Co-working is changing the office landscape at rapid speed. Since 2011 the global number of coworking spaces has increased more than ten times. In fact shared office space or co-working marketplace has been one of the fastest growing industries in the United States and the world. The global trend can be seen in Germany as well. According to a study conducted by the real estate provider Savills in 2018 there are more than 500 co-working spaces in Germany.
In this blogpost our guest author Hanna Meiners looks at the current trends in the co-working marketspace as well as the various benefits they can offer.
Since Co-working spaces began opening up around 10 years ago they have been popular especially among freelancers, startups, small business owners and digital nomads.
This is changing now as bigger companies have started discovering the advantages of coworking spaces as well. Tech giants such as IBM and Microsoft as well as medium size companies have started moving employees to shared office spaces and are exploring alternatives to the traditional office setup.
According to the 2018 Global Coworking Survey conducted by Deskmag there is a clear trend that more corporates adopt this type of flexible working model in the coming years. The reasons for co-working are obvious.
Co-working spaces offer a number of benefits to different kind of businesses and solopreneurs. As rents for commercial spaces are often extremely high in metropolitan cities, co-working spaces are a cost effective alternative to traditional offices.
Renting an empty office space means investing in a number of things.
Typically costs include monthly rent, furniture, electricity, internet, equipment, office supplies and much more.
Depending on the size and location of the office there might be also additional maintenance costs. For example just the maintenance of a kitchen can cost a company sizable amounts per month, not the mention the thousands of Euros spent on renting additional conference rooms per year.
In a co-working space the office infrastructure, monthly expenses, maintenance staff and even unlimited coffee are usually included in the price which can reduce monthly expenditures of a company drastically.
In the rapidly changing world we are living in today, co-working spaces can offer a much more flexible and risk-free solution to businesses of all sizes.
When the team grows or there is need for a conference room, it is easily available. In a co-working space you can add chairs, book a meeting room or rent new desks exactly the way it suits your requirements on a particular day, week or month.
Members can choose between quiet work areas and open community areas according to their needs.
The other advantage are the flexible membership plans. Companies can usually choose between various packages with multiple payment options. That is less risky than committing to long rental agreements and leases. For a startup company even one year can be a long time as it is often difficult to predict the future. But even for bigger companies long contracts can become a burden when confronted with sudden challenges or changes.
In a co-working space people from very different industries, backgrounds and projects come together. This can be a huge advantage as it forces entrepreneurs and employees alike to step out of their own “bubble”. During lunch or a coffee break there is a much higher chance to be exposed to new ideas and trends than within the settings of a private office space.
Another aspect has to do with the environment. Research suggests that a beautiful work environment and so called “wellness architecture” can support creativity and innovation. The equation is pretty simple:
When people feel good they are more productive.
Co-working spaces have been early adapters of this new trend, and many of the leading brands have invested heavily in the architecture of their work spaces. Instead of dark, stuffy cubicles and grey walls you are likely to find beautifully designed, modern interiors with an emphasis on comfort, good lighting and community.
This leads us directly to the next advantage. Networking is a positive side effect of working in a co-working space. As co-working spaces gather the best minds there is a great chance you end up exchanging ideas, collaborating or getting expert advice from other members.
Especially for solopreneurs and freelancers working from home days can get quite lonely. For them working in a co-working office can be a great change and a chance to build networks that are critical for their business.
For bigger companies a co-working space means access to a pool of talents from very different backgrounds.
Many solopreneurs and small business owners tend to work from home. But while working in a home office can save cost and precious time spent on commutes, it can have some disadvantages as well. They can be summed up by one word: distractions. It is just too tempting to start cleaning the house, go to the fridge or end up chatting on social media in the middle of the day. In addition to that the presence of family members, noise or a number of duties can make it extra difficult to focus.
A co-working space offers the ideal working environment for various reasons. Typical distractions that tend to cripple productivity can be avoided easily. In fact many co-workers report that that having a community to work in helps them in creating structure and motivates them.
Besides that a co-working office can also reduce uncertainty that comes with working in coffee shops or other public spaces. Noise, poor internet connections and difficulties to find seating can be a serious challenge and can lead to stress and frustration. By choosing a co-working space the guessing game of finding a suitable work place belongs to history.
What makes a co-working space unique is its community. Usually it is the result of carefully curated community events and the effort of the community manager.
Events are a great opportunity to connect with other individuals and businesses and to learn about various topics. Usually members of co-working spaces benefit from monthly lectures, workshops and other events that also serve as a critical marketing tool for the coworking spaces.
Industry experts, investors and speakers are brought to you at no additional cost.
The best part: You don’t have to travel anywhere or spend time on searching the event location as you are already part of it.
The best way to get an idea how coworking works is to try it out. At our workspaces we offer free trial days and flexible subscription models that allow you or your team to experience the benefits of co-working first hand. Whether you are a solopreneur running your business alone or a company with several employees, we can offer you tailor-made options to suit your needs. As a member you have access to premium design offices that are beautifully designed and well equipped. In addition to that you have access to our vibrant community and network of work spaces. Contact us to find out more! We’d love to have you around.