Coworking is more than just a buzzword – more and more businesses are moving towards flexible office space, because it saves both money and time.
While the concept of coworking has traditionally been attractive to rising startups and small business, often in search of a transient office space to get setup and continue their growth, there are signs of a new development, as more and more corporations begin to invest in flexible office space.
Largely because it just makes sense – financially speaking, corporations have just as much to gain from turning towards monthly rental office space to entire more talent, save on costs, increase their locations, and more.
What is Flexible Office Space?
This latest trend is taking business by storm, and for good reason; but what is it?
Flexible office space refers to a fluid space to conduct business that allows for a wide range of diverse work environments. These shared office spaces allow you to have a designated space for work, but on your terms.
Traditional building leases make less sense for many business owners, as the new trend continues to grow.
Here’s why it’s becoming more popular.
1. Greatly Reduce Costs
The first benefit may be the greatest. Flexible office space greatly reduces overhead costs for corporations – cheaper leases, flexible terms (which means a smaller commitment, and less risk), and the cost of rent covers the expenses for not only the workspace, but for:
- Break rooms and lounges
- Event space
- Meeting rooms
An on-site manager means any complications may be addressed immediately, and crucial requests are heard right away. A stocked washroom and regular cleaning services further reduces overhead costs.
To simplify it further: it’s cheaper. While there are some benefits to leasing your own office space, there are other costs at play. Added up, most companies and corporations end up spending far more housing workers and departments in their own office space than potentially outsourcing that space to a well-managed and reputable coworking location.
2. Access to In-House Contractors
Coworking spaces attract not only companies, but plenty of freelancers, contractors, and independent pros.
This is advantageous to any large company, as the current marketplace is shifting more and more towards outsourcing most of the legwork to independent contractors, rather than hiring more full-time contract workers and in-house employees to handle the workload.
Furthermore, this helps corporations streamline, cutting costs and maximizing the bottom line. Coworking spaces are a great place for companies to scout potential independent professionals and make the best of their services.
As the industry grows, so does the pool of available and nearby freelancers, ever expanding to fill in any number of needed positions, with flexible terms and lower overall costs.
3. Widespread Presence
For many larger companies, it’s fortuitous to have a large physical presence. While it’s true that we’re in the age of telecommunication, not everything can be handled over the phone – or over VoiP.
There’s still much room in today’s marketplace for face-to-face meetings, and clients often seek physical contact to the companies they work with. But it can often be very pricey to send representatives across the country.
Corporations could massively cut costs and boast a smaller carbon footprint by simply utilizing the cost-efficiency of coworking spaces to broaden their workforce across the country without the need for the acquisition of expensive and at times frivolous office spaces.
When you need a greater presence in one city for a set amount of time, it’s better to invest in a flexible office space than sign a lease for much longer than needed. In this sense, ‘satellite locations’ greatly broaden a corporation’s reach, putting them in contact with contractors and partners across state lines.
4. Cut Wasted Space
Landlords are eager to sign deals with companies and paying tenants, which sometimes leads to deals that might include more space than a company would initially need. Some companies get past this by renting out the extra space, but the costs of unused space could simply be avoided with more flexible office space.
Coworking spaces allow for terms that allow companies to customize their coworking plans, using up as much space as they need, or as little as they need.
For corporations seeking to streamline, this arrangement is ideal.
5. Flexible Terms
Rental office spaces boast other examples of flexibility. The most crucial one is time.
Office space can be rented monthly, avoiding the upfront costs and potential losses of a long-term lease. As corporations take on greater workforces – or cut down – they can adjust their plans accordingly and avoid unnecessary losses.
It’s no secret that coworking is playing an increasing role in the future of office spaces – and some would go so far as to state that it’s become the norm of today.
Startups cannot afford to lease valuable office space in a major urban hub to allow all their employees to converge and work together, as the overhead of running an office is often tremendous, to the point of being nigh unmanageable for most small businesses and moderately successful startups.
6. The Bottom Line
Because the nature of nascent businesses is the need to constantly adapt and overcome, and because the odds of failure are often so high, flexibility is key.
Transient office spaces with paid-for and pre-managed amenities and a reliable connection have gone from being a niche to becoming the norm for companies all over the world, and especially in the United States.
Yet flexible shared offices are more than just a steppingstone into a greater office. While corporations will likely continue to hold onto traditional offices, many are working on including the benefits of coworking in order to increase their bottom line, taking full advantage of the lower costs and extra benefits that come from sharing spaces with other companies and renting cost-efficient office spaces all over the country.
Regional offices are often cumbersome, underutilized, and very expensive – opting to transfer a regional operation to a coworking space can eliminate these issues at the cost of less privacy, which is not a major issue for companies and corporations that need not worry about data safety.
Even so, most flexible office spaces are entirely aware of the issue and are often working on providing the best possible physical and digital security on the market.
Perhaps the greatest final argument is talent – coworking has become more convenient not only for companies, but for workers as well, often offering comfortable and productive office spaces in attractive locations, with a much more modern office culture, catering to the work styles of the modern worker.
Why not provide the best spaces for your workers to do their best work?
Flexible office spaces are the future, but it’s up to each company to figure the best way to take advantage of this growing industry.