With more remote workers than ever before, and traditional offices losing their appeal, the coworking environment has quickly grown in popularity. But what is coworking office space, anyways?
Coworking spaces are the office model of the modern-day corporate world, allowing a flexible workspace to accommodate the hybrid work environments we work in now. And this is more than just a trend. To understand everything you need to know about coworking spaces, we are breaking down what is coworking space, the benefits of this style of space, the amenities, and so much more. Let’s dive right in!
What Is Coworking Office Space
Wondering, “what is coworking office space?” Generally speaking, a coworking space is a workplace that is shared with like-minded individuals and companies who each work on their own tasks, yet have the opportunity to collaborate and create synergies with other members of the space.
Ultimately, a coworking area is all about community. Oftentimes, these spaces are governed by a coworking manager who helps cultivate a trusting environment, as well as host activities and events that help members better get to know each other. This results in a significantly more collaborative work environment than that of years past.
This office style comes with the rise of entrepreneurship and hybrid working. With less of a need for a dedicated desk. Coworking spaces are a future-proof solution.
Coworking spaces come in an array of shapes and sizes to suit your needs. With various community elements and amenities, the varying coworking types suit different people and industries. The most common types are:
- Hot desks: A system where different people can use desks at different times on a first-come-first-serve basis, providing the benefits of office space at a lower cost.
- Dedicated desks: Ideal for those that want to work in a coworking space but prefer a dedicated desk, these desks can be reserved in a quieter space.
How Does Coworking Work
The coworking space concept works similarly to gym memberships and usually offers tiered rental options based on degrees of flexibility and additional perks.
- Coworking spaces use service agreements, i.e., separate and distinct licenses from leases because they rent the space out as a service.
- On average, agreements range from month-to-month rentals up to a fixed two years. The most popular rental time is around six months. Entrepreneurs and small companies favor month-to-month agreements, as they accommodate the digital nomad lifestyle and offer greater flexibility when companies grow.
- A freelancer or company pays its rental fee to a coworking operator. Hot desking, having an unreserved desk space with access to amenities like a boardroom and tenant lounge, costs about $200 a month. Prices differ depending on team size and co-working arrangement. Some companies will offer discounts if you rent for a longer time.
Benefits of Coworking Spaces
Originally favored by tech startups and freelancing communities, coworking spaces have grown to service a range of industries — ranging from consumer product companies to technology service firms. Their expanding ecosystem recognizes the value of sharing resources and knowledge, which explains the question of why are coworking spaces popular. Here are the coworking space benefits:
- Fully Furnished: There’s no need to worry about moving existing office furniture or purchasing equipment that can increase costs for businesses because coworking spaces come fully furnished.
- Build Community: Coworking builds strong, dynamic communities that make professionals feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves. This can enhance social connections at work, which boosts well-being, productivity, and work quality.
- Flexibility: Different rental options, and 24/7 access, allow companies and freelancers to work when and how they please. They’re no longer locked into long-term leases and can expand their workforce without hassle.
- Amenities: Many coworking space amenities offer tenant lounges, on-site gyms, kitchen facilities, and private phone booths that few have in their at-home setup.
- Fees: Considering the perks, coworking is cost-effective and offers good value for money. The best coworking spaces have fast Wi-Fi, dedicated managers, and mail services that are usually all-inclusive.
- Productivity: Coworking space facilities have been shown to enhance productivity, making it harder to slack off in a group environment, and requiring staff to travel to space as part of a more regimented schedule.
- Creativity: People tend to be more creative when around others, so working in a coworking space can help with more chatter and collaboration, allowing workers to interact with different perspectives and ideas they wouldn’t have when working remotely.
- Work/Life Balance: One of the hardest tasks for remote workers is separating work from personal life. With a coworking solution, workers can create a structured routine to break from the home for an office environment with fewer distractions.
Disadvantages of Coworking
While coworking space services several different industries, offering wonderful perks to enhance worker productivity and development, there are some disadvantages to keep in mind when looking into the option to rent a coworking space. These disadvantages include the following:
- Distractions: While some may be used to working from their home office alone, working around people again can create new distractions, with some spending more time chatting with new colleagues than focusing on their work.
- No branding: Many coworking spaces do not allow for branding or company logos, as these spaces are shared, even though branding is highly regarded for making a good impression on clients and new hires.
- Less privacy: If you work for a larger company or on undisclosed projects, you ideally don’t want strangers peeping and seeing your work. With a coworking space so focused on community, this can be a challenge for those in need of more privacy.
- Limitations for customization: Typically, members of a coworking space have little say in the shape, design, and layout of the space. So, if it doesn't meet your business requirements, you’ll need to turn to an alternative solution.
What Do Shared Workspaces Offer
Why are coworking facilities attractive to entrepreneurs? A good deal of coworking spaces provides a lengthy list of amenities you can’t get at home or a local coffee shop. You’ll have to check, as they can vary from place to place, but the amenities and services can be quite attractive. The most common coworking space services include:
- Fast Wi-Fi;
- Front-desk reception;
- 24/7 accessibility;
- Secure working environments;
- Meeting and conference rooms;
- Gym facilities;
- Rooftop terraces;
- Private, soundproof phone booths;
- Tenant lounges.
Who Works in Coworking Spaces
The purpose of a coworking space is to provide a productive and comfortable environment appealing to a range of professionals. Companies, consultants, freelancers, contract workers, and permanent employees with work from home and flexible arrangements all benefit from coworking spaces.
Nowadays, startups are at the early stage of business because they can meet other entrepreneurs, leading to networking and collaboration opportunities. In addition, the startup journey can be lonely at first, and a coworking community boosts morale. Coworking spaces are also more affordable for newly launched businesses.
Coworking space for freelancers helps stimulate a dynamic working atmosphere. They encourage freedom and help freelancers establish their unique work-life balance, positively impacting satisfaction, long-term career goals, and productivity. Of course, being part of a community also fosters a sense of belonging and may bring in new work opportunities too.
Almost 40% of coworking space renters are small businesses. It’s rare for owners to find an affordable office space that’s short-term, as most small businesses aren’t ready to make long lease commitments. Coworking spaces provide the ability to scale up or down as needed, with some places even offering private offices with flexible rental agreements.
Consultants, including financial advisors, lawyers, and more, already operate outside traditional workplace confines. With on-the-move schedules, they benefit from the access and space flexibility that coworking spaces provide. And if they’re traveling between cities, they don’t have to worry about honoring a long-term lease.
Things to Consider When Choosing the Perfect Coworking Space
There are several different factors when considering how to choose a coworking space. Whether you’re a freelancer in search of hot desks or a CEO looking to find the perfect space for your company, here are a few elements to keep in mind.
- Location: When selecting a coworking space, ensure the area you choose is convenient to get to for both staff and clients. Start by ensuring it is near public transportation, and if needed, there is parking available. This will help reduce the reluctance of some workers to leave their homes by increasing the location convenience.
- Amenities: Coworking space amenities are a big bonus for many workers, with these offerings majorly elevating the space. With enhancements such as free coffee, great Wi-Fi, and printing options, other perks include outdoor spaces, gyms, and meeting areas.
- Flexibility: For large businesses, ensure that the coworking space you select has a flexible short-term office lease to allow your business to navigate this new environment with lower stakes. This way, you can scale up or down based on how your initial test run goes and as company priorities change.
- Cost: With many amenities and furniture costs already included, many of the unexpected expenses will be covered, allowing for a more affordable option. So, when it comes to cost, consider how your company will grow or shrink, ensuring you only purchase as much space as you need.
- Privacy: Depending on the field you work in, you will need a certain level of security and privacy so your clients feel good about your new coworking space. While the open office floor plan is excellent for collaboration, having some private, lockable offices or the option to book a meeting room will be beneficial to some.
Pleasant office environments rank among the top likes employees has when working. Now businesses of all sizes and types — ranging from solo entrepreneurs to global enterprises — adopt progressive workplace practices like coworking. If you’re looking for an office space with all the perks, then contact us to learn more about the coworking office spaces at River North, Chicago. We have flexible rental options to suit all business professionals at 620 N LaSalle.
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