With more people working remotely than ever before, and an uptick in gig-type occupations, co-working spaces have emerged as a popular and cost-effective option for businesses and the part-time, full-time and contract workers they employ. In an effort to tap into the global talent pool, more and more large companies are providing access to co-working spaces around the world. In fact, the number of co-working spaces worldwide has increased by 1,000 percent in the last five years.
The shift toward co-working can be explained by three trends:
- The increase in freelance, independent and temporary work leads to these types of workers in need of space to work.
- Employers are striving to give employees more flexibility to work from alternate locations like coworking spaces.
- Corporations are also relying more on independent workers and contractors and, thereby, provide space for these contract hires to work.
While investing in a co-working space creates additional overhead for companies with remote workers, there are a few reasons why these co-working spaces are beneficial for both talent and employers.
Why Co-Working is Successful
- They allow remote talent to connect and collaborate
Whether you’ve hired a freelancer for a contractual project or provide co-working for a remote employee to have an office space, co-working facilities allow virtual employees to connect with other independent workers in a community-oriented space.On-site employees have the benefit of in-person collaboration, but it’s difficult for remote employees to have similar experiences. With co-working, your remote talent can experience the same type of connections, which can inspire innovation even in a remote setting.
- Millennials prefer these collaborative and open environments
Co-working spaces are especially designed to provide open seating, collaboration areas and less stifling settings than your traditional cubicle-based office. Millennials, who make up more than 30 percent of the American workforce today, prefer these types of work arrangements because they lead to better problem-solving, more rapid collaboration and community development.
- They provide greater autonomy and productivity
Research shows that co-working can provide emotional benefits as well. In a recent study on co-working, 84 percent of respondents said they were more engaged and motivated when co-working and 89 percent reported they were happier compared to remote employees who worked from home or another isolated location.
How to Create a Co-Working Atmosphere in Your Office
While co-working spaces provide these unique benefits, there are many ways companies can recreate these same benefits within their own workplaces.
- Flexible work options: Flexible work arrangements — whether that’s in the form of flexible hours or locations — increase productivity and output while reducing turnover.
- Open workspaces: Rather than sticking to the cubicle environment, businesses can provide spaces like coworking environments with open seating for meetings and collaboration areas.
- Technology to encourage collaboration: Companies can also ensure the business is equipped with the right technology to foster collaboration with virtual employees with tools like video conferencing and live chat.
By using co-working spaces as inspiration to drive productivity and collaboration, you can set up your business to reap similar benefits throughout your workforce.