The Future of Coworking
Coworking spaces are becoming increasingly popular among organizations both big and small. Even major names like Microsoft and GE have embraced the benefits they can offer. If you’re considering opening one, it helps to learn about these benefits.
This trend may actually be part of an overall shift in the way we approach work. As we move towards a gig economy, coworking spaces offer affordable temporary offices designed specifically for workers who need flexibility. Offering tenants a flexible work situation should be a key goal of anyone planning on opening a coworking space.
Additionally, as managers leverage their ability to measure coworking space productivity, shared offices will only continue to increase in popularity for businesses of all sizes. Now is a smart time to take advantage of these shifts.
Although it’s impossible to predict exactly how these spaces will impact the workforce, the following changes are particularly worth paying attention to.
Coworking Spaces & Workforce Changes: What You Need to Know When Opening One
A recent survey of employees and business executives indicates that “agile workers” are becoming increasingly valuable to companies. Agile workers are employees who work on a freelance or contractual basis. Of the business leaders who participated in the survey, approximately two-thirds reported that on average, these workers made up about 30% of their overall workforce.
Coworking spaces should help accommodate these new trends. Once considered to be offices exclusively for freelancers and small teams, these spaces are now attracting business from major organizations. When a company hires a contractor to work on a temporary project, they still need to know the freelancer has access to same useful resources they would find at a traditional office. Coworking spaces should be equipped to provide them.
Obviously, this means including resources like reliable internet and office equipment. Freelancers need to know they can actually get work done at the office. However, the office culture should also be inviting. As more people work from home, more employees may feel lonely on the job. Having the option to work in a stimulating space with opportunities to socialize is important.
Because many freelancers and contractors will only work on temporary projects, you should design your rental options with flexibility in mind. Certain tenants will be less interested in coworking spaces that require them to rent the space for a long period of time. Giving tenants the option to rent on a short-term basis will help attract more business.
It’s also helpful if your coworking space is part of a larger network of offices. Digital nomads, who work remotely while traveling, need offices they can go to in different parts of the world. A network of coworking spaces can offer that.
How Coworking Spaces Can Satisfy Everyone
It’s important to understand that these shifts in our overall approach to work will benefit everyone. Freelancers aren’t the only ones who can take advantage of the coworking revolution.
For employers, these changes mean they can recruit workers from anywhere in the world and save money on office space. Experts maintain that using these spaces could reduce a business’ total expenses by 75%.
Additionally, by giving employees the opportunity to work flexibly and travel, organizations will satisfy their workers more effectively. The result is a more engaged workforce. Coworking spaces are making these shifts possible. Again, these are all good reasons to open a coworking space now.
About the Author: Rae Steinbach
Rae is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content. Rae is passionate about travel, food, and writing, of course. She can be followed at @araesininthesun on Twitter.
Rae Steinbach is a freelance editor for Fueled Collective, an all-inclusive coworking space that seeks to inspire and enable entrepreneurs and small business owners to grow their ventures and bring prosperity to their local communities. Other Fueled Collective articles on the efficacy of coworking spaces include: How a Remote Office Space Can Change Company Culture, Why You Should Design Your Open Office Layout With Employees In Mind, and Office Conundrum: Choosing Between a Private Office and Coworking Space.