Coworking Spaces and the Business Boom
If you don’t already know, a coworking space is a shared workspace. It is affordable for those who work remotely to escape working from the local coffee shop or home. It offers office-like amenities, such as desks, office equipment, meeting rooms, kitchens, coffee, and so much more. A coworking space is an office environment used by different people doing different things, and this creates an entrepreneurial, creative community that is always evolving.
These spaces have several plans to choose from when you sign up for their services most of the time. These range from a “hot-desk” option (where multiple people use the same desk at different times) and even private office suite options. As such, coworking spaces have played a major role in the business boom.
Who Uses Coworking Spaces and Why?
To understand the types of people using coworking spaces, first must understand why they need a space to call their own. In the past 5 to 10 years, there has been a significant shift in the American economy, leading to the coworking boom. Of course, there are a lot of factors that have been involved, but we’re only going to look at a few of the most significant ones.
- The gig economy has had a major impact on the way people work. People are no longer employees with a specific company but an independent contractor for various companies as they are needed. Therefore, they don’t have a traditional office.
- Policies within the workplace are becoming more progressive and allowing employees to work remotely. This means that there are choices of where to work from: home office, local coffee shop, etc.
- More and more often, people are leaving the corporate world to build their own companies. Typically, renting a coworking space is much cheaper than signing a lease on office space, so it just makes sense for startups with a small budget, especially when you also have to consider other factors, such as furniture, utilities, and tech on top of rent. In a coworking space, that’s all factored into the price.
- The disadvantages of working from home are becoming clear. You don’t necessarily have a set schedule or boundaries between work/home, you are isolated, and typically, you’re not as active.
As you can see, there are many unique workers you will encounter when going into a coworking space. Many coworking spaces understand this diversity and are making their spaces as creative and innovative as possible, even holding special events that focus on small businesses, rooms to create mindfulness, and so much more. Think of it as a hipster coffee house but a more business-like and tech-centered approach.
How Do Coworking Spaces Impact HR?
In general, coworking spaces are still a new concept in the business world, so we don’t have a lot of data or best practices regarding the best way to integrate them into an HR strategy. That being said, there are some common sense things you can do to prepare to deal with coworking spaces in the next few years.
But some common-sense practices can prepare you for when it comes to dealing with coworking spaces in the next few years. After all, as work policies continue to evolve, you will likely have remote workers. Some of these may wish to use a coworking space, and here are a few things that you will want to keep in mind:
- For those who wish to use a coworking space, offer a monthly stipend/coworking allowance to cover the membership costs.
- If you work for a larger company that is acquiring startups, consider allowing those employees to set up at a coworking space, especially if you make a lot of acquisitions.
- Think about how security/privacy will be affected by having employees at coworking spaces. Will this mean that people outside of your company will be able to gain access to confidential info?
- Will the employee be productive in the coworking space, or will they be distracted by things going on?
While these may seem like negative things, some benefits come with utilizing a coworking space. Those are as follows:
- Plethora of opportunities to learn and grow
- Encourages innovation and creativity, which increases productivity
- Benefits available to startups that normally would not be
- Flexible work/life balance, employees can work how they want, which increases productivity
- Much less expensive than renting an office space, especially for startups with a small budget
- Networking opportunities
The flexibility of having an office without paying for a full office space makes a big difference. Contact us today to book a tour at any of our four convenient locations.