A collaborative workspace can offer a handful of different benefits to those working within it. Click here to read more about what they have to offer!
It’s as true in business as it is in life – real estate is one of the largest (if not the largest) costs you’ll have.
For a small business, high overhead can mean the difference between success and bankruptcy, so it’s vital to explore all your options. Have you thought about a collaborative workspace?
A collaborative workspace (also called a coworking space) is a facility where professionals or businesses can rent individual desks and offices. Think of a large, open room where each desk, cubicle, or office is a separate company.
They aren’t new, but these environments have been surging in popularity in recent years. In fact, it’s expected that 1.7 million people will be in coworking spaces by the end of 2018.
Why are they so popular? Here’s why.
Benefits of a Collaborative Workspace
To see if a coworking space is right for your business, here are the advantages you need to know about:
Constant Networking Opportunities
One of the largest factors in a business’ or individual’s success is their professional network. In a collaborative workspace, you’re sharing a room with dozens of potential connections. Imagine walking one desk over to hire your new contractor or to build a partnership with another company.
Focused Place of Work
Most people think working from home is a dream job. But when it actually happens, they struggle to focus on work while seeing laundry that needs to be done, that cabinet that needs organizing, that new gaming console, etc.
A coworking space lets you keep the flexibility of working whenever you want from wherever you want, but it’s also a dedicated workspace where you can go when you need to buckle down.
Many people also find themselves motivated by the energy of a collaborative workspace. Seeing others working toward their dreams can immediately energize you to do the same.
When you’re meeting with a new client, bringing him/her to your living room doesn’t always give a professional, put-together vibe.
Having an actual workspace for your meeting will show that you’re serious about building your business and that you have your ducks in a row. Many clients enjoy visiting the high-energy, modern atmosphere of a coworking space, too.
Fewer Growing Pains
Small businesses can add or subtract employees very quickly. Understandably, you don’t want to sign a three-year lease on an office that you might grow out of in six months. You also don’t want to pay for a large, expensive office when you only need a fraction of the space.
Coworking spaces are all unique, but many rent space by the desk, by the office, by the conference room, etc. This makes it extremely simple (and cost-effective) to add or reduce your business’ space at short notice.
Fixed Utility Costs
While each collaborative workspace is different, many build the cost of utilities into your rent costs. This means you’ll know exactly what you’re paying every month, and for a small business with an unpredictable cash flow, that’s a huge advantage.
This also means you won’t turn into one of those companies taking crazy measures to cut the energy bill. Your employees will thank you.
Save on Furnishing Costs
The cost of your office isn’t just rent and utilities – the equipment you’ll need is pricey, too. In fact, a furnished cubicle can cost $3500-$6000 per person.
Many coworking facilities are fully furnished with desks, chairs, shelves, and other helpful equipment. This gives you huge savings, especially as you grow your business.
Some collaborative workspaces include a variety of amenities, like break rooms, coffee bars, even gyms and ping-pong tables. In most cases, these are amenities you wouldn’t be able to afford on your own. Whether you use them yourself or you want to keep your employees’ morale high, the added amenities are no small factor.
Keep in mind that every coworking space is different. Click here to find out what amenities one popular, multi-city collaborative workspace provides.
Low Rent in a High-Rent Location
Many coworking spaces are located right in the heart of their respective cities, in popular areas for professionals and residents alike. For most small businesses, these areas would be out of their price range.
The low cost of a collaborative workspace, on the other hand, can make these great locations accessible to freelancers and small businesses alike.
New business owners often don’t realize that multi-year leases are standard for office spaces. In fact, a five-year or ten-year lease isn’t unusual. That’s a lot of time for your business to change and outgrow or stop being able to afford a particular space.
A collaborative workspace, on the other hand, is typically much more flexible. Some even have month-to-month or week-to-week options, with lower pricing for longer commitments.
Better Internet Speeds
Coworking spaces often provide the fastest internet speeds available in their areas, usually at prices a small business couldn’t afford. It might sound like a small factor, but the time you spend waiting for downloads, uploads, emails, and more can make a huge dent in your productivity.
Looking for an office space can be a daunting task, especially if you want to be in a high-demand area. It can take months to find an open space, and months longer if a build-out is necessary.
Most collaborative workspaces, on the other hand, have at least some immediate availability.
Even if there isn’t as much space open as you ideally want, it’ll be easy to use a smaller space and then move to a larger area in the same building when it becomes available.
Part of the challenge for a small business owner is keeping employees happy and motivated. A collaborative workspace takes care of this for you.
On top of those morale-boosting amenities, we mentioned above, being surrounded by other passionate and talented professionals can do wonders for motivation and productive energy.
Finding a Coworking Space
If the advantages above sound like they fit your business’ goals, finding a coworking space is an easy next step. Most major cities and many smaller towns have several available, so fire up a map online and get searching!
Make sure you investigate each option and visit the facilities in person before making your choice.
Finding a workspace is just one step, though. Check out our other tips for businesses and professionals.