Why More Businesses are Choosing Coworking Spaces Over Traditional Offices
Commercial real estate took a big hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. Quarantines, shutdowns, social distancing, supply chain disruptions, low consumer confidence, and employment loss all directly impacted the demand for space.
At the same time, many companies have been considering whether their temporary plan to go remote should become permanent or if they should move to reinhabit an office space.
While having your employees work from home can save you a fortune on overhead costs, it also can leave your teams disconnected, less productive, and less collaborative.
For precisely this reason, many companies have been choosing coworking spaces over traditional offices or fully-remote teams. Let’s take a look at what you need to know.
What Is a Coworking Space?
Coworking spaces are open-plan areas where a range of different businesses can work side by side. Particularly popular among small companies and start-ups, coworking spaces offer many potential benefits. These include but aren’t limited to collaboration, idea sharing, and networking opportunities.
Coworking spaces have been growing in popularity for several years now. However, companies are even more drawn to coworking spaces during COVID.
While many companies have let their commercial lease expire and have been allowing their workers to work from home, it’s difficult to create the same creative magic with a team as you once could in an office.
There are also notable cost savings to coworking spaces. For this reason, many businesses have traded in their commercial space for coworking spaces.
Why Are More Businesses Choosing Coworking Spaces Over Traditional Offices?
While the COVID-19 pandemic shook up nearly every aspect of life in 2020, it severely impacted the commercial real estate industry. With widespread stay-at-home orders, many companies began allowing their workers to work remotely from home when possible.
As restrictions have been lifting, though, it’s left businesses faced with a choice. The choice of whether or not they should sign on for a new commercial lease.
The costs of running an office are quite high. For this reason, a lot of companies are wary of moving their operations back to a traditional office when the future is so uncertain.
In the face of these challenges, many businesses are choosing coworking spaces over traditional office spaces. These spaces offer far more flexibility than traditional offices while also promoting networking and creative collaboration in a way that typical offices never could.
No one knows what the future holds, and businesses are rightfully uncertain about resuming their operations in the same way they were run before the pandemic. Not only do coworking spaces offer flexibility, but they are also 75% cheaper than traditional office spaces.
At this point, only 3% of businesses know about the possibility of working in coworking spaces. Commercial office spaces have been the norm for so long that many companies don’t even know there are potentially more suitable office space options for their needs.
Some experts believe that we are truly at the start of a workspace revolution. Some of the most recent research has found that 30% of the available commercial workspace will be co-working space by the year 2030. It’s possible that we’re witnessing now is just the beginning of coworking’s explosion into becoming the norm.
Coworking Spaces Versus Traditional Office: What’s Right For Your Business in the Time of COVID?
We all have a picture of the typical office: row after row of grey cubicles, filled with unhappy people who are just waiting for the day to be over. This might be a bit of a cartoonish exaggeration. However, traditional office culture hasn’t always been known to be a place of endless creativity.
It’s important for you to keep your employees happy, creative, and productive. Otherwise, your business will run as efficiently and smoothly as possible. For that reason, it’s worth considering which environment would be most suited to your employees so that they can do their best work.
Coworking Space Advantages
In the ongoing global crisis that is the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses are finding that the advantages of coworking spaces far outweigh their disadvantages. Coworking spaces have really been stepping up to the plate when it comes to the rapid evolution of the traditional business model as a result of the virus.
Coworking spaces allow individuals more freedom within a space than they would have in a traditional office. This can help keep employee morale high and inspire creativity. With so many more opportunities to meet other individuals, it also presents opportunities for collaboration or networking that a traditional office never could.
There is a significant cost saving when it comes to using coworking space. Plus, you won’t have the responsibility of utilities, furnishings, renovations, and the other added expenses of a traditional office.
Some coworking companies, such as Launchpad Coworking in Melbourne, offer low-commitment, no contract coworking spaces to help companies who are forced to be flexible due to the ever-changing nature of the pandemic. Coworking spaces offer the opportunity for businesses to meet in person without incurring so many overhead costs.
Coworking Space Disadvantages
The disadvantages of coworking spaces really depend on the coworking space you are renting. While some spaces that are more geared towards individual freelancers might not offer much in the way of a quiet, focused workspace, others are fully equipped for you to rent open-plan team spaces, serviced office spaces, and more.
Traditional Office Advantages
Just because the thought of traditional offices might not sound very exciting doesn’t mean that they don’t have their own set of advantages.
In traditional office settings, there is plenty of private spaces to have meetings or to work without distractions. While coworking spaces might help foster collaborative production, traditional offices might be a bit more suited to encouraging individual work.
Traditional offices also are quite appropriate for businesses where clients often stop by. It’s important to have a private and confidential space where your clients can feel comfortable, and more typical office spaces can offer this.
Lastly, when you rent or own your own office space, the entire place can reflect your brand. While this might have been more of a selling point in the past, the increasingly remote nature of our business world might mean that it’s not worth the extra cost just to have your own space.
Traditional Office Disadvantages
There are a lot of drawbacks to traditional office spaces, including fewer networking opportunities, an environment that doesn’t foster communication and collaboration, and the responsibility of office management tasks.
However, in the time of COVID, the most striking disadvantage is probably the high overhead costs and the commitment of long-term leases. In an ever-changing world, it’s no wonder more and more companies are considering finding more affordable and flexible options.
Is Coworking Suited to Teams?
Since coworking is still a new concept to many people in the business world, there are a lot of misconceptions about what it is and what it isn’t. Many businesses are under the impression that coworking spaces aren’t suited to teams, which actually couldn’t be further from the truth.
Coworking isn’t just “hot desking.” (Hot desking is the term for a trend where employees can grab whatever desk they feel like rather than having an assigned spot they use day after day.) Coworking also includes shared office spaces, serviced office spaces, and open plan team spaces.
Moving your business into a coworking space isn’t going to detrimentally affect the productivity of your teams. What it will do is reduce your overhead costs significantly. At the same time it offers quite a bit more flexibility in the face of the changing global and economic environment.
Are Coworking Spaces the Office of the Future?
It feels harder to predict the future than ever these days. That being said, there are a lot of signs that point towards this being the start of a coworking revolution.
Many companies are realizing that the costs and risks of renting commercial real estate aren’t quite worth the benefits they provide. With coworking spaces offering an opportunity to work together with your team in a more cost-effective and flexible manner, it’s no wonder that businesses are increasingly taking the leap.