Man working on a laptop at a long table inside a coworking space wearing headphones.
From increased productivity to a lower cost in comparison to traditional office leases, coworking spaces offer a variety of benefits to your team and business as a whole. — Getty Images/Morsa Images

In recent years, coworking has gained popularity as an alternative to working in coffee shops and home offices. Coworking spaces provide positive work environments that allow workers to share tools, services, and facilities. Studies show that coworking results in 70% of members becoming healthier, 68% of members being better focused, and 64% of members completing tasks in a more timely manner.

If you’re considering a coworking arrangement for yourself or your employees, here’s how it works and a few of its many benefits.

What is coworking?

A coworking arrangement is essentially an employer-agnostic office. Self-employed professionals and workers from different companies can all come to the same space to do their individual jobs. Think of people setting up their laptops to work in a coffee shop, but in a more traditional office-style setting.

Coworking spaces may have different layouts, setups, and membership options, but they are typically characterized by a set of simple bring-your-own-device (BYOD) workstations and shared amenities like internet access, kitchenettes, and printing services. There’s also not a set employer size requirement — both individual freelancers and large companies that employ thousands can join a coworking space.

The precursor to modern coworking started in 1995 in Berlin as a “hackerspace.” The movement evolved and grew in the early 2000s and significantly accelerated in the aftermath of COVID-19. Today, a growing number of large companies are utilizing coworking to reduce costly office space while promoting a “work-from-home” office culture.

[Read more: How Coworking Spaces are Revamping Amid COVID-19]

Benefits of coworking

Flexibility

The primary benefit of a coworking space is flexibility. A coworking space typically has a variety of different office and desk layouts workers can reserve based on their individual work requirements. Since office spaces are typically shared by numerous individuals and teams, a business can simply adjust its coworking plan to accommodate a shrinking or expanding number of teammates, therefore only paying for what they need.

Sense of community

The foundation of a “company culture” used to be the face-to-face interactions between employees and the community they formed in the office. In today’s remote-first world, this can be harder to achieve when colleagues are all working in their own isolated spaces.

A coworking space helps employees replicate that sense of community they may be missing in the virtual workplace. A coworking space allows workers to interact with like-minded individuals and those with different perspectives for a well-rounded experience.

[Read more: 6 Benefits of Coworking Spaces for Your Business]

The primary benefit of a coworking space is flexibility. A coworking space typically has a variety of different office and desk layouts workers can reserve based on their individual work requirements.

Opportunity for networking

A coworking space is a social environment, and the ability to mingle and share ideas with fellow workers inevitably creates meaningful connections. To start networking in a coworking space, offer support or trade services in a casual conversation. Keep it as light and friendly as possible, and don’t push sales too hard or force conversations — this can turn connections off.

Still, workers have an opportunity to keep an open mind when meeting their fellow coworking members. A simple problem-solving conversation can quickly turn into a business opportunity, and a casual working relationship can develop into a strong friendship.

Increased productivity and creativity

Professionals often find the most creative solutions by interacting with different people. New thought processes and unique perspectives are a significant benefit of working around a multitude of teams in various fields and industries.

Some workers are more motivated when the people around them are productive and rely on a fast-paced office environment to ensure their deadlines are met. Studies have confirmed this: A GCUC survey found that 84% of coworkers report feeling motivated and engaged in coworking spaces.

Lower costs

A coworking space allows companies and workers to share common business expenses. Coworking participants can share reception services, internet, printers, desks, computers, break room space, and bathrooms. Since the prices for these services are shared, the quality of the office space can be greatly improved for a fraction of the price. Why work in a dingy office when you can work in a spacious modern location?

Since coworking space is not a long-term real estate lease, the coworking space has to remain attractive to tenants. Therefore, property repairs are more frequent and timely, locations are centralized, and parking should be accessible.

[Read more: Coworking Companies Workbar, Hera Hub and The Yard Eye Growth by Catering to Post-Pandemic Workplace Trends]

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

To stay on top of all the news impacting your small business, go here for all of our latest small business news and updates.

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Published October 06, 2022