Co-working spaces are, by definition, a style of work. They’re not merely places where individuals can flock to when they have a project due; these days, these spaces cater to varying styles of work to meet the unique needs of workers in the area.
While some locations continue to offer the basics of a traditional office (some desks, printers and ink cartridges, chairs and WiFi), modern designs are beginning to provide a range of atmospheres and environments to serve the different needs of their many clientele.
The growing trend of co-working spaces began in the early 2000s, but only in more recent years has the concept exploded onto the business scene. With a rise in remote employees needing a place to get work done, co-working spaces are filling that need with large spaces, high-tech supplies, and convenient locations.
For existing businesses, co-working spaces have the potential to be a significant investment. Some predictions state that the number of co-working locations will continue to expand in the coming years. In 2016, there were approximately 11,000 spaces available, and there is the expectation that that number will rise to more than 26,000 offices by 2020.
For those wondering why businesses need to adopt co-working spaces ASAP, the following are some of the key benefits of this kind of endeavor.
1) Co-Working Spaces are Full of Talent
Many of the individuals who require co-working spaces are freelancers and small businesses. This means that there is a lot of potential for companies to meet new talent and possibly find ways to work together for the benefit of both groups. This aspect is especially true when working with freelancers, who may be looking for work, or who may be able to offer services that the business is in need of.
Investing in a place that caters to people from all walks of life creates a community of talent in all different kinds of fields. Individuals and groups can work with others to help one another, brainstorm and solve problems that may not have been solvable had an individual been working on their own.
Co-working spaces are a gathering place for all kinds of fresh talent and potential hires, so it’s a great investment to provide a place for those individuals to be at their best.
2) Getting Outside Help
As an extension of the previous benefit, co-working spaces are also a great way to get some outside opinions and ideas on existing projects in business. Individual workers may use the co-working space to throw ideas off of other workers and utilize cross-functional teams to solve a variety of problems or roadblocks.
Meeting and conference rooms serve varied roles in these spaces, providing employees with opportunities for focused discussions. Co-workers in different sectors of a business can make use of these, or even with small companies that have been using the space. The potential for various companies to work together becomes much more comfortable to plan and execute in an environment where communication and community are encouraged.
3) Providing for Remote Workers
It can be hard to get work done when working from home, which is why many people opt to head into the office instead. Fortunately, with co-working spaces, there is an opportunity to work in an “office-like setting” where all of the best office supplies, like printer ink, and high-tech tools are available.
Remote workers can skip all of the travel time and costs getting to the office by instead signing up for a membership at a local co-working space. Here, they can enjoy internet access, private offices, meeting rooms and other features that ensure they can still communicate with the office and get projects done.
Another problem that remote workers and their employers face is the inability to get things done. Individuals who have a hard time focusing can get caught up in other projects and take much longer to meet deadlines. Luckily, many of the co-working spaces available are designed with calm and focus in mind, with many of them being niche-focused. That means a worker can easily find a place that preaches peace, or one that encourages lots of conversation and action. Whatever environment an employee needs to get work done, there is likely a space designed ideally for them.
Workers need to do some research ahead of time to figure out which spaces meet their unique working needs.
3) They Make a Great Investment
With the impressive growth of the remote worker community, some experts expect that these spaces will continue to be in high demand. For those firms and businesses that are already looking to fill floor space and existing real estate, this kind of investment is a great way to bring in constant traffic. Research predicts that co-working spaces will account for as much as 2% of the office market by the year 2020, making them a smart business venture for large companies, landlords and anyone looking to invest in real estate.
Not to mention, the charges for a monthly membership in a well-run space can bring in a pretty penny. For example, for the most basic membership at WeWork, which includes assurance of one “seat” in a common location, the charges start at $275/month. Your desk in a shared space will cost at least $350/month, while a private office runs for at least $520/month.
What started as a business concept focused around remote workers, and small businesses is now an idea that caters to everything from one-person companies to large corporations. Embracing this kind of workspace is necessary, however, since it caters to the needs of all types of businesses and supports their potential for growth.
Large companies with the capability to adopt co-working spaces should seriously consider the idea; if not merely to provide a place for their remote workers, then to also welcome the potential for new talent and cross-functional teams.Businesses who aren’t sure how to start a co-working space will need to do their research ahead of time; the size of space needs to reflect the demand in the area, and should also be somewhere accessible and close to amenities.
With so many impressive spaces already on the map, there should be no doubt that pre-existing expectations will make or break this kind of business.