We’ve already covered how startups like Uber, Instagram and Wanderfly reap the benefits of coworking, but there are many interesting ways that every business can leverage their shared workspace. In fact, these benefits help explain why there are 10X as many coworking spaces around the world today than there were just 5 years ago. As the on-demand gig economy continues to surge, people are increasingly looking to pay for access to goods and services rather than owning them outright. The same holds true for office space, and it’s not just because of costs. We’ve identified 10 strategic reasons why coworking is good for your
Companies usually have three options these days when looking for an office: buying, renting or coworking. The first two alternatives allow you to own a personal space just for you, but they require a significant upfront investment and commitment for at least a year or more. In these situations, companies can often feel trapped as changing location is hard, it takes forever and you feel like you’re losing money. On the other hand, coworking is simple and there are no lock-ins or fixed costs. If you want a change, you can just leave your workspace at the end of the month without any trouble.
Upfront investment and sunk costs associated with renting or buying property are a significant pain point for businesses and they can’t be underestimated. Coworking liberates you from those cost centers and enables you to be more flexible in order to adapt your needs to your growth trajectory. In an ideal world, you could predict where your business will be in a couple of months or years. However, in reality the fast pace of innovation and technological advances makes this virtually impossible. These days, in order to be truly competitive and ready to adapt to changing industry trends, companies need to be flexible and scalable. Coworking offers your business this freedom and ability.
One simple reason why so many companies around the world are increasingly moving to coworking is the chance to save costs. Just like most things in the sharing economy, the price of operating a fully functional office on your own is much higher than doing so with others. Why should you acquire printers, meeting rooms, kitchen appliances, reception desks, security services and more when you’re only using them a fraction of the time? Coworking is cheaper because it basically lets small and medium-sized businesses share these costs and become more efficient with their money. At the same time, firms joining coworking spaces are also liberating themselves from a lot of administrative tasks, since maintenance, repairs, licensings, property laws, etc are being taken care of by the office space provider.
Coworking lets you fast-track your way to having the coolest office in the most desirable neighborhood. Since coworking is more affordable compared to buying or renting a traditional office, companies opting for a shared workspace are able to select a more premium location which they otherwise might take years of growth. Of course, the importance of location for business success varies depending on the industry they’re in, but in general there isn’t a single company that doesn’t benefit from it at all. Being situated in the heart of a city can be a great ace up your sleeve when scheduling sales meetings, closing business deals, hosting events or luring A-players to join your team.
Growing companies that are actively hiring can recruit more candidates and higher levels of talent from the extended reach coworking offers. Shared workspaces vastly boost a company’s recruiting efforts as they enable them to “sell” a cool office to candidates instead of an isolated garage or warehouse space in the outskirts of town. In particular, hiring young talents becomes much easier as they get excited to work in a coworking environment that is better located, looks spectacular, offers perks such as free coffee and afterwork beers, hosts great events regularly and comes boasts a great community of diverse and successful people.
Research shows that 74% of coworkers are more productive since moving to a shared workspace. This is no surprise, as this type of office brings together highly skilled and successful personalities, from entrepreneurs, freelancers to managers. As a result, it’s hard for coworkers not to get inspired and affected by the high level of energy and passion around these people. Of course, coworking can be distracting too, but by following a few simple steps people can achieve maximum productivity without being absorbed by colleagues, events and chatting.
Similar to the increase in productivity, the coworking community is also a great source of inspiration and encouragement for innovation amongst members. By interacting with people from different industries, functions and backgrounds, coworkers are exposed to a stimulating environment that fosters out-of-the-box thinking and new ideas. Additionally, the unconventional design of shared workspaces and the ability of its members to move their seating place around at any time within the coworking office enable them to be more creative.
An often underestimated advantage of coworking is that it promotes learning amongst members. By hosting workshops, seminars, expert guest speakers and other educational events, shared office spaces provide you with lots of learning opportunities. Moreover, as they are free and take place next to your office room, there are no excuses for you to miss out on them. On the other hand, you’ll also improve your skills and expertise in new fields during informal chats with your coworkers when sharing best practices and the latest industry trends with each other.
This aspect is especially important for SMEs where the company consists of just a handful of employees. Instead of being associated with the same people all the time, coworking communities offer a great chance to create new friendships, collaborations and networks. These are helpful not just for business, as people will get more productive, more creative and acquire new skills, but also for personal life as employees will be much happier in general.
Of course, the coworking community is not just about socialising and parties. It’s an excellent place to create new sales opportunities and meet new business partners. Actually, recent research reveals that 71% of coworking members collaborate with each other, be it a small task or a big paid project. Additionally, even more business is generated through word-of-mouth referrals to new prospects that might need your services. From a product-perspective, since the average coworker speaks with more than 5 members per day, the community is also a great place for companies to test their products, receive feedback and get new ideas.
The advantages of coworking go well beyond mere cost-saving reasons. Becoming more flexible, recruiting better employees and acquiring a top-notch location are just a few perks of using shared workspaces. Another benefit is that employees will be happier, more productive and more creative due to a stimulating environment, leading to an improved social life and higher productivity. Moreover, thanks to a strong community and frequent learning opportunities, you’ll expand your professional network and improve your business.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly for some, coworking will help you get new clients and make more money. Of course, like everything in life, coworking has also certain disadvantages, but by following our beginner’s guide to coworking they can easily be neglected. Have we missed any important points - Please leave a comment below to share your thoughts!