Coworking spaces, it’s a term that you might have never heard of 10 years ago yet nowadays it’s getting thrown around whenever the topic of working outside the office surfaces. The main question bugging people is, is it just a fad or is this really the future of office workspaces? Is it worth it to format a new office space like this or will this be taking everything just a step too far? Well don’t worry, you have nothing to fear and coworking office spaces bring far more benefits than drawbacks to workers. In fact, demand is steadily on the rise for more.
In order to judge whether it’s a good or bad idea to launch a coworking space, you first must know what a coworking space is if you’re not already familiar. To do that, imagine an average office with people hard-at-work typing away at their computers; but what else do you see? All those people are sitting in their own separate cubicles apart from the managers with their own personal rooms; however, there is a pattern. Everyone has their own space, working alone and part of the same company. At first thought, that might seem like a good idea, as people should be less distracted and more efficient with space to themselves and close to their colleagues. Surprisingly, studies reveal the opposite to be true.
What Does It All Mean?
Close your eyes and picture an office space as an enormous office meeting with everyone inhabiting one room at the same time. Why should there be walls between workers? That’s when coworking spaces come in. They are shared offices that can be used by workers from several different companies at the same time. It tends to be a completely open space where anyone can sit down wherever they want and work as they please while also enjoying the shared benefits of the workspace. In a study published by Regus Canada, approximately 47% of Canadians are working outside of their employer’s main offices for half of the week or possibly even more and meanwhile in the States, a 173% increase in the work-at-home population was recorded from 2005-2018!
That is how your coworking space can be successful. The amount of shared offices available from 2014 to the end of 2018 increased by 205% while the amount of space leased rose by almost half from the end of 2016 to mid-2018. People are searching for an open and flexible workplace while also being structured enough to not constantly distract them. The ideal between rigid office spaces and a loud living room. As technology improves and more and more positions can be done from outside of the office, why not capitalize on that trend?
What do you have to do to make your coworking space a success?
The first thing that you need to do is gain awareness before renting out the space. You need to strive to build a loyal customer base that you can count on to visit your facility because if you don’t, you’ll be forced to desperately run around looking for people to sign up once you’ve already started paying the rent. You also need to make sure that your message is heard: “A new shared office space is opening in your community! Come visit us at —!”. Attracting enough publicity can make sure that the rest of the work is already done for you in the realm of potential customers as from them on, word of mouth is a powerful influencer that will act as your principal marketing agent. Lesson 1: Get a consumer base and make yourself known before launch.
Secondly, you can choose to organize small pop-up coworking events on some days by getting a group of people to gather at a particular location to raise support in the community. Once people get used to the format of coworking, the rest is worry-free. Shared offices aren’t one rigid idea. You can certainly rent out an office space permanently, but you can also make things a bit more informal and temporary if you’re still lacking the capital to go out and make a huge of an investment as renting out a private office. Lesson 2: Take small steps, don’t try to go for broke right off the bat.
Thirdly, you can even make your coworking space a place of learning by hosting educational seminars with a focus on the technical aspects, design or even entrepreneurship skills. This way, people at your facility don’t just feel that they’re coming to work but that they can actually benefit in several ways from what you’re offering besides a nice place to work. You can either make these seminars open-ended as someone from one business can really be of great use to someone else. However, the true benefit of this isn’t the pure education aspect which can also be supplied by external content providers, but the sense of community.
The Community Atmosphere
The sense of community between workers in shared offices is what really has made it into a multi-million-dollar industry. People want to feel appreciated and have people that they can talk to on a normal basis. The home is a place where people can easily get distracted by family members or the numerous varieties of entertainment located right at their fingertips. It allows people to get work done while also not feeling like they’ve ended up in a prison cell. Having people to get up and chat with is important for work efficiency as well since everyone needs their break time in order to operate at full capacity. Lesson 3: Try to create a community in which workers feel connected and appreciated.
The best possible way to foster that type of environment is by organizing fun events for the whole team. This may include a game night, outdoor BBQs at the park and/or celebrations once you’ve reached a major milestone (i.e. 50 regular visitors). This is essential to improving worker morale, people need their fun and games every once in a while and you are there to offer them that, something that many companies don’t because they have a very varied business focus while you only have one priority; your visitors.
In short, if you want to start a coworking space, don’t worry. Just make sure to do the appropriate things to get ready and once you’ve launched, keep the loyalty of your visitors to ensure that you come away with a healthy profit. It’s a burgeoning industry across the world, why not jump on the bandwagon today?