Top 7 Benefits of a Shared Office Space
“What is coworking? Workspaces that combine the freedom of working for yourself with a community and creativity of a traditional job”Brad Neuberg
Brad is the person who is attributed with having set the ball rolling for coworking to become the mainstream disruptive market that it is today. He founded the first coworking space in San Francisco. He was the first person to create a shared office and the view that he held about what it would become defines the reason behind and benefits of shared office spaces.
In the last 14 years, coworking spaces have evolved in a number of ways while providing the same experiences and advantages that were initially intended. How Brad described coworking spaces shows what merits he thought people could achieve from the concept. In this article, we will discuss these benefits in greater detail because even today, a Google search for coworking spaces shows that ‘People also ask;’ what are the benefits of shared office spaces or coworking?
The Benefits of a Shared Office Space
The coworking industry has grown in the span of just over ten years to become worth $26 billion. This rise is being hailed as one of the fastest in modern history. And it’s not just a fad. Industry analysts see enormous potential for expansion in the market and predict that the market will sustain allowing investors to make profits while other stakeholders to reap enormous benefits from the market too.
However, the benefits of a shared office space are beyond just monetary. The concept was meant to revolutionize the way people work and it is doing much more than that. Coworking along with shared living has disrupted the real estate market by expanding its horizons. With traditional leases going out of reach for most entities, coworking spaces are offering affordable alternatives.
Mainstream developers are acknowledging the potential of the shared workspaces market, and are incorporating these into their conventional projects. Coworking is offering extensive benefits to people in different segments but in reality, it is changing the game for those who are using it. Here are the benefits of a shared office space that coworkers enjoy:
There are companies around the world that offer employees some exciting facilities in order to help them relax and be more productive. Every year, these organizations are awarded honors for being ‘employers of choice’ for many professionals. Still, at the end of the day, a company office has an environment which creates feelings of anxiety, stress and leads to burn out in many individuals.
The environment of a coworking space is much different because, for starters, there is a diverse bunch of people working in the same place. These people are not under one chain of command so the overall aura of responsibility and stress is dispelled. Moreover, although a lot of already employed people also use coworking spaces, the major chunk of members are independent workers or self-employed.
The only other options available to these people before coworking were café’s or their own home. Both these places have their significant drawbacks like the time limitations at cafés and the monotony or loneliness at home. One of the benefits of a shared office space is that it provides an opportunity for growth in the middle of a motivated community all of whom are determined and focused on achieving their goals.
Leading on from the previous point, we arrive at productivity. The environment of a coworking space is designed in a way that it enhances individual productivity through a group effort. There are a number of factors that play a role in this. First and foremost are the aesthetics. Companies like Google, Apple, LinkedIn and Facebook offer beautiful décor and facilities inside their offices. These initiatives have seen their employee productivity jump significantly.
Coworking spaces take a similar approach and dial it up a few notches. They provide identical facilities with freedom from the corporate hassle. People can hire a desk at flexible rates, work as they please and then relax and some of the options that their particular coworking space offers because believe us, there are many! Since most of the people are self-employed, their productivity rises as compared to when they work from home or in other distracting places.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are five types of people who use coworking spaces. These are freelancers, independent workers, people working side gigs along with a day job, entrepreneurs and telecommuters. All these people come from different backgrounds and they are working under the same roof albeit on their own projects.
How diversity adds to the benefits of a shared office space is interesting. It is an advantage that allows better opportunities to those who take an initiative and interact with those around them. Community building is the fundamental aspect of a coworking space and as you hear about other people’s stories, ideas and what they’ve achieved so far, it brings on a new zeal that can help you push yourself further too.
Also, the diversity of skills and experiences is not just because of working in different fields, but also because coworking members include people of all ages. 65% of people using these spaces are below 40 with the median age being 35. 12% of people are also above the age of 50 according to recent statistics.
Amenities and Services
Coworking spaces are unlike conventional offices because they aim to maintain a work-life balance for the members of their communities. This is done by offering services that don’t just concern work but also that go above and beyond. Examples of these features include gyms, yoga and meditation rooms, indoor sports, resting areas, podcast studios, game rooms and a lot more besides.
These facilities may differ between coworking spaces and not all of them provide the same amenities. Also, the features mentioned above are add-ons besides the basic things like a fast Wi-Fi connection, charging sockets, VoIP services, printers, desks and chairs. All these elements combine to form a space that is irresistible to people.
Another one of the amazing benefits of a shared office space is the avenues that they open to people for expanding their personal and professional networks. You meet individuals from various fields and backgrounds with a multitude of skill sets. Since you are all working in one space, at some point you have to interact with each other. This is where conversations start and who knows what exciting results may come from these.
There have been numerous instances where startups and freelancers have connected with each other in a coworking space. The business owners were looking for someone to handle creatives and graphics for them whereas the freelancer was looking for his first client. The partnership struck there grew and eventually, both parties flourished. There are other examples like these and the outcomes have been different but fruitful for people on both sides.
Next on the list of benefits of shared office space is the freedom to work whenever, wherever you want. Most coworking spaces offer desks by the hour and you can pay to use them for as long as you like. And the flexibility is not just on your schedule but a lot of other things too, like the payment terms too. For a start-up or freelancer it is not possible to put down deposits and get a space conventionally on rent or lease. At times it is not even advisable to do so because the expenses are outrageous.
This is where coworking comes to the rescue. The payment plans offered by coworking spaces are configurable based on individual needs. This is something that is not available anywhere else.
Coworking spaces are like offices. They have their own security systems. The level of security can vary between different locations but the fundamental things are ensured. Members equipment and their privacy is respected and the owners make sure that all members adhere to the rules that have been laid out. Freelancers and entrepreneurs have the peace of mind that their work, ideas and devices are secure within the premises of the shared working space.
How These Benefits are Contributing to Growth of the Coworking Industry
These are just the main benefits of a shared office space. There can be various other advantages too. Specific merits can vary depending on a number of factors like location, concentration of members and the facilities being provided at the coworking space. One thing, however, is for sure that all these benefits together are creating lucrative opportunities for the industry.
As the coworking market grows, the underlying models that it uses evolve too. This means that the benefits offered with these spaces are also going to increase. Even at the moment, the advantages that come with coworking spaces have ensured that it is the preferred way to work for almost 40% of the whole workforce inside the US. We’re sure that the numbers are equally impressive elsewhere in the world too.