Coworking is the new normal. And according to a study, workers thrive at a rate of 6% to 7% higher in coworking spaces than usual workspaces.
No wonder, there were almost 19,000 coworking spaces globally in 2019.
But what exactly is coworking space? And who are those utilizing these spaces?
Coworking space is a type of workplace where workers who are usually not members of the same organization, gather to work in a shared office space.
Earlier, it was popularly used by location-independent freelancers, but today, it is used by different types of workers, including large-scale businesses and small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
There are plenty of benefits of using coworking spaces including flexibility, creativity boost, work-life balance, productivity, and many more.
Let’s dig into the reasons why employees thrive in coworking spaces.
Coworking spaces make it possible for organizations and individuals to choose flexible working hours and preferred workspaces that work for them. Not everyone likes to work during normal business hours.
You might think that one loses personal space at co-working spaces, but the opposite is true. There is no forced interaction in coworking spaces, making it suitable for all kinds of workers.
In fact, it is great for those introverts who prefer to work in isolation but need the office vibe to be more productive. And for those extroverts, they can use socializing as a means to brainstorm ideas and add creativity to work.
Employees working at coworking spaces are able to maintain a better work-life balance.
For instance, if you work at home, you are solely responsible for motivating and organizing yourself. Unless you're really determined to complete a task, you may find yourself getting distracted or giving in to temptation more easily. Or, in some cases, employees even tend to overwork in regular office settings.
Coworking offices bring a solution to those issues. Employees can draw inspiration and motivation from people from diverse backgrounds and remain more focused at work and strive to perform better.
Moreover, since members are charged based on the usage of space and amenities in coworking spaces, there are fewer chances of employees getting overworked. Reportedly, employees feel healthier and stress-free after working in coworking spaces.
Coworking spaces increase productivity as unlike other normal working spaces, as most of them are accessible 24/7. You can go and work at a convenient time without any distractions, thus completing work on time and driving productivity.
It is especially great for small business owners who work at a home office. By going to another space, a “work mode” can be solidified, leading to increased productivity.
As per the study, 50% of coworkers reported higher income.
As per a survey conducted by GCUC, 69% of coworkers reported that working in a coworking space allowed them to acquire new skills while 68% reported that their existing skills improved after joining a coworking space.
It happens because not only coworking office spaces give you the opportunity to meet diverse people with an abundance of knowledge, but they support regular community events and programs that are designed to facilitate its members in a way that they learn and acquire new skills.
Moreover, working in coworking spaces encourages people to widen their horizons and step out of their comfort zones. People reportedly said they even feel more confident while coworking.
For many, a coworking space is a great place to network and collaborate with different groups of people. There is ample opportunity to meet both new clients and potential team members.
According to a survey conducted by Smallbiz, 82% of respondents said that they had expanded their professional network after joining a coworking office space.
Another study revealed that 64% of coworkers found their coworking networking to be an important source of work and business referrals.
If you rent an office, you will have to pay extra costs for perks like free coffee, snacks, or alcohol. Many coworking spaces come equipped with all these perks at one monthly rate.
You can also avail of several built-in business services, like business mail, printing services, internet connectivity, and other facilities like front-desk and cleaning staff and kitchen and bathroom services. It can all save you money in the long run.
It’s important, however, to consider the features you really need before deciding on the right workspace for your business. Coworking spaces are especially beneficial for small businesses that have to pay into expensive leases.
It has been estimated that for any business, about 35% to 55% of the employees do not require their own office and that a company can save as much as 30% on the operational cost alone by using coworking space.
One of the greatest challenges faced by people who work at home is isolation, which often leads to loneliness.
On the contrary, while working in coworking spaces, you are surrounded by a network of professionals. Thus, the chance of feeling lonely that is associated with working from home is highly reduced.
As per a survey, 87% of respondents said that they meet other members in coworking spaces for social reasons. And another study found that 83% of coworkers said working in a coworking space made them feel less lonely.
Since coworking spaces are coming up in all major cities around the world, it makes it possible for professionals to plug in at any time, in any location.
Even working while traveling is possible as there’s a comfortable place to work, accessible WiFi, and office essentials like printing and coffee.
Plus, employers get the benefit of hiring the best talent, regardless of location, without having to pay for relocation costs or the fear of remote professionals feeling disconnected.
Whether you are an entrepreneur, start-up, or a freelancer, there are certain issues you have to face while working at home or in a normal workspace.
Your internet dies when you have a deadline to meet. You have to deal with hot-tempered clients or bosses, and so on.
A coworking space can eliminate these issues as these spaces are jam-packed with excellent business-friendly amenities to make life easier for business people. You can relax and organize your business for sales and achievement.
If necessary, your team can even use the meeting rooms to have a discussion or utilize the leisure area during breaks or for hanging out with your teammates.
Many coworkers report that work done in their spaces is more meaningful. They feel happier as they are satisfied with working in a coworking space.
Factors like work environment, the feeling of belongingness, creativity in the job, safety and security, respect from co-workers, and flexibility affects job satisfaction. Coworking space stimulates the growth of all these factors.
Moreover, the employees’ work identity becomes stronger when they work around people skilled in various types of work.
Workers also don’t need to maintain a work facade as there is no competition. Coworking spaces promote a sense of community, collaboration, learning, and sustainability, which in turn allow employees to find more meaning in their work.
As per Deskmag’s coworking survey, 59% of people choose a coworking space based on it having a pleasant atmosphere, while 56% choose it to interact with others, and 55% to build a sense of community around themselves.
Working at home or in a normal working space often makes employees neglect or forget about important things like social interaction. Or one has to actively make an effort to go out and socialize.
When you’re in a coworking space, there’s a high likelihood of coming in contact with like-minded people.
You have more chances to form bonds and new friendships and be a part of a coworking community.
A coworking space can provide a central location for clients so they won’t have a hard time locating you.
Moreover, if you rent your own private office, you may be forced to sacrifice location quality for a more inexpensive monthly rent and utility costs.
When you move your business into a coworking space, you can get an address in the heart of the central business district. It will give clients 24/7 access to transportation, gyms, cafés, etc.
Depending on the place you live and work, the cost of office space will vary. Some workspaces can be too expensive for a bootstrapping startup to lease.
But if you switch to coworking, you can avail of a workspace at a more affordable price.
Most cities have several coworking options ranging from very affordable to more upscale.
Moreover, you don’t even have to stay in one place permanently. Instead, you can try out different parts of town and discover new neighborhoods until you find an affordable and functional coworking with a good environment to settle down more permanently.
In an article published by Harvard Business Review, it was stated that the three key elements of successful communication within organizations are:
- High exploration (workers network with people in several different social groups)
- High engagement (employees network with the people within their closest social group)
- High energy (workers have lots of interactions with people, regardless of who they are interacting with)
A coworking space can facilitate all these perfectly.
Coworking spaces are designed in such a way to facilitate networking between employees. Unplanned interactions take place as the coworking office layout blends openness and intimacy. It encourages purposeful spontaneity that can, in turn, improve employee satisfaction and even business growth.
Moreover, you can develop communication skills - something that is a bit difficult if you work remotely at home.
Since people working in coworking spaces come in contact with diverse groups of professionals and companies, it gives them new opportunities to explore.
People thrive in coworking spaces as they avail infinite opportunities like the opportunity for a new business, networking, and learning opportunities and alike.
Besides, each member of a coworking community has a network of contacts who work in a different place. You can leverage the opportunity and get yourself introduced to even more contacts.
And most coworking offices conduct both in-house and off-site events, both professional and social in nature. As a community member, you can learn new things, share and gain ideas and network regularly.
When you join a coworking facility, you don’t have to manage things like office supplies, food, visitors, and so on. Everything you need from a good working space to internet connectivity and other office supplies like printers is made available.
Hence, you save not only cost, but you will get more time, which can be invested in sealing more business deals or taking a vacation.
As you can see, there are endless benefits of working in a coworking space. Employees thrive in coworking spaces as they encourage fun, friendliness, collaboration, productivity, and inspiration.
As opposed to a home environment or normal workspace, coworking space offers employees a more relaxed environment to work while keeping workers motivated as they see professionals from diverse work fields involved in tasks.
People who join coworking spaces are also more inspired, more creative, happier, and more engaged in their work compared to employees who work in a traditional office setting.
Moreover, coworking spaces allow employees to find meaning in their work and provide room members to grow their network and business.
As per a survey, 72% of professionals reported that having more work benefits would boost their job satisfaction. People working in coworking space get plenty of work benefits, thus, they are satisfied with their jobs. Plus, it is cost-effective.
Plenty of coworking spaces are coming up. So whether you are a freelancer, SMEs, or a big corporate, you can leverage the benefits offered by coworking spaces and move your business forward.
Aanya Rachel is the Content Manager at The Address, a coworking space in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. She is passionate about sharing her knowledge, experience, and extensive research in this field. She writes on a wide range of topics related to coworking, growth of remote workers, startups and real estate.
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