In recent times, Coworking spaces have become rather fashionable. The shared workplace industry is valued at around 26 billion dollars, with an annual growth rate of 6% in the US and 13% globally. Coworking and flex spaces accommodate a wide variety of audiences, from start-ups to remote workers, solopreneurs, small businesses, and large corporations. So what are the benefits of Coworking and Flex spaces that are pushing people towards them rather than traditional office spaces?
When choosing office space, the first question that comes to mind is about the cost. This is where coworking and flex spaces provide an advantage; typically, coworking spaces are significantly cheaper than traditional office spaces to rent.
Also, coworking spaces are fully furnished with meeting rooms, management costs, such as cleaning costs like carpet cleaning and furniture cleaning, are covered. In comparison, you have to furnish and brand your traditional office space from scratch, take care of management costs and day to day running costs.
The cost-effectiveness of coworking spaces is quite appealing to small businesses, start-ups, and remote workers.
Leasing a traditional office space is comparatively more complicated. There is a lot of paperwork involved, long-term commitments, often one year or more. You also have to take care of utilities such as phone line, internet, electricity, postal service, and reception. In small companies, you already have to overlook and manage several tasks yourself, and these tasks become an added burden that most people look to avoid.
Here coworking and flex spaces provide an ideal solution to these problems. You get a more flexible tenure where you can commit annually or even monthly sometimes. You do not have to worry about much of the paperwork. During your tenure, if you or your company grows or reduces, you can expand or contract your space accordingly.
As a result, the flexibility of traditional office spaces doesn’t even come close to that of coworking spaces. Some people view that coworking spaces don’t have much privacy and peace. While this may be true for some spaces, a large number of coworking spaces have separate private rooms, which you can get, so you don’t need to compromise on your privacy, and it also provides you with the peace and focus needed to execute certain tasks.
Coworking and flex spaces provide a unique opportunity to meet new people. When different individuals work in such proximity, they are bound to socialize and get to know each other. This way, you get to learn insights about different fields, you make contacts and even friends.
Coworking and flex spaces also lead to collaboration between different individuals and corporations; for example, a start-up can use the services of a freelance graphic designer to make their logo that works in the same coworking space. This is beneficial to both the start-up as they don’t have to look around too much for a graphic designer and the freelancer as he finds more work. WIN-WIN.
If someone decides to work at a nearby coffee shop, they have to deal with the noisy and frantic environment. Meanwhile, a person who works from home also faces a lot of other distractions like children, chores, entertainment, and constant breaks; besides, working from home usually lacks structure and a schedule.
As a result, you are working way past normal working hours, your work-life balance deteriorates, and your productivity levels also suffer. On the other hand, Coworking spaces usually follow a similar pattern, with a clean and minimalist theme, and a vibrant environment, with plants, controlled temperature, noise, and ample natural light.
This enhances your productivity; according to a study by Deskmag and Deskwanted, 74% of co-workers are more productive when working in a shared space. Coworking and flex spaces block out more distractions than one might realize and when highly motivated individuals surround you, your output and productivity levels automatically soar.
The 2nd Global Coworking Survey states that on average 21% of shared workspaces hold at least two events each month. Hence a growing number of coworking spaces have designated areas for events such as workshops on different topics, seminars, guest speaker sessions, pitch practice, and other community events.
Having such a wide variety of events happen right where you work gives you an awesome opportunity to dabble in different experiences. Events and workshops such as yoga lessons, DIY crafts sessions, and motivational speaker sessions can inject some fun into the workday so that you can feel inspired and refreshed.
You can also interact with the diverse people attending these events and build contacts among different fields.
Learn New Skills
With ever-increasing competition, having a good command of a wide variety of skills has become essential in this day and age. You can pick up new skills from your coworking space. In addition to learning from workshops and events at your coworking space, you can also seek guidance from other individuals at your coworking or flex space.
Freelancers, being one of the top occupants of coworking spaces, usually specialize in a specific niche, with sharp skills in that area. If they allow, you can shadow them, or you can ask about resources from where you can acquire specific skills. Learning new skills will boost your professional profile and increase your work opportunities.
While talking about office spaces, we should also take the recent turbulent times due to Covid-19. The International Monetary Fund has described the “Great Lockdown” as the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s and foresees a recession worse than the 2007-08 global financial crisis.
Small businesses and large corporations have faced losses alike. In times like these, the disadvantages of traditional office spaces, like long-term lease plans, come into the spotlight. It also proves that the alternative, coworking, and flex spaces, are sustainable and beneficial to your personal and professional life.
By Myrah Abrar