Course 11

Coworking - How Shared Office Space Works for Businesses of All Sizes

Laura Jimenez

By: Laura Jimenez

HANSA Community Manager

Coworking, shared office space and flexible working arrangements have permeated the workforce and are evolving the way we view and interact with work.

The popularity of this rapidly growing industry has seen a staggering growth rate of 200% over the past 5 years, with now more than 14,400 coworking spaces worldwide, according to the Global Workspace Association . Projections also state that by 2020, 3.8 million individuals will have at least one membership at a coworking space.

Coworking and shared office space continue to challenge traditional real estate by creating experiential spaces that place the way you want to work at the heart of their operations. From the latest technologies, fun d√©cor, and tailored events and programming, it’s no wonder businesses are moving their offices into coworking centers around the globe.

As you’ll see below, no matter what size your business is today, a coworking office can give you the perfect blend of flexibility, savings and efficiency to meet your office space needs.

Sole Proprietors & Start- Ups

Say goodbye to lengthy lease agreements and steep commercial real estate costs! The ease and affordability of joining a shared workspace community brings the dream of having your own office within reach for individuals and start-ups.

Yes, working from home is convenient and “free,” but the added distractions from your endless house chores and inevitable family and pet interruptions can quickly impact your productivity – and that literally costs you money. In a professional, flexible office space setting you can enjoy an environment that enhances your productivity, spurs your professional growth, and even improves your health, according to researchers at the University of Michigan .

Home distractions aside, let’s address an elephant in the room: when you work alone… you do exactly that. One of the most common issues that people who work from home experience is a lack of interaction with others. In a traditional office, the break room or common space is where employees come together to interact. In a coworking space, interaction happens all over the office! A shared work space ¬†community offers you countless opportunities to connect with others, whether it be a simple “Hi” in passing or grabbing lunch with a neighboring member in the common area- it’s these collision moments that spark excitement in your work and inspires your next business idea.

The “individual” worker of course comes in many forms, from sole proprietors and entrepreneurs to freelancers and remote workers, but the human desire to be a part of something bigger than yourself is strong. Coworking offices place you in a community of like-minded individuals who will challenge you to grow personally and professionally, and joins in celebrating your wins!

Small (2-24 employees) & Medium Businesses (25-99)

Small- and medium-sized businesses are using coworking spaces more and more as well – and for many of the same reasons as sole proprietors. The lower overhead costs, flexible space options, straight forward terms, and 24/7 access eliminate the hassle of setting up a traditional office, allowing smaller companies and small business owners to focus purely on – well, business!

Operators of shared office spaces are thoughtfully creating design-focused workplace environments, with aesthetics that emit vibes worth showing off. An office, especially one centrally located and rich with amenities, not only makes you feel great while you work, but it also extends similar sentiments to your clients and employees. So ditch the local coffee shop and all its distractions, and go ahead and make a reservation for a professional, stylized conference room to host your important meetings, or book a dedicated desk or private office if you need to stay focused distraction-free.

Ah, and then we have the often overlooked and underappreciated role – the office manager. You know, the person who unjams printers, orders office supplies and troubleshoots your conference room technology. Coworking and shared office space offer onsite staff, dedicated to delivering business services and support to its members; ultimately saving you the cost to hire an employee, or headache of managing it yourself.

Large Businesses (100+ employees)

The newest trend is with large businesses and enterprise corporations, using a coworking space as an integral part of their business models. And many of the world’s biggest companies and Fortune 500 firms are leading the way in the shift towards flexible workspace: Verizon, IBM, Google, Microsoft, Bank of America, Starbucks and Citibank have all added coworking options to their operations.

These large organizations are using these spaces as a means to retain talent and unite remote employees, ensuring they feel like they are part of the broader organization. They’ve also found that it’s a great way to quickly enter a new market, minimizing their initial expenses by not locking themselves into a traditional office space right away, and allowing them to test a region before making the full investment. Plus, the agile, flexible working space allows a business owner to quickly adjust their expansion or reduction needs.

That might just be the biggest advantage: you no longer need a crystal ball to predict the exact amount of space you’ll need in 5 to 10 years – a fictional signpost in today’s disruption economy! Shared office space gives you essential flexibility as you change, grow and innovate, providing turnkey swing space to augment your business occupancy planning.

Employers also use shared space communities to handle other space needs, such as renting private office space or meeting rooms for trainings, confidential projects and HR matters like interviews, downsizing and merger/acquisition talks. While others are using coworking as “plug-and-play” disaster recovery space embedded within their contingency plans for power outages and weather-related incidents, ensuring their operations run seamlessly.

As you can see, the benefits of a coworking space are nearly endless! To learn more about how HANSA can become your strategic workspace partner, please contact me at laura@HANSAworkspace.com or 716-256-2500.

 

 

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