We are seeing co-working becomes more mainstream as flexible remote work becomes the norm. More people join coworking spaces every day looking for fantastic networking opportunities they offer. However, a lot of your prospective customers still believe that flexible workspaces are not for them. Let's face the assumptions people make and work out strategies to counteract them to win the hearts of new audiences.
Many entrepreneurs that have come from a corporate background but are considering using your facilities have the view that flexible workspaces and the working model that they are based upon are disorganized.
This myth grounds on flexibility and freedom provided by shared workspaces not seen in traditional offices. People can come to work at a time that suits them, sit where they like, and socialize with other professionals on their breaks. These are some of the factors that have facilitated the success of the coworking movement, as well as the growth of the businesses that use them.
You can easily address this objection at your coworking space by offering dedicated facilities that provide the uniformity that people are used to from corporate, which helps smooth their transition to a more flexible way of working.
Another way of addressing the disorganization stereotype is to implement a desk booking system. Former office workers will feel much better knowing that a workstation of their choice is waiting for them.
The way that coworking spaces tend to be set up means that freelancers, in particular, will benefit from using them. This doesn’t mean that their usefulness is limited to only freelancers though.
The population of modern workspaces includes four main types of residents:
In fact, we are seeing a rise in big corporations encouraging their teams that need to create and innovate to work from these spaces, which saves time, energy and reduce travel. The primary reason for this, however, is to get better output from those remote workers.
We are also seeing a rise in human resource teams working at coworking spaces, as this allows them to get privacy and space in which to think away from the employees they are supporting.
The myth that only freelancers will use your coworking space is exactly that – a myth. In reality, coworking is a broad ecosystem of individuals, businesses, and employees, it is inclusive by definition, bringing a range of ages, experiences, backgrounds, and skillsets together.
To dispel this myth you need to craft your site content and marketing messages properly. State who exactly can benefit from your membership and recap all those advantages.
While coworking spaces were initially designed to suit start-ups, operators are starting to realize that they can offer the flexible working environment that everyone is seeking – from employees to corporations, to sole traders.
The corporate culture is also starting to change and people are realizing that the creative ways that people using coworking spaces operate can be beneficial to all businesses. Coworking offers an abundance of opportunities, including networking, collaboration, and access to new markets, that is starting to attract a wider audience of small and medium-sized businesses, as well as corporations.
Just open your doors and who knows who’ll come in.
So how can you buster this myth? Think about your product composition. If you welcome startups, an accelerator program may be exactly what will secure a deal. If you are trying to catch a big fish (large company), offer them a super flex office that ideally fits the needs of organizations using a hybrid workforce. The options are limited only by your imagination.
In general, the density of programmers and web designers in flexible workspaces is above average. However, this is not because coworking is for techies. It's because it has always been way easier for IT professionals to work remotely. Actually, all they need to get the job done is a laptop and a desk. But now, coworking culture is thriving and becomes more diversified.
Besides, non-tech savvy members can ask their computer literate peers to build a website for their business, for example, which is a great benefit as they will work on the project in close proximity. I mean that you can focus hesitant prospect's attention on the benefits of sharing office space with IT pros and mention that there are plenty of people working in other sectors, such as PR-agents, architects, translators, and lawyers there.
Many people perceive shared office spaces to be elegant and fancy, so they assume that they will be an expensive option. A simple check on Google will reveal that this is false.
Some flexible workspaces look really luxurious, that's the truth. If a businessman is searching for a five-star hotel experience similar to what Regus provides, it will cost some extra dollars.
But if an entrepreneur is looking for a combination of nice interiors and affordable prices, a coworking space is exactly what they need.
The average monthly membership price worldwide is around $274 per month, which is quite affordable especially taking into account the fact that only 53% of memberspay for themselves, most of those fees are burnt by the employer-company.
“Because the workspaces are shared, it can actually be a really affordable option,” explains Lucy Atkinson, a business writer at Australia2write and Writemyx. “The conveniences and amenities are higher quality than renting your own office but because the management of these services are shared, you end up paying less.”
So feel free to boast to potential customers about how casual and affordable your workspace is in your ads and on the pricing page.
One more stereotype that coworking managers hear every now and again is that all workspaces are the same.
This is a strange statement, as it is a bit like saying that all shops are the same, or all homes. Most traditional office spaces look similar, but in fact, coworking spaces have more variety, as no one unit is the same. They vary in size, level of social interaction, the scope for collaboration, office provider, location, diversity, community, and specification.
For example, you can come across workspaces for:
In the same way, the type of person who is attracted to each coworking space can vary greatly, so it is completely unjustified to suggest that all coworking spaces are the same.
To address this stereotype, you can set up and decorate your flexible workspace to be as unique as you like.
One common complaint when colleagues suggest going for a coworking space to each other is that they could be too noisy or very distracting.
Yes, there can be a certain level of noise (unless workspace provides noise cancelation), chatter, and laughter within most coworking spaces, it really depends on what people personally find distracting and what people can manage in their working environment.
The essence of coworking spaces is in encouraging communication and networking. However, everyone needs some peace during the workday. Provide some quieter corners members can retreat to if they find themselves sitting somewhere particularly noisy, skype rooms and phone booths to receive calls, meeting rooms and conference rooms to run meetings. These facilities should be enough to address noise and distraction issues.
A community manager can advise members that don't want to get distracted sitting in the common area to wear headphones to show peers that they prefer to keep focus at the moment.
In a word, design your space to cater to a lot of different work styles. Offer private offices, break out spaces, private meeting rooms to create the ideal blend of dedication, flexibility, and location.
Studies have revealed that working in a high-paced, buzzing coworking space with a good sense of community can boost productivity and encourage good business practices, so following simple rules, your workspace has all chances to become a part of this positive stat.
Coworking is just like when businesses rent an office, but it has a lot more benefits. When they choose office space at a coworking, they can rent on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, whereas most formal rented offices require a commitment of at least a year.
“Flexibility is a strong benefit of the coworking space,” says Daniel Osborn, a lifestyle blogger at Britstudent and Nextcoursework. “If a company or business hires more people in the future, they don’t have to find them a new office, but can just rent an extra desk in the same coworking space.
This makes it a fantastic retention tool for businesses, as they can offer employees amenities, networking options and events. You will build them a unique working environment that they would not get if they had their own office.”
If a business is looking to get a new team up and running quickly or create a new satellite office in a new city, choosing a coworking space initially can be a great way of testing the water before investing time and money on an extensive build-out.
Many businesses embrace the coworking culture for just this reason, as they are able to outsource business functions and spaces without bringing it in-house.
Coworking spaces also offer an opportunity to network with other businesses to find collaboration, or perhaps the next investor or employee. Many shared spaces also hold weekly network events, socials, training seminars, and expert discussions.
So, if you offer flexible renting options and host networking events like this, chances are that your place is one of the most popular in town.
Some people have commented that they expected coworking spaces to work a bit like a beehive, with workers crammed in and desks shoved into all available space.
On the contrary, most locations are very spacious and give people the option to choose where they want to work from. The majority of coworking spaces have a lot more room than the average open-plan office owned by a corporation and are rarely fully booked, as most people who use them work on a flexible schedule.
People working there can choose to come and go as they want and select their space and the person that they work next to, so it is a much more organic environment.
Keep your coworking space airy like this, showcase images of your premises on the corporate website and social media, and many businesses will surely come around to the idea.
This one is true, but entrepreneurs may also earn less if they only work from a home office. For freelancers and employees who normally work from home, going to a coworking space a few times a week can be a haven in their routine, to help them stay in touch with other people and reduce isolation.
Funding the entire office infrastructure on their own can be a serious downside, so it can be nice to have the choice to go to a coworking space and split the expenses with you.
According to GCUC’s survey, 84% of coworkers say working in a coworking hub makes them more motivated. Other responses show that 69% say they have obtained new skills and 68% say their existing skills have improved since joining a coworking office space.
More entrepreneurs and business owners are being attracted to coworking spaces every day. This tells us that many of the reasons that have been putting people off, such as those above, are starting to dissipate and are not impacting their choices. If you agree with everything said above, give this article a share.
Needmoretips on improving member experience at your coworking space? Find them here: Customer Journey Funnel: Tips to Build Excellent Member Experience.
The article was written by Michael Dehoyos. Michael works as an editor and content marketer at McEssay and Academic brits. He helps companies with their marketing strategy concepts, and adds value to numerous sites and publications. Also, he writes for Origin Writings.