For many businesses, the prospect of renting an office space is daunting (and expensive). Many companies will work remotely until there’s a vaccine for COVID-19, and employees might be reluctant to return to the office even after the pandemic ends.
Coworking spaces provide solutions that allow businesses to function and grow, even if they’re not ready for a long-term commitment or traditional office. These spaces allow businesses to maintain a designated workspace for a few employees at a time without the costs associated with leasing commercial real estate.
There are about 35,000 coworking spaces across the globe, and demand for these flexible work environments increases year by year. So, what are some of the benefits to utilizing coworking spaces?
Changing Business Needs
New businesses often rely on team collaboration, but over time their needs can change. When your business launches, your team may thrive in an open office workspace, but as your business grows, you may need access to private workspaces that allow people to focus on individual tasks.
Leasing an office means that, as you grow, you need to either adjust your business needs to the space you’re leasing or move to a different location to accommodate your growth. Coworking spaces, however, usually allow you to adjust your workspace to your changing needs. If you need more room to accommodate social distancing, coworking spaces make that easier.
According to recent research, about half of coworking spaces offer open floor plans and private rooms and about 40% also provide cubicle workspaces. Coworking arrangements allow you to adjust your space to the needs of your team without having to disrupt your workforce by relocating, as you would in a traditional office building.
Tailoring conference and meeting room sizes is another way coworking spaces help your business fluctuate to changing demand. Most of them offer a variety of conference room sizes, usually available as per-hour rentals. Meeting space rentals allow you to host business meetings of nearly any size without paying for unused space, as you would do in a traditional office building.
Employee Count Will Grow
As businesses grow, they will eventually seek out more accommodating office space. Coworking spaces allow businesses of various sizes to expand at their own pace, without needing to commit to a larger space before they’re ready.
For example, Novel Coworking in Chicago, IL offers a variety of spaces, including full office suites, private offices, and event spaces. Traditional office leases can make it difficult for your business to grow naturally. If your business launches with 10 full-time employees, for example, you might need to lease a traditional office space large enough to accommodate 20 people because you’re signing a three- to a five-year lease.
Two years later, 30 employees are complaining about the constraints of a cramped workspace, and you’re wasting energy trying to figure out how to get out of your lease and manage a cross-town relocation. Coworking spaces allow you to expand or downsize your space as your business changes, without the constraints or expenses of a traditional office lease.
Coworking spaces often house any number of specialists under one roof, and most locations encourage workers to network with other businesses in the community.
Most coworking spaces organize community gatherings such as coffee hours and workshops. This provides opportunities to develop relationships with other local businesses that are just a few steps away from their desks.
Coworking spaces encourage collaboration with professionals from a variety of industries, helping your business embed itself into the local community and network with potential future partners.
Businesses that need to cut expenses can often do so, without compromising efficiency or quality, by moving to a coworking space.
Coworking spaces often provide services that are typically additional costs attached to a traditional office, such as:
- Office equipment
- Kitchen amenities
Renting a coworking space can help cut costs significantly, allowing you to channel funds into more valuable resources as necessary.
Enhancing the Workforce Experience
Most coworking spaces (94%) provide perks that go beyond tables and chairs.
According to a survey from Clutch, some of the most common fringe benefits of coworking spaces include:
- Coffee and tea (71%)
- Snacks/meals (56%)
- Social events (45%)
- Sit-stand desks (39%)
- "Fun" elements such as games (30%)
- Gyms/exercise facilities (26%)
- Pet-friendly amenities (26%)
Employee perks vary according to the coworking facility and location. WeWork coworking space, for example, tailors some of its more significant perks to local culture. Depending on which city you’re in, you can walk into a WeWork space and enjoy anything from valet parking to mini-golf, swimming pools, or in-house rock climbing.
Coworking spaces provide many perks for employees and often provide a fun, social environment that helps employees look forward to their workdays.
About the Author
Kelsey McKeon is a content writer and marketer at Clutch.