You might be surprised at the office value coworking spaces actually provide, especially after a pandemic. Read on for more details.
What sets a coworking space apart? In what lies its value proposition, the very reason a business would choose to operate through a space shared with strangers and potential competitors? Why are coworking spaces on the rise, even after a worldwide pandemic threatened every workspace model?
The answer to these questions lies in understanding how our fundamental approach towards work culture and work-life balance has drastically altered the way we work these days.
Out with the Old, In with the New
Offices of the last few decades have continued to emphasize innovation and creativity over rote knowledge and arithmetic productivity. An increase in research on human productivity and work psychology has given us fruitful insights into how we can better unlock our potential. Cubicles and planless open offices alike are stifling our need for flexible spaces, inspiring design, and natural light merged with the right balance of structure.
We’re no longer just asking people to show up and do the work. Years of market instability have taught employees to focus on developing and honing their skills while embracing every team as a leg in their journey rather than the final destination. Today’s workers are expected to keep on learning, keep working, and remember that nothing is set in stone.
But that’s a lot of hard work. Without the right space designed to compensate for the mental toll these challenging new times can bring, we risk collectively burning out on the day-to-day tasks of the modern workplace. Coworking spaces create office value and embody an attempt at catering to a new generation of workers who require flexibility to keep at the top of their game – flexible workspaces, flexible officemates, and flexible prospects.
The Office Value Coworking Spaces Provide
Coworking spaces are flexible to a T. Each one is different, catering to different needs and sensibilities. Regardless of what you are trying to achieve, you’ll likely find a space that suits you both in terms of the aesthetic and overall culture.
To that end, the biggest strength of a coworking space is that you can choose the right one for you. You aren’t limited or bound to a single location for more than a few weeks. Coworking spaces typically allow you to lease the right to work there for about a month at a time, giving you ample opportunity to connect with others, give the space a try, and move on if it isn’t to your liking.
Collaborative Potential and Limitless Possibilities
Coworking spaces also come with a unique blend of individual contractors and organized teams. The people you will be working alongside share a wide list of talents and skills, and these spaces are perfect for collaboration and partnership.
You aren’t just communicating with your team or company. You’re in touch with professionals from completely different lines of work, with different experiences and viewpoints.
There’s more than just a networking advantage here. There is a real benefit to interacting with other human beings while at work and forming new social bonds over time.
Working from home can be incredibly convenient, but it also comes with a list of cons – the most significant of which is the risk of burnout and crippling social isolation.
We are, after all, social creatures – and while some of us lean more towards introversion or extroversion, we all need people to communicate with, bounce ideas off of, and make small talk with. It’s hard to come up with new ideas without inspiration and experience – and the people you surround yourself with can have a massive impact on both your creativity and your productivity.
Don’t want to collaborate? No problem. There will always be days when we need to hunker down and focus on the task at hand. There are also days when we feel like working in front of a nice view or with a plant. Or days when we need silence and sensory deprivation – and time, to let our thoughts and ideas converge into something actionable.
Coworking spaces are always built to offer an array of workstations to suit any single one of these scenarios, creating spaces where people can work together in a common area, or set up meetings and conversations without being listened to, or isolate themselves for a few hours and wordlessly focus on what it is they have to get done for the day.
One of the characterizing features of any coworking space is how it divides its floor plan into these different workstations.
Coworking Spaces as Virtual Offices
Another one of the benefits of a coworking space is that it’s usually located someplace central, close to major transit hubs and corporate headquarters. Not only does this make commute very simple, but it also gives startups and entrepreneurs the ability to take advantage of a coworking space’s address to legitimize their endeavor further.
Like virtual offices, coworking spaces allow you to feature a highly-rated commercial address for your business, allowing you to separate your endeavors from your personal address and information and have a real space to meet and host clients – without anywhere near the full cost of owning an office space of your own in the same location.
Coworking Spaces and Traditional Offices
Coworking spaces are more than just a flexible alternative between setting up a business from home and leasing a commercial space for your team in the long term. Coworking spaces can also help companies expand into new regions at a fraction of the cost via satellite offices or the hub-and-spoke model.
Large enterprises have been using coworking spaces for years as an alternative to getting a dedicated office space in a new region, instead providing a flexible space for their team to operate remotely and collaboratively. It’s not a matter of either/or. It’s about providing options.
Finding the Right Space for You
While there are larger companies offering spaces all over the globe, the market for coworking spaces and office value also features plenty of workplace providers competing for a niche clientele, catering to specific company cultures and aesthetics, aiming to foster a unique atmosphere, and offer unusual or interesting amenities.
Don’t be afraid to shop around and choose the best fit for you and your team based on location, community, culture, and design.