Coworking, shared office space and flexible working arrangements have permeated the workforce and are evolving the way we view and interact with work.
The popularity of this rapidly growing industry has seen a staggering growth rate of 200% over the past 5 years, with now more than 14,400 coworking spaces worldwide.(1) Projections also state that by 2020, 3.8 million individuals will have at least one coworking membership.
This industry of shared office space continues to challenge traditional real estate by creating experiential spaces that place the way you want to work at the heart of their operations. From the latest technologies, fun décor, and tailored events and programming, it’s no wonder businesses are moving their offices into coworking centers around the globe.
As you’ll see below, no matter what size your business is today, coworking can give you the perfect blend of flexibility, savings and efficiency to meet your office space needs.
Say goodbye to lengthy lease agreements and steep commercial real estate costs! The ease and affordability of joining a shared workspace community brings the dream of having your own office within reach for individuals and start-ups.(2)
Yes, working from home is convenient and “free,” but the added distractions from your endless house chores and inevitable family and pet interruptions can quickly impact your productivity — and that literally costs you money. In a professional, shared office setting you can enjoy an environment that enhances your productivity, spurs your professional growth, and even improves your health, according to researchers at the University of Michigan. (3)
Home distractions aside, let’s address an elephant in the room: when you work alone… you do exactly that. One of the most common issues that people who work from home experience is a lack of interaction with others.(4,5) A coworking community offers you countless opportunities to connect with others, whether it be a simple “Hi” in passing or grabbing lunch with a neighboring member – it’s these collision moments that spark excitement in your work and inspires your next business idea.
The “individual” worker of course comes in many forms, from sole proprietors and entrepreneurs to freelancers and remote workers, but the human desire to be a part of something bigger than yourself is strong. Coworking offices place you in a community of likeminded individuals who will challenge you to grow personally and professionally, and joins in celebrating your wins!
Small (2-24 employees) and Medium Businesses (25-99 employees)
Small- and medium-sized businesses are using coworking spaces more and more as well — and for many of the same reasons as sole proprietors. The lower overhead costs, flexible space options, straight forward terms, and 24/7 access eliminate the hassle of setting up a traditional office, allowing your business to focus purely on — well, business!
Operators of shared office spaces are thoughtfully creating design-focused environments, with aesthetics that emit vibes worth showing off. An office, especially one centrally located and rich with amenities, not only makes you feel great while you work, but it also extends similar sentiments to your clients and employees. So ditch the local coffee shop and all its distractions, and go ahead and make a reservation for a professional, stylized conference room to host your important meetings.
Ah, and then we have the often overlooked and underappreciated role – the office manager. You know, the individual who unjams printers, orders office supplies and troubleshoots your conference room technology. Coworking and shared office space offer onsite staff, dedicated to delivering business services and support to its members; ultimately saving you the cost to hire an employee, or headache of managing it yourself.
Large Businesses (100+ employees)
The newest trend is with large businesses and enterprise corporations, using shared work spaces as an integral part of their business models. And many of the world’s biggest companies are leading the way in this shift: Verizon, IBM, Google, Microsoft, Bank of America, Starbucks and Citibank have all added coworking options to their operations. (6)
These large organizations are using these spaces as a means to retain talent and unite remote employees, ensuring they feel like they are part of the broader organization. They’ve also found that it’s a great way to quickly enter a new market, minimizing their initial expenses and allowing them to test a region before making the full investment. Plus, the agile, flexible working space allows them to quickly adjust their expansion or reduction needs.
That might just be the biggest advantage: you no longer need a crystal ball to predict the exact amount of space you’ll need in 5 to 10 years — a fictional signpost in today’s disruption economy! Shared office space gives you essential flexibility as you change, grow and innovate, providing turnkey swing space to augment your business occupancy planning.
Employers also use shared office communities to handle other space needs, such as renting rooms for trainings, confidential projects and HR matters like interviews, downsizing and merger/acquisition talks. While others are using coworking as “plug-and-play” disaster recovery space imbedded within their contingency plans for power outages and weather-related incidents, ensuring their operations run seamlessly.
As you can see, the benefits of coworking and shared office spaces are nearly endless! To learn more about how HANSA can become your strategic workspace partner, please contact me at laura@HANSAworkspace.com. I look forward to speaking with you soon.
About the Author:
Laura Jimenez is HANSA’s Community Manager, set to open at 505 Ellicott Street located in downtown Buffalo in April 2020.