According to the Global Coworking Survey, around 1.2 million people will have worked in a coworking space by the end of 2017. This is owed to a number of reasons, most of which explain why the forecast for the industry is so positive. First, the number of small spaces – coworking spaces with only ten members – have reduced from 23% to 12%. In addition, one in five coworking spaces feature at least 150 members. Compared to previous years, the change has been rather dramatic.
So what is it about the coworking route that entices freelancers, startups, and other businesses?
A survey by the Freelancers Union and Upwork found that in 2016 alone, freelancers already comprised around 53% of the workforce in the United States. More people like having the independence that they cannot have in a regular office setting, and the number is predicted to rise further in the coming years.
While making up the majority, however, this does not mean that freelancers have it easier compared to people who do the 9-to-5 grind when it comes to executing work. Productivity, in particular, is a struggle that needs to be managed properly so that the working arrangement continues to be fulfilling.
This is where coworking spaces prove to be a great advantage. If working from home or a cafe proves to be too distracting to pull off a good day at work, the culture that a coworking space offers scores significantly for freelancers – and even for proprietors of small businesses and startups. In fact, a 2015 article published in the Harvard Business Review reported that members of coworking spaces rate their productivity inside such spaces at a 6 out of 7.
There are several reasons for this. First off, the professional environment that a coworking space offers presents less opportunities for slacking off, compared to if you were working from your own house or a coffee shop. Most of these spaces also boast of a full suite of amenities that streamlines productivity.
They are also more flexible. It is normal to be able to go to your coworking space any time, any day – which has a direct impact on your work performance. If you need to hit your deadline, for instance, you can dedicate more than 8 hours a day to your project.
The report also cited the fact that people who work in coworking spaces feel like their work matters. This is not something that many regular employees usually feel. The freedom with which businesses can choose what to work on and (more importantly) how they approach that work motivates people to work smarter and better.
Lastly, members of these spaces feel like they are a part of a community. It is a misconception that coworking spaces isolate individuals from interaction; in fact, you can opt to join any table where you can engage other workers in conversation. Collaboration is also a vital aspect of the coworking community.
People who work in coworking spaces say that the freedom with which they can take on and approach work make them feel like their work matters.
Shared Costs and Convenience
It’s possible to save as much as 75% in costs when using coworking spaces and this considerable reduction in expenditure is a great incentive for businesses to buy their employees a membership plan.
This doesn’t just come from rental fees. Coworking spaces provide an “all-in” setup that takes care of everything a business may possibly need, including high-speed Internet, secretarial services, and even cleaning and maintenance.
Membership plans are also available in more flexible terms. If you do not need to keep your subscription for a year, you can opt to pay for shorter-term leases. In a traditional office, landlords and property managers usually prescribe strict time restraints that do not accommodate changes. If you need to leave for a while on a business trip on short notice, for example, you still need to meet the requirements of your contract and pay for your office space.
Opting for coworking space also means an easy setup for any business or freelancer. You do not need to design your own office space or cubicle, and you do not need to look into completing hefty paperwork to be able to start working. In most cases, all you need to do is bring your computer.
Better Office Location and Amenities
Want a great-looking working environment? Coworking spaces can help you with that!
Coworking spaces also tend to be situated in central business hubs, which is good for any business that aims to impress their clientele with a great postal code. In addition, there are various types of memberships that you can choose from, depending on your needs. Executive suites, for instance, are available for important business meetings or conference calls.
In addition, certain coworking spaces offer support staff for administrative tasks. Entrepreneurs do not need to hire additional people to take care of certain aspects of the business, as trained professionals are available to help.
Being in the same space as other entrepreneurs and professionals is also a prime opportunity to strike beneficial business deals. The coworking industry is a collaborative community, and it is common to find people sharing an office space actively helping each other. Even when you don’t have an outright need for what others in your coworking space are offering, it never hurts to know someone in various fields. And your interactions don’t have to be all about business either! Just meeting a lot of other people can be good for you.
Coworking spaces are versatile enough to address individual needs while promoting a collaborative environment.
Your business stands to gain a lot from coworking spaces so take full advantage of them. When choosing which membership plan to go for, always make sure that you do your research properly so that you zero in on the best coworking space and package corresponds to your needs, your budget, and your goals. For example, location should be a top consideration, as a long commute may detract from your productivity. Taking the time to get to know your options can help ensure that you have what you need to make every working day a success.
As the sales and marketing vice president for Metro Offices, Kelly Bedsole is in charge of the overall occupancy of the company. When she’s not working, she reads novels and enjoys her time with her family in Reston, VA. Check out the company blog for updates from Kelly!