The many benefits of coworking spaces for remote teams

benefits of coworking space for remote teams

In years past, companies would rent office space, fill it with cubicles, and ask their employees to physically be there for eight hours every day of the workweek. But now, with the rise of remote workers made possible by video conferencing apps that can replace face-to-face meetings and more people wanting the flexibility of remote work, coworking spaces are on the rise. 

Working from home can be isolating while going into an office every day can get tiresome and tedious. The future of work, it seems, may be a hybrid model that allows people to have both the benefits of remote work while keeping the perks of the traditional office. Hence the rise of the coworking space

Coworking spaces give remote employees the best of both worlds by providing a coworking environment, hot desks, multiple conference rooms, a variety of shared office spaces, and private office space. 

Although coworking facilities have gotten more popular in recent months, they are far from a new concept. Companies like WeWork have been specializing in designing new spaces that meet the varied needs of entrepreneurs, businesses, and freelancers for over a decade. 

Researchers have found that those who take advantage of coworking spaces consider themselves to be thriving much more than those who are still asked to use traditional office space. Employers are also seeing increased productivity as employees enjoy the benefits of remote work. For businesses, it can be beneficial to have a central space where team members can easily meet face-to-face (most people eventually experience Zoom fatigue and seemingly endless Zoom calls annoy workers over time). 

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The unique benefits a coworking space offers

Adapting to a new way of working can be challenging. However, employees want the flexibility of remote work more than ever before — and many are willing to quit if unable to work from home. 

Companies that offer a hybrid model where remote teams also have access to a coworking space, get the “best of both worlds.” Here are five unique benefits coworking spaces offer full-time employees, entrepreneurs, and freelancers alike:

1. Networking opportunities

Unlike the coffee shop around the corner where you’ll rub shoulders with everyone from college students to retirees to a handful of digital nomads, like-minded professionals populate and fill coworking spaces. This means there are a lot of opportunities to strike up a conversation with someone who has the skill set you’re looking for! 

Taking full advantage of a coworking space includes utilizing this unique opportunity to network and attend on-site networking events. Especially for founders of startups and entrepreneurs, this opportunity to network is invaluable. Networking is one of the most valuable skills available in today's market. 

Many coworking communities place a huge emphasis on facilitating networking. For example, WeWork says they are creating, “a space that you join as an individual ‘me,’ but where you become part of a greater ‘we.’”

Pro-tip: If networking isn’t one of your natural skills, be intentional about striking up conversations with people you’ve never talked to before. In a work environment like this, the fact that everyone there shares a common purpose makes it easier. Just ask someone near you what they’re working on today, and then see where the conversation goes.

2. Better work-life balance and boundaries

As more people opt for remote work, there’s an increasing risk of burnout from not maintaining a healthy work-life balance

Our brains associate certain spaces with certain activities. As more people are working from home, it’s getting harder for us to truly “log out” and end the work day. Going to a physical office can help keep a work schedule in place for those who have a hard time implementing one on their own while working remotely. 

Coworking spaces can also help create a clear separation between work and home. When you leave the office space, you’re clearly done for the day. This improves the overall mental health and wellness of remote employees and encourages them to disconnect.

3. Less workplace drama and more inspiration 

Think back on an experience you’ve had in a traditional office. How much time did you waste hearing gossip about your teammates that you didn't need to know? How many times did your colleagues interrupt you to get your thoughts on the latest office politics? Coworking spaces eliminate a lot of workplace drama and gossiping because not everyone there is from the same company. 

At coworking spaces, remote workers from different industries, entrepreneurs, freelancers, and digital nomads all use the same shared space. This cuts down on the chit-chat and enables the conversation to be inspiring in a way that a traditional workspace can’t create. 

Additionally, the fluid nature of this type of office environment, and the freedom to simply move into a different room if someone is being disruptive help cut down the drama. 

4. Flexible working hours for customized schedules

With coworking spaces, traditional 9-to-5 working hours matter less than they do in a company office. Many shared workspace providers offer flexible working hours, so workers can show up and get their work done when it makes the most sense for them. Flexible working hours enable remote workers to balance their personal life and commitments alongside their work responsibilities. 

How flexible are we talking? For example, WeWork offers all-access 24/7 locations across more than 20 states, Canada, and cities globally. Regus also offers 24/7 access for members. 

So early risers can head to their chosen shared office space early before the sun rises, and wrap up their work before heading to a late lunch. Or night owls can schedule their focused work time in the later evening, after a day filled with personal activities. Extended access enables workers to create schedules that work best for them rather than follow the traditional ways of the working world. 

5. Improved productivity 

While working from home has its benefits, coworking spaces offer an opportunity to reduce distractions and create a go-to-work routine they may not have at home. Research suggests that coworking leads to workers feeling more engaged, motivated, and happier. These positive feelings consequently boost productivity and help remote workers get their work done.

On top of that, working at home or alone can sometimes feel isolating. According to Harvard Business Review (HBR), 83% of individuals who work in coworking spaces feel less isolated and lonely. Coworking spaces provide a sense of community to cure those workday blues. Filling this gap can also help boost productivity.

Components of a good coworking space 

There are many unique benefits of coworking spaces. Most of them center around a core value we see emerging as workers voice what they want their work lives to look like after the coronavirus — flexibility. Some coworking spaces have multiple design styles that drop-in remote workers can leverage depending on the team's needs or team members‘ preferences. 

Unlike a traditional office, coworking spaces are less rigid — which doesn’t mean people won’t be getting as much done, just that they’ll be doing it in comfort and utilizing spaces better. 

A good coworking space will have a wide variety of different spaces to work in. Most will have:

  • Private office space so workers can make video conference calls in peace
  • Larger meeting rooms for team check-ins
  • Coffee shop-style communal seating areas for free-thinking
  • Individual hot desks where you can focus on workflow

Many coworking space providers design their coworking spaces with an intentional aesthetic — and it’s amazing to see the way natural light, live plants, and a comfortable chair can help unlock creativity and boost productivity!

Did you know? Many coworking spaces employ community managers to meet and greet new visitors, oversee and manage events, create a welcoming environment, and support remote workers utilizing the space. 

What should you consider when choosing a coworking space? 

There’s a lot of variety between coworking spaces. Some key things to consider before deciding which one will be best for your remote workers are the following:  

Location 

As with so many areas of life, the location is incredibly important in deciding between coworking spaces. Here are three considerations when choosing a space: 

  1. Is there adequate parking nearby (or for a city like New York, is it easy to access the new office space via transit)? Pro-tip: Clockwise can automatically add travel time to your calendar for you before and after your commute to your space.
  2. Are there other establishments nearby? Things like coffee shops, restaurants, and grocery stores can make it a better overall experience for remote workers. 
  3. Is there distracting outside noise or other challenges in this shared space? Pro-tip: Check out review sites like Google Maps for insider tips on the pros and cons of a space you’re considering.

When choosing a coworking space over staying in your comfortable home office you’ll also want to consider the space’s amenities as well as its rates and contract. 

Amenities

Good Wi-Fi is an obvious need, but there are other components to consider that will vary depending on your team members’ needs. 

For example, does your team need to be able to work on the weekends? Will team members benefit by having a gym on the premises? These features might make it a little more expensive, but if they increase productivity and employee happiness, it’s well worth it. Other types of amenities include bike storage, pet-friendliness, recreational games, stocked kitchens, and more.

Rates and contract type

The cost of using the space is important to take into consideration — especially for small businesses and freelancers who might have a tighter budget. Freelancers might opt for an office space they can use on a day-to-day basis (and pay accordingly), while companies may be able to negotiate a fixed monthly rate for all of their team members (rather than paying per employee). 

If a company is using a coworking space while they transition their traditional office into a new, private office space, they will want to make sure they are not signing a long-term contract. 

Who can benefit from a coworking space? 

Coworking spaces are good for a wide range of individuals — entrepreneurs who want to surround themselves with other skilled professionals, companies made up of remote workers who don’t need their own private office space, or small businesses who don’t yet have the budget to have a private office.  

Each coworking space has a unique culture that makes it a “perfect fit” for different people. Entrepreneurs and freelancers should consider getting a day pass at a few different coworking spaces before committing to one for a longer period of time. 

It seems that coworking is going to be the future of the office — and from the research available, it seems they are a great option for keeping people inspired, connected, and productive. 

Head to a nearby coworking space today

Coworking spaces are the way of the future for remote and hybrid workers. Businesses, entrepreneurs, and freelancers who utilize coworking spaces may experience a range of benefits, including networking opportunities, work-life balance, less workplace drama, flexible working hours, and increased productivity. Good coworking spaces offer a variety of different spaces to work in to accommodate private meetings, collaborative team efforts, and focused work. Location, amenities, and contract rate and type are the essential elements to consider when exploring coworking spaces. 

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