What is co-working?
Dthree, DeVono Cresa’s design and build firm share their thoughts on the co-working concept that is sweeping the commercial office market.
The growth of the flexible leasing sector is not a one-size fits all solution. There are several options that are on offer, one of which is the much-discussed concept of co-working which this piece focuses in on. In essence a shared office, demand for this type of space has increased in recent years but for some people remains a mystery. Whilst not a deep dive into this leasing model, we hope to shed a little light on it from a business-owner perspective.
Sharing your space
Shared office spaces have come a long way since Brad Neuberg coined the term ‘co-working’ over a decade ago. Co-working spaces are rapidly challenging the traditional office for businesses.
Many business owners now offering their workforces greater agility, which includes home working. Affording flexibility to the much sought after talent. Co-working spaces can be one way in which you can minimise home working distractions and achieve higher productivity levels, whilst still reducing travel time and associated costs. The idea of a company sharing an open office space in a like-minded community is redefining the way we work.
Co-working spaces have become a perfect alternative for entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses who have outgrown their homes and want to work in an engaging and design-led space where their team can be together to generate and share new ideas. In spaces that provide work zones specific to tasks. This is certainly a low-cost way to start or grow a business in a thriving environment.
However, the pros of co-working aren’t just about rental benefits, there are many other benefits linked with moving into shared office spaces.
Your network is your net worth
Working in a community of like-minded individuals seeking to disrupt and make a difference in their industries means your chances of building a strong network increase. It is a great opportunity for knowledge sharing and meeting influential and inspirational people. Many find plenty of opportunities to network, socialise and learn from others with valuable skillsets. And, find new clients or partners in their neighbours.
Flexibility leads to stability
Co-working spaces avoid unexpected costs of upfront fees and hefty deposits, after all cash flow is king. For as little time as a month, many co-working spaces allow you to secure your new workspace, with some schemes even offering day rates.
The flexibility doesn’t end there though. Many shared offices also offer various membership options with different benefits to suit your individual working needs, such as private offices, shared desks, dedicated desks, event spaces and meeting rooms – there is usually something to suit every business. With co-working spaces you have access to a variety of spaces that have been specifically designed for high focus work, group work, company collaboration, and community open plan working, keeping those work standards high.
When moving to a new office you want to get set up and going immediately. Very few people enjoy preparing desks, printers, phones or even the coffee maker. This is all taken care of for alongside your utility bills, broadband and even post, meaning your workstation is ready to plug-and-play. Achieving productivity efficiencies from the off. A range of amenities and facilities, some likened to hotel hospitality are also available these can include; tea points, onsite cafes, food courts, dry-cleaning services, creches, gyms and prayer rooms – a real lifestyle offering for those who seek it.
However, as with all things, there are some disadvantages, ones which businesses should consider before going down this route.
Customisation when it matters
The lack of customisation in an open plan office may seem obvious. So, when it’s time in your business life cycle to have your own four walls, moving to a private office in a serviced office space is the natural next step. This will give you the space and ability to customise, whether it be the layout or simply putting up signage and branding. This also applies to your culture. By sharing a workspace with other businesses, it is easy to rely on them for a sense of culture, or even mirror the community rather than creating and reinforcing your own. Your company culture, like your brand, reflects your values and purpose and are unique to your business, working as a constant reminder to your people of why they love where they work.
Privacy when it matters Co-working spaces are designed to be shared. If you have confidential calls to make, or sensitive work to do or even rely on whiteboards you and your team may struggle without pre booking the necessary areas. On balance the enhanced office can outweigh the focus distractions, with some foward planning. Many centres offer great apps for booking meeting rooms using your free room credits. Privacy can be achieved with good diary management.
As with customisation of the space, one of the main benefits to having your own workspace is that you can ensure it meets all your working needs. Every business and their employees have their own unique ways of working, whether it’s access to more quiet zones for sensitive work or breaking the norms with plenty of open plan areas for
everyone to collaborate. Having your own space to create the type of areas you need to enhance productivity is a big bonus.
Co-working for all business types
We hope this brief overview on the concept of co-working has given you food for thought. Whether you are a start-up, a growing business or a larger firm looking to increase flexibility in your workspace portfolio, co-working can a variety of benefits. The DeVono Cresa flexible leasing team can give you a more comprehensive low-down on co-working and other flexible solutions. If you do need any more information or advice give us a call, we are here to help!
By Dthree Studio
For more information on co-working or other flexible leasing solutions call DeVono Cresa on 020 7096 9911.