What is Coworking Office Space, and Would it Work for Your Business?
Just as there are many types of businesses, there are also many types of office.
From the ultra-modern to the more traditional, finding the right office for your company and staff is vital in making sure your workforce are always productive and comfortable.
One option for many businesses is co-working office space.
Before the pandemic stuck in 2020, coworking space was on the up, with the amount of space dedicated to coworking doubling since 2017.
Now all covid measures have been removed, coworking continues to rise.
So, what is coworking space? Why is it so popular? And would it work for your business?
Let’s find out.
What is Coworking Office Space?
To put it simply, coworking space is an area dedicated to employees from different companies where they can come and share an office.
All of the facilities and features of the office are there to be shared amongst all workers, no matter which business they are from.
While this may seem odd, the emergence of portable laptops and tablets has made the ability to sit at any desk, anywhere in the world, and get to work a real possibility.
This has led to a boost in coworking space and since the first coworking space was opened in Vienna in 2002, the concept has continued to grow as technology advances. These spaces can either be used to host a whole company’s worth of employees, or a solo freelancer in need of a desk for a month.
But what do these spaces look like?
What Should be Included in a Coworking Space?
As with all of our offices, there is no set rule on how it should look.
There are some features that should be included though, and some of these that you will find in coworking space are:
- Wi-Fi – Businesses can now work globally, sharing video calls and emails across the world at any time of the day, but this requires a strong Wi-Fi connection, making this an essential feature for coworking office space.
- Desks – If you’re working for 8 hours, you’re going to need somewhere to rest your computer, and sit down (or stand up in some cases). Every coworking space will have these installed and may assign you one for the day, or let you choose your own.
- Meeting Rooms – If several colleagues from the same business want to share ideas, they may need a private space. Most coworking spaces have rooms which a business can use for some quiet time and a good discussion.
- 24/7 Access – No business is the same, and some work different hours (they might work with employees based overseas for example) so having access at all times for people who may want to work something different to a 9-to-5 is a big bonus.
- Breakout Rooms/Canteens – Every employee needs a break every now and then, so providing a room where they can get something to eat, enjoy a cup of tea, and have some time away from their desk is vital.
Who Uses Coworking Office Space?
The great thing about coworking office space is that anyone can use it, but there are certain trends that have become apparent in the demographic of people who occupy this space.
For example, employees most often found in coworking office space are from the IT sector (22%), as well as people who work in marketing and PR (14%).
The average age of someone occupying this space is around 36, with the age group of 25-29 being the most dominant.
You find every type of worker in these offices, but some people you are likely to find are freelancers, remote workers, and employees from small to medium sized businesses.
This doesn’t mean that huge businesses don’t use coworking space though.
Microsoft and Meta employees have worked from coworking office space in the past, and Instagram was actually launched from such a space in New York City.
The Pros and Cons of Coworking Offices
Coworking office space is a controversial topic.
Some people find it great, and others think it is a bad choice for a business.
The reality is, it works for some businesses and doesn’t work for others. So, to decide whether it will work for your business, here are three advantages and disadvantages of this kind of office.
Promote Networking and Communication
The main thing that coworking office space provides is the opportunity to network and collaborate with workers from other businesses.
This is a great way to exchange ideas and build partnerships with other companies.
Every business works in a different way, and by seeing how other companies operate you may pick up some new methods that could help give your team a big boost.
There is a big difference in the price you will pay for a desk in a coworking space, compared to one in a traditional office.
In the latter, you may expect to pay over £500 per desk, whereas a flexible desk in a coworking space costs an average of £270 (these are UK prices, and will change depending on the city, London being more expensive for example).
Another benefit of coworking space is that you often pay monthly, meaning you aren’t tied down to any lengthy contracts and have much more control over your spending.
Depending on your business, a flexible approach may be a big benefit to your staff.
For example, coworking space is often open 24/7, meaning the hours your staff can be in there and at the desk can be worked to something that suits them.
It also provides employers with the chance to take someone on who isn’t in their location, and by securing them a space in a coworking office near them, they know they have somewhere to work that is comfortable and practical.
Opportunity for Distractions
While coworking offices do help with collaboration, it can also cause issues when it comes to keeping your employees focussed.
If you are sat next to some noisy neighbours, or there are many conversations taking place around you, it may not be the best environment to get your head down and really focus.
Therefore, if you’re looking for a quiet space for your employees to get their heads down, maybe coworking office space isn’t the one for you.
You Can’t Make It Your Own
Every business wants to promote their brand, but with coworking office space this isn’t a possibility.
While you may occupy a section of the office, you can’t really make the space your own, such as by painting the walls in your office colour and putting up pictures and posters.
While coworking space has grown in popularity, there are still some people who deem it unprofessional, and entering a space to visit your business may not leave as good an impression as a private, branded, and customised office.
All businesses need privacy, and while many coworking spaces come armed with private meeting rooms, it’s not a certainty these will be available when needed, which could lead to problems when discussing private business matters.
In terms of keeping things private, a traditional office will always be better, as business news can be shared to employees with ease, rather than having to carefully discuss things quietly so as not to share information with employees of other businesses.
Finding the Perfect Office Space for Your Business
What really matters is that you find the office space that works for your business and your employees.
If you are a large business who works best in a structured, private environment, and you have many visitors regularly popping in for meetings and therefore need to promote and showcase your brand, then maybe coworking space isn’t for you.
On the other hand, if a lot of your staff work remotely, or you want to give them the freedom to be more flexible in their working hours and location, then a coworking office could be a big boost.
Whether you’re choosing shared office space or not, it is important that you find the office space that suits your business, and that can be tough.
Luckily, there are teams such as us at One One One who have dedicated agents that will work with you to locate your ideal office.
Want to know more? Then get in touch today.
Coworking office space is growing in popularity, and the amount of space dedicated to this kind of office, as well as the amount of employees using it, is forecast to increase in the future.
We have access to Every London Office, and this includes co-working and traditional office space, so if you want to discuss the possibilities of renting some London office space with our team, then we’d love to hear from you.