The benefits of co-working spaces
Co-working spaces are a relatively new concept. More and more people are opting for membership-based workspaces. They’re realising the advantages of working alongside a diverse mix of professionals. And rightly so.
The co-working phenomenon is thought to have been started during the global financial crisis of 2008. It’s now predicted that there’ll be 4 million people renting co-working spaces by 2020. One co-working major player, WeWork, started out with one co-working space in 2010. It now has 253 spaces worldwide and is worth a staggering $20 billion.
Co-working is now being used by everyone from small businesses to global corporations. At Headway Recruitment, we recently tried the transition for ourselves. We moved our Leeds team to Avenue HQ, a community-driven co-working space in the city centre. And we’re so glad we did. It’s been great for the team and the company as a whole.
For this reason, we thought we’d write a blog about some of the advantages of such co-working spaces. Brace yourselves, there are lots!
Sharing space with people who do many different things is very engaging. It certainly brings a new energy to your work day in comparison to being isolated in your own home or office. Being exposed to so many different processes and types of working will allow you see things differently. This can be of huge benefit to your work.
You might also find that being surrounded by so many driven, talented people naturally increases motivation and enthusiasm.
Community and identity
The co-working ideology is one of community. Sole workers or freelancers often miss out on human connections during their working day. Being part of such a community allows them to feel part of something. Companies who work from shared spaces also get to feel that they’re part of a bigger community.
A culture where it’s the norm to use our varied skills and experience to help one another creates a uniquely supportive environment. Co-workers feel a sense of community. The fact that they’re sharing their skills has also been proven to strengthen their sense of individual identity and connection to their work. Research has shown that even when individuals interact less, they still benefit from the knowledge that the opportunity for interaction is there.
Health & happiness
Co-working spaces are fantastic for the health and happiness of workers. There are many reasons for this. Of major influence is the social aspect. whether we like it or not, humans are social animals. Co-working spaces are designed to encourage social interaction. Some even offer a programme of social activities for members. Many studies have highlighted the negative impact of loneliness on humans. Co-working solves this problem for any isolated workers.
There is often also an emphasis on leisure and well-being in such spaces. Many offer inclusive classes such as yoga, or provide ping pong tables for use throughout the working day. This encourages breaks from work, exercise and a healthy work-life balance.
Due to the relaxed atmosphere, and the mixture of industries and companies, co-working allows people to be themselves. They don’t feel under pressure to adopt a ‘work persona’, which is far better for their well-being. In fact, research has shown that co-working provides ‘relief from the emotional demands of the corporate office’, that many are seeking.
Happier, healthier people are more productive. They reliably show up to work, are far less likely to quit, they bypass expectations and they attract employees that are just as dedicated. Researchers have discovered that co-workers report dramatically higher levels of thriving than those employees in typical offices.
Sharing spaces with so many different people creates the perfect opportunity for meeting people. Some of those you meet may even benefit your business. Many co-working spaces even hold social and networking events and facilitate introductions between members.
Reduced overheads and hassle
Unlike running an office, repairs, maintenance and utility bills aren’t your responsibility. You save on the costs, as well as the time taken to manage a working space. All the while still benefitting from a professional space in which to meet clients and work in.
Innovatively designed spaces
Co-working is relatively new concept. Therefore, most spaces benefit from the latest advances in design and environmental psychology. This results in a pleasant work environment which in interesting and engaging.
Co-working spaces are often open 24/7. This gives people the choice of how best to structure their day. The selection of different working areas also means that they have flexibility around where, and how, they work. They can work in a separate space and focus, or in a more collaborative space.
For a rapidly growing company, such spaces provide the flexibility for expansion, without the worry of outgrowing a traditional ‘office’.
A co-working space can provide you with far better facilities than you’re likely to have the budget for on your own. For example, cafés, bars and leisure facilities. Even simple needs such as high-speed internet will be taken care of as standard.
If you’re running a company, then a space that people actively want to work in is a major tool in attracting and retaining the best employees. Co-working spaces have so many perks that they fit the bill nicely.
It’s more eco-friendly
One shared space uses far less electricity and other resources than a number of separate offices. Ultimately, co-working isn’t only good for your accounts, it’s good for the world!
Many coworking spaces also pride themselves on their eco-credentials and will be designed and run with this in mind, making them even greener.
It’s easy to understand why co-working spaces are being adopted by so many individuals and companies. There are so many upsides of doing so. But the growing popularity of co-working spaces is part of something bigger. It’s a reaction to the changing nature of work, and the higher expectations of workers who want more than ‘just a job’. It’s a lifestyle change, a different way of approaching business and a way to rebalance modern life.
Moving with the times never felt so good. Now, anyone for table tennis?