While many, rightfully so, suspected “remote work” is here to stay, others find it extremely daunting to work from home, no matter how well-organized or comfortable they may be.
2020 was taxing, and the less said about it, the better. It will most certainly stay in the history books as one of the latest turn points. On the other hand, we will leave it behind us, with a sigh of relief, as soon as we get rid of its lingering tails.
As far as professional aspects of everyday life go, the world of work is evolving faster than ever, and 2021 announces the return to the office. Though it sounds ominous, it’s quite the contrary, as its return puts a smile on our collective faces.
However, it will not be a smooth sail back to traditional office-based business as global shifts bring with them a whole new set of changes. Luckily, mostly positive.
The times, they are a-changin’, sang one of the greatest musical revolutionaries of all times, Bob Dylan. Nowadays, he’s part of the tradition, an immovable foundation.
That is the future of office-based work, unification of traditional and new. Whether a web design company in Chicago or a startup from Silicon Valley, armed with the latest knowledge and experiences of remote working technology, it’s time for them to enter a new era – coworking spaces!
Coworking is not a novelty, but its steady rise in the last decade blew up last year. As more and more enterprise-level ventures are moving away from fixed offices, coworking is becoming the preferred option, the best of both worlds, some would say.
Simply put, coworking is when people get together in a neutral space to work on different things, independently or in groups on the same projects. How is it different than the typical office?
Well, “employees” in a coworking environment don’t necessarily work for the same company. Coworking spaces are indeed similar to offices, but they offer a lot more, flexibility being the first thing that comes to mind.
A number of studies prove that people thrive in the coworking space environment, and it is projected that the number of coworking locations will double by 2024.
Let’s see why:
In the aftermath of uncertainty, job cuts, salary reductions, it’s no wonder ex-office workers seek something more tangible yet flexible.
Moving to a coworking space brings a slew of opportunities workers will find relaxing. You’re offering them an office-like environment where they can focus and flexible hours, relaxing home atmosphere as well as, if you’re able, organized game nights, yoga classes, etc.
Who says work and team building can’t be one and the same?
It may sound a little tacky, but happiness is the best way to increase productivity; thus, a business as a whole.
Collaboration is essential for any modern business. We’re not talking about the faceless team standing behind a typical Elon Musk wannabe CEO, but an intertwined group of empowered individuals.
From freelancers to high-end professionals and entrepreneurs, coworking spaces are the seeds of new communities; they are essential in building new relationships and exchanging unique ideas.
Creative young individuals need to be surrounded by their like-minded peers to flourish properly. Besides, we’ve all experienced the negative effects of isolation.
Some coworking spaces in the US have outgrown the status of conventional workplaces and have become growing, established, and most importantly, successful communities.
More and more people question themselves if they seek peace or a piece of mind? The latter is the winning element. Coworking is a lively place, almost a complete opposite of stern, silent offices.
Working alone does not require a leased office. A home pantry will do just fine. However, its sheer closeness of convenient comfort can be catastrophic to the business.
Any self-respecting entrepreneur will emphasize the importance of networking in growing a business. More than 95% of people agree that business relationships are built tête-à-tête.
Choosing a place with the right equipment and the right people at the helm is just the start.
The next step, skyrocketing a business!
Coworking made a splash 5,6 years ago, but that splash became nuclear when big companies such as Apple, Facebook and Samsung started to recognize its value and moved part of their employees to this system.
It’s no wonder that every growing business started thinking in the same direction. Since coworking spaces are scattered around some of the leading global regions, the odds of crossing paths with significant connections increased tenfold.
Besides talent attraction and networking, coworking spaces reduce overhead costs (more on that below) and flexible office space models that allow businesses to expand and adjust. Whether they are established in restored or new buildings, they are designed with comfort and almost a coffee shop atmosphere in mind.
The ambiance is fast-paced and more enthusiastic. Case and point: Employees often stay longer than eight hours, while in standard office they stare at their watches desperate to go home.
What would be the main perks of a coworking space?
Normally, the ability to satisfyingly balance work and personal life would be enough for most people, but if they’re more practical and seek a specific listing, some of these will most certainly answer common needs:
The major concern many business owners have when it comes to transitioning to a shared office space is that their company’s individual values will be lost.
In truth, it’s quite the opposite. As mentioned, the coworking culture is comprised of a system of values. So, their corporate culture is highlighted and communicated exactly because of that shared space. Coworking means sharing values and ideas.
From minimalistic tech industry “brain labs” to creative marketing expert lounges, businesses will find a workplace that perfectly mirrors their company and brand.
As we mentioned, coworking spaces are no longer reserved for freelancers and startups only. As large companies reorganize and redistribute their funds, they find out that renting large office space is excessive.
To put it simply, money talks, and today, excessive spending is not the best of ideas. Office rental was typically one of the main expenditures for any company. Renting a coworking space, however, is both cost-effective and reliable going forward. Furthermore, it reduces long-term risk.
As we all know, “unprecedented times,” a syntagm we often use today, come when you least expect them.
Coworking’s flexible cost structure, custom-tailored contracts, all-inclusive rates, and no unpleasant surprises that come out of the blue each month are the main reasons companies of all sizes find it appealing.
Additionally, hiring support staff such as IT support, receptionists, and cleaning staff is also becoming a thing of the past as coworking spaces provide them themselves.
Last but not least, businesses only get to pay for the actually used time, unlike leasing a dedicated office building where they need to sign long-term commitment contracts and pay for insurance, furniture, and spaces they’re not even using.
We know, when it comes to a global pandemic, we’re not out of the woods yet, so thinking of hosting events may not be the most appropriate course of action. However, looking at the horizon, it’s not as bleak as it once was.
Whether companies are hosting a client meeting, a charity event, or a smaller employee get-together, coworking spaces will always have a room reserved for every need. Not to mention that said rooms also come equipped with audio-video amenities with serviced drinks.
As we continuously adapt to the “new normal,” so do coworking spaces. The coworking spaces usually come with an array of wide spaces where members could mitigate the potential health risks and implement sanitation protocols.
The times when businesses signed a 10-year lease on office space have long passed, as the market cannot guarantee a stable, long-term revenue and predictable return of investment. Business owners must adapt, but so do the shared office space owners.
As we see, coworking space is a no-brainer for at least one of the involved parties. But as an owner of the (planned to be) coworking space, you have the right to be skeptical.
Why? It’s simple; financial risk distribution is not equally shared. Why would a building owner ever consider trading the predictable revenue model for coworking workspaces?
Money talks and numbers concur. The latest research performed by JLL shows that square foot of flexible office space has grown at a rate of 22% across the last seven years compared to 1% growth of the traditional office space.
As noted, coworking is far from a passing business trend. Demand for short-term options turns the coworking space model into a viable segment of the market. As demand is growing, so must supply.
As coworking space is here to stay, the maneuverability of liability balances the scales.
How? We’ll list some of the owner-exclusive advantages:
Let the beehive do its magic, but be sure to scoop up the honey regularly.
The advantages of coworking spaces depend entirely on you. Not all of the benefits may apply to you but the flexibility to shape them to tenants’ business needs is the greatest perk of them all.
In short, coworking spaces have long stopped being the refuges of the self-employed loners and limited-budget ventures. They have, in fact, become the offices of the future. Whether a person is drawn towards the luxury of The Executive Centre or the creative buzz of The Hive they’re sure to find coworking space fit for their specific idea. Make it count.
Remember, coworking space is not the passing trend. It will grow past the pandemic. The need for coworking will continue to rise and evolve with time.
The article was written by Travis Dillard, a business consultant and an organizational psychologist based in Arlington, Texas. Passionate about marketing, social networks, and business in general. In his spare time, he writes a lot about new business strategies and digital marketing for DigitalStrategyOne.