We’ve all come up with really creative excuses during lockdown, especially during virtual meetings. Given the state of the infrastructure in Lebanon, international clients still find it hard to wrap their heads around why we don’t have a strong Wifi network, and why Zoom calls magically cut at 12:00pm across the country. Despite the inefficiencies in the national services, we still managed to survive three months of makeshift home offices. But based on discussions, this shift didn’t come easy to anyone.
Do any of these words resonate with you, while working from home?
“Sorry, that’s my dog barking. One second.”
“The internet cut. The electricity went off.”
“My internet connection is so slow today. I will turn off video.”
“Just one second,” (forgets to put mute) “No mom, I do not want to eat now. I’m on a call.”
“I’m on a very important work call with clients. No one come into my room.”
“I worked in sweat pants and a face mask this whole week. I don’t know what normal clothes look like.”
“My back hurts. Must be because I worked from bed today.”
“I miss interacting with humans at work.”
“My children keep screaming. I need a break to focus.”
Most of the professionals in Lebanon have gone back to work in their corporate offices. But freelancers, entrepreneurs and startups, as well as self-employed professionals in the digital and creative fields, are still exploring their options.
So what are office priorities, and what are the options?
Given that we survived a very challenging way of working from home, there are priorities that professionals will not compromise on in a workspace and there are options for each.
- Priority: Keeping costs at bay in a period of uncertainty. Option: Why not check out hot desks and coworking spaces in Beirut?
- Priority: Having a strong internet connection, that doesn’t cut. Option: Digital districts with high speed internet, everywhere on campus.
- Priority: Quiet spaces to take calls and concentrate. Option: Customizable quiet rooms, with no distractions.
- Priority: A place to host clients. Option: Meeting room access, booked through an App, for small and big groups.
- Priority: Comfortable, clean spaces, with access to amenities. Option: Hot desks and offices, with a community that respects social distancing, a space that is cleaned daily and being connected to printers and the internet.
- Priority: Interacting with inspiring, like-minded people and growing networks. Option: Choose to be in the center of creativity and digitization, with some of the country’s most thriving businesses.
- Priority: Access to home cooked meals and a fresh cup of coffee. Option: Walk to the cafeteria or the café just a few steps away.
- Priority: More time to focus on work. Less on logistics. Option: A fully serviced workspace, with all logistics, payments and governmental procedures, taken care of at minimal fees.
- Priority: A breath of fresh air and a space to unwind. Option: Sit on a bench in landscape spaces amongst the trees.