Coworking spaces have skyrocketed in popularity—and it’s not just small startups and freelancers using them anymore. Everyone from small businesses to large corporations has embraced the collaborative, flexible environment of shared space, from major financial firms to newsrooms.
Is it time for your company to move into a shared space? Here are 3 ways that working in a shared office can contribute to a happy, productive workforce.
Networking and community are built-in
You want your employees to think outside the box, but it can start being hard when you’re just in your own box every day. Being exposed to different companies and different industries is not only a great opportunity for growth and new clients but for bolstering employee creativity and social well-being. Being around other like-minded workers, even those working on different tasks keeps work upbeat and exciting—and can lead to someone’s next great idea.
Also read: This Is What An Authentic Culture Looks Like
Healthy workplace relationships aren’t just a bonus of a good job, but a necessary part of keeping and caring for employees long-term. Loneliness in the workplace can cause a disconnect between an employee and a company, which not only means poor performance but an effect on an employee’s well-being similar to harassment.
At ATLAS Workbase, we have a large and diverse community of co-workers—and while we work for different companies, we’re all on the same team. For example, when the 2018 Special Olympics came to Seattle, we donated our office space, and ATLAS partners and members assembled a team of volunteers to support the events.
Fostering community is baked into the business model of not only ATLAS, but many shared office spaces around the world. Mixers are not only an opportunity for networking and swapping tips but building lasting friendships. Classes and workshops both build community and allow for better career growth. For employees that like being entrenched in the community at all times, shared tables foster a collaborative atmosphere for the entire workday.
Whether you’re a one-person operation or running a small team, a shared office space connects you to a much larger community. That prevents isolation and places the work in a broader context.
Besides, office happy hours are always more fun with more people around.
Shared resources mean great amenities for employees—at a smaller cost
You want your employees focusing on their work and well-being, not a nasty commute. But an office that’s easy to get to can run at a premium. In Seattle’s central business district, according to a report by Cushman & Wakefield, rents have soared to more than $40 per square foot, and even higher in the downtown core, leaving few options for small- and medium-sized operations.
Enter the shared office.
Fantastic office amenities mean that employees can feel comfortable while focusing on their jobs. But even some of the most basic office features, like a decent location or snacks in the break room, can add up—not just in direct cost, but in rent and staffing. Shared office spaces like ATLAS Workbase have shared kitchens, boardrooms, and administrative support like reception.
Also read: When Are Perks at Work Necessary?
By sharing resources with other innovators, you don’t have to choose between sacrificing a budget line-item and keeping your employees happy. Shared square footage means a great location comes at less of a premium. Communal staffing and other amenities mean that just because you’re running a bare-bones operation doesn’t mean you’re sacrificing comfort. At the very least, you’re not left on your own when that one faulty printer is giving everyone a headache.
Employees can feel proud of their workspace, too, with flexible options for workstations, whether they prefer to sit, stand, or lounge, and professional spaces for client meetings.
Flexibility allows for scaling with consistency
With private office space, growth means, at the very least, some additional build-out—but could mean a costly move, too.
Regardless, the time it takes to switch everything around can throw a wrench in employees’ workflows and routines, including commutes. With shared office space, flexible workspaces are ready to go, and nobody has to move or get out of their rhythm to make it happen. New or temporary employees don’t have to wait for a workstation that supports their productivity or cram into a smaller space. Even better: Those new hires benefit from the community and the amenities of your shared office.
The result: Fewer growing pains, even with rapid growth or temporary busy seasons. No need to shoulder equipment upgrades to support an expanded workforce. A work environment that can help recruit and maintain top talent for an all-star team that everyone can feel proud to work for.
If you’re ever in the position where it makes sense to move into your own place, that flexibility is its own benefit: short-term commitments mean you’re not dealing with the cost of a broken lease. Those cost savings can be applied to another great work environment.
If you’re looking for a new base of operations—or your current situation isn’t cutting it—it may be time to give a shared office a try.
Image licensed from Depositphotos