By now, you’ve likely heard of co-working, which is an arrangement in which multiple workers from different companies share an office space and work independently or in group settings. If this is the first time you’re hearing the term, get ready to hear it a lot more often; with a projected yearly growth rate of 21.3%, the co-working industry is expected to boom. It is anticipated that the number of co-working spaces worldwide will surpass 20,000 in 2020 and exceed 40,000 by 2024.
So, what is it about this trend that is prompting more businesses to embrace new and unique co-working spaces? Let’s break down five of the most significant benefits co-working spaces can offer your business and its employees.
Better networking opportunities
In working closely with so many other individuals within a co-working space, the networking opportunities are abundant. Given that these people typically work for different companies, come from varying professional backgrounds, and offer their own unique skills, this networking landscape becomes inherently more diverse. You’ll meet, connect with, and learn from people you wouldn’t have met otherwise, which can be a huge benefit if you’re looking to grow your professional community and outsource ideas for upcoming projects.
While there is no single, attributable reason for which co-working spaces boost productivity, studies have shown it does: according to global research conducted by Deskmag and Deskwanted, 74 percent of employees were more productive after working in a co-working space. Suggested reasons for this boost include employees ascribing more meaning to the work they do, more job control, and a stronger sense of identity within a community.
Whether you’re a freelance writer or running your own online business, you may be accustomed to working from the comfort of your own home. While there are plenty of upsides to this kind of working arrangement, it can be somewhat isolating. Research has shown that brief interactions with other people – be it a friend, a colleague or even a barista – spike our happiness levels, making us feel more connected and established within a community. Fortunately, co-working spaces offer frequent and consistent opportunities for interactions exactly like these and therefore reduce feelings of loneliness.
Flexibility and autonomy
One of the biggest perks of co-working spaces is the increased flexibility and independence employees gain in this environment. Typically, co-working spaces are accessible 24/7, meaning employees can structure their days as they see fit. Whether they crave an alternative to the standard 9-to-5 timetable, want to take a long lunch, or need to leave mid-afternoon to pick their kids up from school, co-working spaces offer workers with the flexibility and autonomy to design their professional schedules.
Scalability and opportunities for growth
Co-working spaces offer scalability, meaning that, as your team grows, you can grow your workspace. If you have a smaller team, you’ll likely only need a small office space to start. However, many co-working space companies offer a variety of office sizes, ranging from a dedicated single desk to an entire office suite, so you can easily upgrade your space selection once your team expands.
Whether you’re ready to break free from your home office or you’re seeking a working arrangement that provides your employees with added freedom, co-working spaces could be your much-needed solution. Offering a plethora of benefits to both your business and your team members, your company will transform its operations and its workplace culture for the better.