Why should SMEs work in shared workspaces? Here are some of the benefits of coworking for small and medium sized enterprises.
Benefits of Shared Workspace for SMEs
If you’ve never worked in a shared workspace or coworking office before, it might be hard to see the appeal. Other people working in your office; changing desks and seeing different faces every day; having to book out meeting rooms and phone booths; not having your own private space. Sure, it all sounds a bit weird at first.
Moving to your first coworking space or shared office might be a bit of a culture shock, but getting used to the strangeness of it is undoubtedly worth it thanks to the amazing benefits of this type of office. While many people assume that coworking spaces are only for brand-new startups, they’re actually a great option for both small and medium-sized businesses for a range of reasons.
Not convinced? Here are 10 benefits of working in a shared workspace for small and medium-sized enterprises.
But first, what exactly is a shared workspace?
Shared workspaces explained
Shared workspaces are exactly what they sound like: a type of office where you work in the same space as employees from other organisations.
Although there are a few different types of shared workspace, the most common and popular is the coworking space. These offices are big spaces where multiple businesses, teams, freelancers, entrepreneurs, and creatives can all work alongside each other in one space. Breakout areas, kitchens, and meeting rooms are all shared between the various people who work in the building.
Usually, coworking memberships are rented by the desk and may be for a set or unlimited amount of time each month: for example, one organisation might pay for ten desks twice a week while another organisation might rent three desks every day. Because everyone shares the same space, meeting rooms might be booked out using a credits system or on a first-come-first serve basis, allowing teams to make use of a more private space whenever they need it.
Coworking spaces are not the only type of shared workspace: serviced offices and managed offices may also be considered shared workspaces. While these provide your team with a private office for your use only, serviced and managed offices may also offer communal break-out areas, cafes, kitchens, and meeting rooms. Thus, these are also sometimes considered shared workspaces.
So, why should you consider moving to one of these non-traditional offices? Here are some of the benefits that a SME can enjoy when working from a shared workspace.
Save money on your office
One of the key reasons that many startups, small, and medium-sized businesses opt to work in coworking offices is the substantial cost savings. Far cheaper than a traditional office lease, your rent in a coworking space is often priced by the desk so you only have to pay for the number of spaces you need. For the cheapest options, consider renting desks only a few days a week or opting for a hot desking membership rather than a dedicated desk, meaning that you can work from wherever you want in the building for a lower price.
Access great locations
The cost savings of working in a shared workspace also mean that small and medium-sized businesses can afford to work in more desirable areas such as a trendy part of the city or in a central location with great transport links. While it would usually be tricky for a small business to rent an office in the heart of central London or Edinburgh, for example, coworking memberships make it possible to work cheaply in the best locations the UK has to offer.
Your team will love you for finding an excellent location that eases their commute with top transport links and offers a wide range of fun restaurants, bars, and cultural activities for after-work fun. Plus, an impressive business address and a great location are a sure way to impress clients and boost your business.
Enjoy greater flexibility
Unlike a traditional office lease, shared workspaces such as coworking spaces and serviced offices offer a lot of flexibility for your team. For example, many coworking spaces offer short term contracts and allow you to upgrade, downgrade, and change your membership with ease. Because the memberships are priced by the desk instead of square foot, it’s easy to add spaces for more team members when your business grows or reduce the number of desks you need for a hybrid working team.
Network with like-minded individuals
While businesses and workers of all kinds come together in coworking spaces, these shared workspaces are especially popular among entrepreneurs, freelancers, and creatives. Especially if you’re a startup looking for a new home to grow in, a coworking space is a great option because it provides an opportunity to build a network of other up-and-coming businesses.
Coworking spaces are great for networking simply because of the shared nature of the workspace – running into people on the way into the office, chatting with other teams at the coffee machine, attending post-work mixers, and other chance encounters can be a great way to grow a professional network.
Collaborate with other businesses
Coworking spaces often promote collaboration and friendship between the different businesses working in the space. For example, some businesses may offer discounted rates or free services to their neighbours in the coworking office. These shared workspaces are a great way to meet other local businesses that may have compatible missions or customer bases, providing exciting opportunities for collaborative activities and partnerships. It’s a great way to build strong working relationships and benefit from a healthy cross-company culture.
Boost employee happiness with great perks
With great amenities and perks, shared office spaces are great for employee satisfaction and well-being. Coworking spaces, for example, might offer a range of perks and amenities including:
- Socials and networking events
- Free tea, coffee, cake, and even sometimes free breakfasts
- On-site showers for gym-goers and bicycle commuters
- Secure bicycle racks
- Pet-friendly offices
- Meditation rooms and other well-being sessions such as yoga
- Event spaces
- Podcast or multi-media studios
Shared offices are able to provide your team with many great perks and facilities that would be too expensive for you to offer in a private office. This is a great way to increase the happiness and engagement of your team.
Increase productivity and creativity with activity-based working
Shared workspaces such as coworking spaces are able to offer a greater selection of different spaces to suit different tasks and work styles. Rather than a small private office where everyone has to work from their desks all day, a coworking space offers a greater variety of different workspaces: open-plan communal desks, private meeting rooms or phone booths, informal break-out areas, sometimes even a leafy garden or roof terrace for sunny summer afternoons. With this variety, your team can better choose the spaces that suit the type of work they’re doing, helping enhance their productivity and creativity.
Impress current and prospective clients with a great space
In contrast to a private office that you have to furnish and decorate yourself, coworking spaces come fully equipped with well-designed spaces, comfy corners, and sleek aesthetics. Think gorgeous wall murals, big windows, and lots of leafy green plants. Of course, every coworking space is different, but in general they tend to be well-designed and aesthetically pleasing in order to attract people to work there. This not only makes them a pleasant place to work but also is a great way to impress your clients, prospective employees, and anyone else who visits your office.
Move in straight away
Another of the perks of a shared workspace is that they’re ready to move into straight away. Fully furnished with everything your team needs to get to work – desks, chairs, high-speed internet, printers, and more – all you need to do is show up and get started. This also means that your business doesn’t have to shoulder the costs of brand new equipment or decorating your new office, helping keep the move as budget-friendly as possible.
Avoid all the hassle of a traditional office
And finally, another benefit of shared offices for SMEs is that the provider takes care of all the hassle for you, including cleaning, security, maintenance, IT, and more. If you’re a rapidly growing business with little time for additional worries about the office, moving to a coworking space, managed office, or serviced office can be a real game-changer. For one single payment a month which includes rent, utilities, insurance, and more, the provider will take care of everything to do with your office. It’s like an all-inclusive hotel for your team!
Ready to try your first shared workspace?
With all these amazing benefits to shared workspaces, it’s no surprise that growing numbers of small and medium-sized enterprises are choosing to relocate to them each year. Cost-effective, flexible, sociable, and great for productivity and employee satisfaction, shared spaces like coworking offices are the future of the workplace.
If you’re considering trying out a shared workspace or just want to find out more about your options, get in touch with Future Squared. Focusing on flexible non-traditional offices such as coworking spaces, managed offices, and virtual offices, Future Squared have helped businesses all over the UK find their perfect new home. Why not start looking for your team’s new home today?
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