The flexible co-working office provides an opportunity for companies that aren't yet exactly sure of their office plans to postpone long-term, high-investment decision-making. It also allows startups with limited funds to grow without investing large amounts of money upfront in having a physical workspace.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic did impact many of these co-working spaces, though most have stayed resilient and are starting to bounce back.
The Rise of Co-Working Spaces
Co-working spaces have been popping up worldwide for years now, and it's not hard to see why. They have become attractive because of the way groups have globalised in recent years. With people traveling more often than ever before, offices can be set up quickly across different countries without taking much time away from their home base location.
The flexibility of co-working setups is also appealing because it allows employees from different locations or countries to collaborate in person at least some time.
While COVID-19 didn't devastate all co-working spaces (most have remained resilient), there has been an impact. Many people were too scared to travel after the pandemic hit, which impacted the number of people in co-working spaces. Some companies use a "hub" model with one location that houses their entire team; this can benefit those who want fewer distractions or need more privacy than what generally occurs at other co-working spaces.
The only catch is when it comes to taking on new employees because these locations are typically limited in capacity. So before you decide your company needs a hub location, make sure to consider all aspects from space limitations, increased travel costs for staff members outside of the central office area, and how many offices will still exist after COVID-19 passes through.
How COVID-19 Affected Co-Working Spaces
Co-working spaces have existed for a while and have been spreading globally to become the new normal. However, since COVID-19 hit the world, the existence of co-working has been threatened. With countermeasures like social distancing and lockdown in place, the rules of working together in enclosed offices have been rewritten. In addition, many organisations are now opting for the Work From Home (WFH) model, which is negatively impacting the co-working spaces.
With organisations adopting the WFH model, co-working spaces have been feeling the impact. However, it is now a challenge for these co-working spaces to attract new members and retain their current ones in a situation where people are increasingly opting out of typical office life arrangements.
It is not just the co-working spaces that have been affected by COVID-19. The mobility of employees has also been on a roller coaster ride as organisations impose lockdowns and travel restraints to contain the spread of infection. This has also affected the normal operations of co-working spaces.
How Co-Working Setups Are Making a Comeback
With the development of the COVID-19 vaccine, and the cases of the virus decreasing, things are starting to get back to normal. As a result, co-working setups are making a comeback.
Most organisations are now back to full capacity, with COVID-19 being only a tiny blip on the radar. Businesses require several meetings to make sure everybody is aligned with the goals of the company. Although there is different software, like Zoom, to help with virtual meetings, physical meetups are far much better.
As these organisations, including start-ups and more established ones, look for new office arrangements, many consider the co-working option. These flexible work environments provide a workspace with shared resources like Wi-Fi and printers that can be rented on demand but without any long-term commitment or heavy investment.
The Benefits of Working in a Co-Working Space
Co-working spaces have been a beneficial way for entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. Of course, with the digital age, many people are working remotely. But there's something about being in an office where you can bounce ideas off other like-minded individuals that helps them come up with innovative solutions.
There's also a sense of community and collaboration when surrounded by peers - something that cannot be replicated online or at home alone.
Co-working spaces provide low-cost rent compared to traditional offices. In addition, unlike most co-workers, they offer 24/seven access, which allows employees to work from anywhere and have no reason to leave during non-work hours since all amenities are available on site.
Many millennials want flexibility and independence, so this type of setup provides just that. Co-workers also enjoy being surrounded by like-minded individuals, which you can't get online or at home alone. There's also a sense of community and collaboration when surrounded by peers, which cannot be replicated online or at home alone.
How to Find the Suitable Space for Your Needs
Finding a suitable co-working space is a critical factor for any business. First, you need to evaluate your needs so that you can find a suitable space tailored to what you are looking for.
The next step would be checking out various co-working spaces in person and taking tours of these spots before finally deciding on one.
Some considerations should include office size, location, amenities offered by the company, and the cost per month or year. You also want to make sure there are enough power outlets near each desk.
Doing this will ensure productivity gains with minimal distractions from outside factors such as noise and environment quality. In addition, these three elements will help an individual feel at ease while working, making it possible for them to stay focused on the task at hand.
With the rise of remote work and improved digital connectivity, it's no surprise that co-working spaces are making a comeback. They are an excellent way to get your business off the ground without having to make any significant investments in real estate or equipment from day one.
The new wave of co-working spaces combines modern amenities with traditional features like conference rooms to create a social yet productive environment for freelancers and entrepreneurs alike.
Contact NORNORM today to get started with a working space tailored to your needs. We're always happy to talk about all things work-related.