You might have heard about coworking before since it's been growing in popularity for the last 20 years. It describes a work situation where strangers collaborate as equals, instead of following the conventional hierarchical system seen in companies. Coworking has been about creating communities of like-minded people, who partner with each other on tasks, in spaces designed to promote creative thinking.
The coworking trend doesn't appear to be going anywhere anytime soon, and for good reason. It is flexible, accessible, and caters to the rising number of digital nomads and remote workers.
If you want to introduce coworking into your business, you need to focus on location - the primary aim of these spaces is to cut down on transportation costs. You also need spaces that complement your schedule and provide amenities for workers.
There is so much to learn about this interesting workplace system. Read on to make the right moves when embracing this change.
Experts predict that the number of coworking spaces in the world will exceed 40,000 by 2024, with almost 20,000 expected this year. By 2024, it is highly likely that over 5 million individuals will be working from coworking spaces, up by 158% compared to 2020.
While working from home and at cafes is convenient and flexible, it has significant limitations for individuals seeking to expand their business. As a result, coworking spaces have bridged the gap between squatting in the corner of a Starbucks and owning your own business. You can impress clients with your well-designed coworking space, instead of meeting them at random coffee shops that offer no privacy or comfort.
Another reason for the growing popularity is that coworking companies like to collaborate on projects due to the ease of being close by. Sharing coffee and lunch in the same location also improves interpersonal interactions. When you see others working hard in the same area, it inspires you to do the same.
With the benefits of the coworking business model in mind, you might be wondering how to integrate it into your business. Here's how.
You must discuss the strategy for converting the workplace to a coworking space with your employees. You should carry out this conversation professionally and tactfully. Make a strategy to handle employee input and feedback, so that everyone feels at ease with the change.
Take a count of the employees that will be using the new coworking space. How many individuals will physically be able to access the coworking space? How many times a week are they coming?
It'll be critical to figure out how many of your employees will be using this common space. This will let you prepare for the amount of space you require, while also allowing you to save money by not overspending on space that is not required.
The first step on your coworking journey is determining how much money you wish to invest in the new space. You'll be able to substantially cut down your range of options by arriving at a budget. Your budget will affect the sort of package, amenities, and location you may choose.
Most coworking spaces accept monthly payments (as opposed to typical office leases, which are quarterly). So, note this while you plan your budget.
You'll have to choose the region, city, or town – or a specific location within it – from which to operate your company. Maybe you live in Scottsdale and can't fathom working anyplace else, or maybe you're dead bent on starting in Tempe.
But if you have more leeway in making your selection, there are a couple of factors to consider.
Finances: The average cost of a coworking desk varies greatly, both nationally and within each region. The more popular and busy a place is, the more costly the coworking spaces in that location would be.
Transportation: If your commute is tough and long, you will get weary, stressed, and financially pressured. Make a note of all the convenient transportation alternatives for you, then look for coworking spaces that match these criteria and are close to your preferred transportation hubs.
Amenities in the area: Is it vital for you to be close to cafés, pubs, or specific stores? Do you want to develop a work culture that involves outings to the bar as a group? Would you go down the street to a professional printing business or post office? The amenities you need to facilitate productivity and keep workers happy are a factor in deciding your preferred location.
Security is the main distinction between your business' regular office and a coworking space. Security at a coworking space might present a step-up from previous settings. A coworking space might be on many floors of an extensive corporate structure, a small office building, or a multi-use complex. There may be security in the lobby and the elevators, and the coworking space will generally have a check-in desk with a receptionist.
Make sure that throughout the changeover, you establish ground rules for employees, such as requiring them to lock away any valuables overnight.
It's critical to be proactive in preventing data breaches as well. One way to go about this is by assigning each user unique login information and a password for Wi-Fi access. You may use two-factor authentication to provide better security. To take it a step further, you can implement personalized private Wi-Fi networks.
It is preferable to ban possibly dangerous websites that are unlikely to benefit anyone. This is something that corporate offices have always done to avoid unwanted traffic and maintain network and data security. There's no reason why coworking spaces couldn't provide this service.
A considerable part of coworking as a business model is convenience. If you want to work at any time you please, you need a facility that stays open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. While all coworking spaces provide full-time memberships, some also have part-time memberships for entrepreneurs who don't need to come in every day. You can use a time clock software to organize your company's working hours, streamlining it with space.
Select an office space that meets your company's needs. Regardless of what coworking spaces have to offer, you must guarantee that they meet your business's essential needs. If your firm consists of people who have worked in the corporate sector for a long time, a coworking space oriented at millennials is unlikely to appeal to them.
Similarly, if your firm is young and hip, going for a more corporate-looking setting that doesn't instantly lay out all the benefits of coworking space surroundings is unlikely to encourage your creative team. Engage the operators and inform them of the type of workspace you want, and the expectations of your industry.
If the above ideas regarding workplace changes ring true for you, it's time to start looking into the best sort of coworking space for your office's move to the future of work.
● How much can my business save by transitioning to coworking?
If your team has fewer than 12 employees, coworking can help you save up to $2,700 monthly. For firms with up to 30 people, coworking can be 60 to 70 percent less expensive than typical office space.
● What advantages does coworking have over other remote work opportunities?
Working from home or in a coffee shop/restaurant are great alternatives for remote work. However, because these areas are accessible to transitory drop-ins, noise and other distractions may hinder you from getting work done. Working from home may also make it challenging to achieve a healthy work-life balance.
If you would like to support Open Sourced Workplace:
Derek Jones (VP Enterprise Strategy, Americas)
Derek spearheads key initiatives at Deputy, a global workforce management platform for employee scheduling, timesheets and communication. With a focus on Healthcare, Derek helps business owners and workforce leaders simplify employment law compliance, keep labor cost in line and build award-winning workplaces. Derek has over 16 years’ experience in delivering data-driven sales and marketing strategies to SaaS companies like MarketSource and Griswold Home Care.
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