A Coworking space is a great option for flexible working, allowing you to flex and grow your business. Unsure if it’s the right option for you? Let’s take a deep dive into what coworking is, and what types of businesses might benefit from it.
What is coworking?
The term ‘coworking’ refers to when people work together in a shared office space. Many coworking spaces allow their members either to rent out a dedicated desk or to work on a hot desking basis, taking whichever workspace is available on a given day.
What are the benefits of coworking?
Grow your network
Love it or loathe it, networking is critical to business growth. In fact, 90% of people think that better business relationships can be built through face-to-face networking, and 80% of professionals believe that professional networking can improve your chances of career success.
As coworking spaces are full of people working within lots of different verticals, you never know who you might end up working beside. They offer a fantastic opportunity for connecting and collaboration, particularly for freelancers and start-ups.
Of course, everyone is different and some people thrive working from home – but for many of us, we’re more productive in an office environment. If you find yourself getting distracted by the dishwasher, or flourish off other people’s energy, then you might find that a coworking space suits you better than the isolation of home working.
Better work-life balance
One of the major benefits of coworking spaces is that it creates a split between your home and work life. If you worked from home during the pandemic, you might have found yourself working late into the evenings, or checking your emails at the weekends. A study of 2,800 employees found that nearly 70% of those who started working remotely due to the pandemic now work on weekends, and 45% said that they work more hours through the week than they did pre-pandemic. If you want to create a better work-life balance, then you might benefit from working from a coworking space rather than from your kitchen table.
If you have a flexible or largely flexible workforce, then there’s little point in spending money on an office space that’s rarely full. Coworking gives you more freedom, allowing you to only rent the space you need whilst having access to the best equipment and facilities. Coworking is also a great alternative for those wanting to work in an expensive area without the commitment of a permanent space.
Access to shared and private spaces
Whether you choose to hot desk, or want to rent a dedicated desk on a longer-term basis , you’ll have access to all the facilities you need for your business, including high-speed internet and admin assistance. Most coworking spaces also allow you to book meeting rooms (either included in your monthly fee or at a small additional charge depending on your contract) so you can impress your clients and prospective staff during meetings.
As a small, dynamic business, you need an office space that will grow and adapt with you. Coworking spaces usually operate on a rolling monthly contract, if you choose to rent a dedicated desk, or to hot desk, many allow you to drop in for the day, or even the hour. With minimum fuss or commitment, coworking spaces offer maximum flexibility so you can quickly scale up or down to suit the needs of your business and the demands of your customers.
Who uses coworking spaces?
You’ll often find freelancers and self-employed people in coworking spaces. Renting a desk allows freelancers to get out of the house and create a division between their home and working lives. However, coworking spaces aren’t just for individuals – they can be a great option for businesses too.
Instead of renting an office, a coworking space could be ideal for start-ups with limited capital who are looking to get their business off the ground quickly. As coworking spaces are filled with other small, like-minded businesses, it also offers the perfect opportunity for networking – essential for any company setting in motion!
In a similar vein, coworking spaces can work well for expanding businesses, as you can easily scale up the number of desks you rent out as your workforce expands. If you suddenly get a new contract, you can quickly react to that change and bring on new staff members, rather than hunting for an office space to accommodate you.
If you have a remote team, you could rent out desks in different locations to act as satellite offices. With so many businesses switching to a remote-first working model as Covid-19 restrictions come to an end, you can maximise your chances of hiring the best talent by providing options around where they work. You might also want to make use of a coworking space to bring the whole team together on a monthly or quarterly basis, as well as creating an option for hosting visiting staff or contractors.
With so many people working from home during the Covid-19 pandemic, we now have access to more data than ever before about how people feel about their physical work location. The Office For National Statistics found that, of adults who worked from home in 2020, 85% wanted to take a hybrid approach, blending home and office working in the future. This largely stems from feelings of isolation when working from home, with research from Totaljobs finding that 46% of workers in the UK experienced loneliness when working from home.
Coworking, then, offers a clear alternative for freelancers, small businesses and remote workers who are craving connections with their colleagues and people from other businesses. But that’s not the only perk of coworking spaces. Here are a few more benefits your business will experience when you choose coworking as your next workplace solution.
Are coworking spaces a new thing?
Coworking spaces have been around for longer than you might think. The term ‘coworking’ was first used by games designer Bernard DeKoven in 1995 – although he was referring to a way of working together with colleagues of all levels in a non-hierarchical way, rather than the physical space they worked in.
The first official coworking space opened in San Francisco in 2005. It was established by programmer Brad Neuberg, and others around the world quickly followed suit with coworking offices also opening in London, St Oberholz and New York. From there, the trend really took off and today there are an estimated 23,500 coworking spaces worldwide.
There’s no sign of coworking’s popularity waning either, with the number of coworking spaces projected to reach 40,000 worldwide by 2023.
Where can I find a coworking space near me?
We have coworking spaces across the UK, so you can find one that’s close to you. Whether you’re looking for coworking space in London or want a hot desk in Edinburgh, we’ve got something to suit you. Get in touch with Easy Offices today to let us know your needs and we’ll match you up with the perfect coworking space.