By Tamara Sheehan
Director of Business Management
As more companies embrace remote work options, coworking spaces help them fill a unique void. They look like an office without the rigidity of one. Coworking offers social opportunities, networking prospects, and general human interaction in place of the isolation of working strictly from home. There’s a lot to love about coworking. But why is coworking space important? What impact will it have as the workforce continues to evolve?
Coworking isn’t only about accommodating remote workers. It’s important to commercial real estate because it benefits both companies and their employees equally. Coworking takes the most important and expensive business cost—the workplace—and turns it into a service. The space-as-a-service model unburdens balance sheets and creates workforce flexibility.
Outside of cloud computing technologies, coworking stands to be the biggest driver in the next evolution of how, where, and when we work.
A quick look at coworking space pros and cons
The reason behind coworking’s growing importance has to do with its balance of benefits vs. drawbacks. Coworking space pros and cons are simple and equally proportioned, but the value of benefits significantly outweighs any drawbacks. Take a look:
Coworking benefits both companies and employees. For companies, it’s all about cost savings. On the employee side, it’s about having the freedom to work in a way that’s best for every individual. As the demise of the traditional workplace creates more remote workers, benefits will increase:
- Allows employees to work remotely in a professional setting
- May prove more cost-effective for businesses, opposed to a larger lease
- Improves networking opportunities for mobile workers
- Zero maintenance involved in facility upkeep
- Pay-as-you-go and membership models offer flexibility to professionals
- Diverse space types, from individual workstations to group spaces
- Accommodates almost all work hours
Most coworking drawbacks revolve around the openness of the space. Diverse people working in an equally diverse space means distractions. Moreover, there’s a general lack of hierarchy and order, which takes some getting used to for both companies and employees. The good news is that many of coworking’s downsides simply require new habits and familiarity to overcome.
- Lack of permanence and dedicated personal space for traditional employees
- Lack of privacy and excess of noise and distractions can be hard to cope with
- Potential for personality conflicts between random individuals
- Cost prohibitive to companies with rapidly growing space needs
- Issues stemming from decentralized workers and lack of direct oversight
- Desk availability isn’t always guaranteed (even with reservations)
Are coworking spaces worth it? As demand for flexible work environments grows, commercial real estate costs rise, and employees enter the remote workforce, coworking becomes even more important. Based on the breakdown of pros and cons, many companies see them as an invaluable part of their business strategy.
Keeping pace with an evolving workforce
The benefits of coworking add up to something pivotal for the world’s workforce. It’s an opportunity to reinvent the workplace, giving workers the stability of a traditional work environment, and the flexibility inherent to remote work. It’s quickly becoming the new standard.
Work is becoming something without borders or barriers. People work in shifts around the clock, 24 hours a day to earn a living. What’s more, anyone can work from anywhere to get their paycheck. Coworking supports every worker, everywhere, no matter their job description or duties. If they can work remotely, they benefit from coworking; and so do the businesses they work for.
The space-as-a-service model changes the way companies function, too. By taking the most expensive element of work and turning it into a service, coworking companies maximize the value of physical workspace. Companies spend no time worrying about how to arrange desks or what their space optimization is. Coworking providers do this for them. This leaves companies free to focus on investing in their people, instead of space. In turn, employees get the tools and assistance they need to do their jobs better.
Coworking creates flexibility
If there’s one trait prided above all in the workforce today, it’s adaptability. Being flexible in how, where, and when work gets done, without compromising on the quality and efficacy of that work, is invaluable to companies. Coworking spaces enable this flexibility, allowing more of the workforce to be adaptable to changing demands. In lieu of a traditional workplace, companies are realizing how vital coworking is in enabling their employees. It’s hard to overstate the importance of coworking in the shift to a more remote, autonomous workforce.
Keep reading: Why Use Coworking Space?