The demand for shared offices and co-working space is on the rise with the total co-working market currently standing at around £15.75 billion. More businesses than ever are looking towards a flexible way of working in order to reduce costs, increase agility and offer more options to their teams.
Co-working is said to improve productivity, with 71% of workers saying they feel more creative in a co-working space and 68% saying they are able to focus more. Instant Offices has taken a look into the benefits of co-working and how to choose a space that will meet your needs.
What is a Co-working Space?
Also known as shared office space, co-working gives SMEs, entrepreneurs and freelancers access to all the facilities and perks of conventional office space without the cost of a lease and all the hidden extras that go with it. Co-working enables people to work independently in a space with shared values and a defined culture, and is increasingly being adopted by larger organisations too.
Rising Popularity of Co-working
According to research conducted by Instant Offices and CoreNet Global in a report titled ‘Coworking, A Corporate Real Estate Perspective’ , the number of co-working centers is projected to total more than 26,000 by 2020.
Largest Developed Co-working Markets
Largest Emerging Co-working Markets
Benefits of Co-working and Shared Office Space
- Cost effective – only pay for the space you need
- Collaboration and networking opportunities
- Occupy as little as one desk, with the flexibility to expand
- Contracts are available for as little as one month
- Offices are furnished, pre-cabled and offer various amenities
- Move in on the day you sign.
See: Hong Kong Businesses Stress on the Importance of Co-Working as a Cost-Effective Alternative
9 Things to Consider When Choosing Shared Office Space
- Office Amenities: Most spaces will be kitted out with standard office equipment but be sure to enquire about anything extra, like conference facilities, phone rooms, private spaces, projectors etc.
- Atmosphere: Focus on finding an office space that’s built for collaboration and productivity. Work spaces are increasingly becoming user-centric these days to ensure a better working environment.
- Fast Internet: When choosing a space, you want internet that provides speed and reliability, so be sure to enquire about and test the Wi-Fi speeds to ensure they’re up to scratch.
- Perks: Many shared office spaces provide things like free tea and coffee, which is worth testing out if you’re going to be drinking it every day. Others offer perks like lunch areas, gym areas, outdoor areas for working and even free beer.
- Security: You want a space you feel secure leaving your work overnight, so check what the security protocols are and whether your space of choice takes any specific security measures.
- Access: Is the space open 24/7 or do they close in the evening? Find out what the working hours are so you can plan your time more effectively, and remain flexible if needed.
- Surrounds: As important as location is to commuter routes, it’s also important for your space to be near the amenities of your choice so you can step out for lunch or hit the gym with ease.
- Hidden Costs: Be sure to ask upfront what all the hidden costs are, from printing and using meeting rooms to kitchen space and coffee machines.
- Trial Periods: Does your space of choice offer a trial period before requiring you to commit to a contract? If so, test it out to see if it meets your requirements.
Also read: Top Trends Shaping the Global Workplace in 2017