs here more than you,” to the city of Bakersfield. When she’s not working, Megan enjoys hot yoga, dance parties with her kids, and happy hour!