What a person does for a living sometimes defines who they are and the transformations they have undergone in doing what they do, how they work, and who they work with. Job culture throughout the world is undergoing a major renovation thanks to coworking spaces. These collaborative platforms are offering freelancers, home workers, and entrepreneurs the chance to take hold of their own schedules, commute times, and even networking opportunities, all from the comfort of shared office spaces. Within a relatively small span of time, these communities have risen quite a bit in terms of popularity and productivity. So what’s the secret behind their success?
Cut Costs, Not Corners
Whether you have been working hard on your job for the last decade or just this past year, whether you love what you do or not, at some point everyone wants to strike out on their own. To make something that is theirs. What stops most of us from taking that plunge is the fear of not being able to manage what lies ahead. One of the biggest fears is the real-time costs of setting up an office. If only you could find an office with pre approved communal facilities such as meeting rooms and pantries, and you didn’t have to worry about fitting the space with desks, chairs, and filing cabinets. This is the kind of scenario coworking spaces thrive on. Aspiring entrepreneurs and small start-ups no longer have to rent office space, buy furniture, pay for utilities, hire staff or even stock up the pantry with coffee and snacks. With long-term traditional leases out the window, now you can just pay for the amount of space you need and add more room as you continue to succeed and grow in scale. Overhead costs such as hiring a receptionist, printing services, and furniture need no longer concern you. The fact that serviced offices offer flexibility in terms of operational hours and a multitude of convenient locations to choose where you can work from is an added bonus.
Even if the lobby of the building is grand and filled with interesting art and bold design features, the actual workfloor of a regular company lacks color and character. Apart from the cool and casual ambience of maybe a Google-type office, generic work spaces consist of cubicles attached in a maze-like manner, too close for comfort. The appealing part about coworking spaces is the rich choices you are surrounded with at all times. This can include an assortment of seating arrangements with leather-back sofas, colorful beanbags or even the regular office chair thrown in for good measure. Take your pick from settling down in wide, open communal spaces in case you want to bounce off ideas or cozy up in a privacy pod when you want to focus on putting finishing touches to your presentation. Small reading nooks are also available in case you need to unwind. Bookable meeting rooms are a viable option for those looking to seal the deal on their next project. There are even specialized tech coworking spaces that add coding caves and device labs where members can test their apps before making them live.
Celebrate Company Culture
Granted the word hospitality is correlated with hotels but its significance is strongly crucial in ensuring the success of coworking spaces as well. How well they can leverage these shared working environments, to help build even stronger and more inspiring company cultures for their clients is what ultimately makes coworking spaces a winning formula. When venturing out of traditional offices, people are not only looking for appealing ambiences but a hospitable staff as well. The markings of a good coworking business can be reflected by the kind of company culture it promotes. Several different businesses are sharing space at the same time and while each one knows their purpose and has a well-defined mission, there will be a need to keep up company traditions and celebrate key events in order to make their unique presence felt. For this to happen smoothly, allow flexible desk arrangement so employees can maximize collaboration and efficiency. Write-on-the-wall conference rooms is another innovative idea shared spaces implement to increase team-building efforts.
When you are working in a traditional office setting, interaction with colleagues holds a formal atmosphere. The key to engaging collaborative spaces is their ability to break down these walls not only literally but figuratively as well. Building a vibrant coworking community is essential to its success. Being surrounded by like-minded individuals helps members feel as if they are part of something special and this encourages them to perform at optimal levels. This positive vibe also becomes an important factor when it comes to publicly promoting all the benefits that come with working in a shared space. For employees of larger companies, the realization that they are empowered to make their own choices and work in a surrounding that fits them best will help creativity to flow and innovation to reign supreme. In contrast, freelancers and individual entrepreneurs who already have the freedom of scheduling their own working hours and access to a private space but are still looking for inspiration can collaborate with others from their profession through forums such as weekly socials, engaging workshops, and interactive exchanges.
Business Is Business
At the end of the day, coworking spaces, although a hub for initiating flexibility and exchanging creativity, are still a business and need to be dealt with the same amount of professionalism in order to maintain their sustainability in the long run. Raising funds and promoting to investors is always a safe way to begin, as is having venture capital, because it gives you more room to play with and diminishes the risk factor. For shared office spaces to continue profitability and generate enough revenue to grow, they require several different revenue streams. From longer term contracts to private offices and desk memberships to short-term hires for meeting rooms and event space and even virtual membership, the choices are unlimited. For starters, make technology your best friend by automating mundane administrative tasks such as billings, meeting room bookings, and membership management. While the foundation of these spaces is built on flexibility, they still have to make money to continue providing the benefits and so charging advance payments on month-term memberships can also help reduce the risk. Like most other businesses, keeping expenses to a minimum such as negotiating better rental terms and maintaining a balanced staff can also prove to be vital factors on the road to success for serviced offices.
Thousands of coworking spaces are popping up across the globe complete with souped-up facilities, interactive communities, unbeatable hospitality and of course, the promise of productivity. As dedicated office spaces are taking a back seat, alternate work environments with flexible floor plans and vibrant lounges are bringing together communities of entrepreneurs, innovators, and techies. Freelancers, small business owners, and independent workers are more than happy to become paying members of this next generational venture of shared office spaces where those who work better in peace and quiet can happily coexist with others who prefer the hustle and bustle of an efficient work environment.