With businesses across the UK reassessing the configuration of their offices – and even considering whether to retain an office going forward – many will require at least some of their employees to continue working remotely.
There are a lot of positives to remote working for both businesses and their employees. Empowering staff to do so and avoid the need for lengthy commutes can have a great impact on employee wellbeing, whilst your business avoids the overhead of requiring an office large enough to house your entire team.
However, as this article shows, remote working shouldn’t necessarily mean ‘homeworking’. It’s still important for staff to have some sort of social interaction and avoid the many pitfalls of working from home exclusively.
Coworking spaces can provide the best of both worlds; giving employees that office vibe and all the benefits that come with that – even if only for a few days a month – without requiring them to commute to the office and create a social distancing headache.
There are plenty of benefits for employers, too, and can even bring some added perks you may not have considered. Here we look at a few of them:
Studies have shown that employees feel a heightened sense of control and empowerment from working in coworking spaces.
Given the increasing choice of spaces that’s available and their convenient locations, employees are often able to choose an option that is closer to home, the gym or other places that are important to them, while there are plenty of benefits of reducing the daily commute, too.
Studies also suggest that, as people will be encouraged to talk freely and explain what they do, they feel that their work is more meaningful and are constantly reinforcing their connection to your company and mission statement.
By working in a shared office with other businesses and freelancers, your employees will have the opportunity to make new connections and be exposed to new businesses. They could discover new customers, partnerships, potential new employees or even new business ventures.
The mixture of businesses using the space can also offer potential. As well as giving your employees the opportunity to learn new things in conversation with fellow coworkers, it can help you to discover businesses in their start-up stages. Whether a future customer or supplier, building a relationship with such companies early on can lead to opportunities that scale up alongside them.
As well as being a practical solution, coworking spaces are usually affordable and cost effective too. They avoid the need to rent or buy extra office space, furniture and equipment, or pay for utilities – and provide coffee, snacks etc.
By paying a monthly fee to use the space, you can not only save money but also manage your finances more easily with the set costs – with the flexibility to increase or reduce the number of desks you require from month to month.
Professional and flexible
Coworking spaces provide a professional environment outside of your office, so if you’ve been reluctant in the past to let employees work from home or remotely, it could provide the right balance.
As well as having a professional environment, coworking spaces often also have a great atmosphere due to the mixture of jobs and skills, and can feel more relaxed and natural for your staff.
Coworking spaces can also offer a great place to meet your existing clients if you don’t currently have office space or it is hard to access, and can be utilised when your current space is unavailable, such as during remodelling.
Studies have also shown that employees experience an increase in productivity when they’re using coworking spaces. This could be down to a break in routine, the increased feeling of control, a reduced commute or feeling like part of a community.
It can also relate to having fewer pressures than you may find in a traditional office environment, as employees won’t have to contend with internal politics.