As soon as you enter a coworking space, you realize that it is quite different from a regular and normal office environment. The atmosphere is very refreshing with the nice smell of hot coffee and you can feel some energy and positive vibes around you. You can find that employee’s focus deep on their work while others enjoy refreshing conversations. It is exactly what a coworking culture looks like.
Are you going to be a part of coworking space? Or you want to know what a coworking space is? So, read this article because it covers everything you need to know about a coworking space.
What is a coworking space?
Well, a coworking space is a shared space for work purpose. It allows you to work in solitude and peace isolated from your home or office. Though coworking space is a mutual workspace that offers a suite of office facilities including desks, private meeting rooms, kitchens and eatables, the co-workers are not necessarily your colleagues or fellow employees.
It’s, in fact, a small community consisting of entrepreneurs, freelancers and new small or medium companies who want to have a flexible workspace. Another important factor of a coworking space is its cost that is very economical. You can just lease what is necessary and avoid the costs related to the new private office setup. You can either pay daily rent for the desk space used by you or purchase monthly membership depending on your needs.
Who are the users of coworking space?
Wondering who can use a coworking space? Well, it can be used by any person to complete his/her work in solitude. Sit calm, and do whatever you want to…
The most common users of coworking space are
Freelancers get an opportunity to enjoy flexible working hours at a coworking space without bossy tensions. If you cannot focus on your work at home, the coworking space offers you a peaceful yet flexible environment to do your job.
Start-ups need flexible timings and a positive environment to work in, and that is what coworking space provides. Moreover, coworking spaces do not come with high costs of commitments like a traditional office lease program does.
Another advantage is that you get to interact with many insightful individuals in c0-working space who can prove beneficial for your start-up. And finding a co-founder from the same space is a bonus for you.
Larger organizations are on the board
With the buzz of coworking space, the trend of its usage is becoming popular among big associations. Did you know, many big associations have already shifted to utilize the shared workspaces?
Firms like WeWork, whose net worth is estimated to be about $16 billion, are hoping to attract bigger associations to their coworking space. Bloomberg reports, General Electric, KPMG, and Merck all utilize the shared space. For some like KPMG, the 75 work desks they lease give strategic advantage to the organization. KPMG workers at WeWork are included with business guidance to new businesses or tech innovation researches.
For other people, the flexibility given by the spaces are useful in terms of managing real estate and expenses. Longer rents, which require anticipating land needs and business needs, are not required.
Things to consider before allowing employees to work in the coworking space
Without a doubt, coworking spaces are also owned and managed by an employer. Are you the one? Did you ever think that not all employees are ready for your coworking space? You might wonder why, but the reasons are certain.
Bad conduct of any individual can disturb the peace of your shared space. Similarly, their actions can affect your space’s culture. So always consider these questions before allowing a worker to join your space.
- To start with, ask the worker or a group to brief you about their motives backed with data and necessary information. You can also demand them a cost-benefit analysis.
- Next, think about how turning off an individual or a group to a remote area may affect your organization’s culture.
Thoroughly consider how your organization’s strategies apply to remote workers, regardless of whether they telecommute or in a coworking space, especially in the zones of secret data and utilization of the organization’s equipment.
- Talk about how productivity will be estimated. Without setting up performance standards, you would not be able to see whether the standards are being met or not. Will you anticipate that the workers should work certain hours in the coworking space, or is it enough that they’re accessible for meetings?
- Ambiguous expectations mean you may experience difficulty releasing whether the worker is meeting his deadlines or the standard isn’t being met.
- At last, you’ll have to think about the history of the performance and the work responsibilities of the workers who are requesting. Are they independent workers who are working hard? Do they require supervision and guidance from their managers? If the latter is the case, then you would definitely not want to let them work in the coworking space as they would bring no advantage to the organization.
Visit the coworking space to get an idea
It is very important for you to visit the coworking space at different times of the day to get an idea of the environment for yourself. Things that you should search for include:
- Does the workplace space meet your standards for wellbeing and security? Are the washrooms and common kitchen clean? Is the building in a proper area? Do they have a proper electrical system so you do not face any problem?
- How is the environment? Is it a noisy place or a calm and peaceful one? Is there a gathering going on each time you drop in? Also, is the environment professional enough to work in?
- Is there satisfactory light outside and inside the building and in the parking garage for night workers? Is the main gate closed after a specific time?
- Does the coworking space have policies related to sexual harassment, discrimination and other policies related to the code of conduct?
- If you or your employees work in various structures or separate urban communities, a coworking space may not be much beneficial for you. For progressively conventional organizations, sharing a coworking space with different organizations may require new policies to secure private data or training managers to become leaders to provide guidance to other employees.
It might be the ideal opportunity for organizations to get used to coworking workplaces. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 35 percent of professional workers executed work from home in 2015. Coworking space may offer organizations the camaraderie remote desks workers without the long term expenses that a traditional office requires.
6 tips to work effectively in coworking spaces-balance collaboration and execution
A coworking space offers you simple and easy coordinated effort, a feeling being in a team and transfer of thoughts. However, similar attributes can also lead to employees’ dissatisfaction and frustration if gone wrong. No workplace’s dividers or walls mean higher noise levels, lack of privacy, more intervention in work and little authority over the environment.
So, how to balance collaboration and execution in open office spaces and how to work progressively?
Here are some of the different ways to work effectively in open office spaces;
Make arrangements for remote work
It is very important to make arrangements for workers who want to work remotely or need some privacy. If your organization doesn’t have such policies for remote working then it is the right time to revisit those policies. Remote does not mean working from home, but it means letting employees decamp a nearby book or coffee shop so they can be accessed when required.
Make rules for the gathering spots
A place or a spot where employees can gather and chat a bit or share some latest news is very much important. But at the same time, make sure that these gathering spots do not bother the nearby workers who need peace and quiet places to work in.
Encourage and promote self-awareness
As a manager and leader, it is your job to encourage self-awareness among your employees in order to let them know what they are capable of and where they lack and need improvement.
Keep an environment of check and balance. Let the employees know that their activities and working style may bother or encourage someone. So, be aware of and be responsible for what the employees are doing.
Promote employees empowerment
Lack of control is the common complaint and problem of coworking spaces. Let employees exercise their power and control over things in a way that increases their productivity and satisfaction. You can allow the workers to move to some other place of the buildings to get the work done.
Build your space differently
It can be a bit costly but is a good idea to create a coworking space keeping in mind the needs of the employees. This way, the employees would feel comfortable and will prefer your space.
Make a Proper Schedule
To meet everyone’s needs, make a proper schedule. Fix a time to work, time to chat and time for refreshments. It will fulfill the requirements of every employee having different nature.
You can also make a daily scheduled like keep a complete workday, conversation day or any other day like this. To keep everything maintained, all the schedules should be planned and communicated with the employees.
Advantages and disadvantages of working in coworking space
Let us see what advantages and disadvantages you may have while working in a shared space.
Advantages of coworking space
- Provides remote representatives with a professional, flexible and less isolated environment than working from a home office
- Chances to connect with potential customers, sellers and new workers
- Moderate, adaptable office space that can extend or contract rapidly for low budgeted and new companies or bigger organizations
- Provides space for training, little gatherings and other special or short term space needs
- It may help with selecting more productive employees that expect more opportunities to work remotely.
Disadvantages of coworking space
Like everything has a dark side, coworking space has certain disadvantages as well;
- A noisy or crowded space can be the biggest It is not suitable for productive employees who work in a quiet and peaceful environment.
- As a supervisor, you’ll have to clearly convey what responsibility and accountability you expect from the workers. You will have to find ways to check the level of productivity from the remote employees.
- Your representatives will work in a place you can’t control, yet you are in charge of giving a safe, non-biased condition for your workers to work in. So, if other individuals working inside the coworking space annoy or abuse your employees, despite everything, it is your responsibility to investigate the complaint and look into the matter.
- Representatives working in open or common office space may find it hard to discuss or handle private business data and other information.
All in all, coworking spaces are quite beneficial for small businesses and remote workers and they also serve a purpose to large companies looking for innovation. The culture and environment serve as an example for other organizations looking for some new and fresh ideas to grow and expand.
It is no wonder we have been hearing a lot about these coworking space for many years and there will be a lot more about it in the coming years. They are not only providing a new culture for working but are increasing productivity for employment opportunities.
Our recommendation; get involved!