Are Coworking Spaces Worth It? 11 Reasons Why You Should Consider Them
Coworking spaces were on the upswing before the COVID pandemic, and their adoption rates in 2022 have resumed their previous growth trajectory. One report projects that while coworking space currently comprises 5% of the office real estate market today, it will grow to 30% by 2030. Hybrid work arrangements and businesses that jettisoned permanent office space altogether are two contributing factors. In addition, many professionals and businesses during the pandemic found that 100% work-from-home models have their disadvantages and time with others from the same company or even just other businesses and professionals can drive collaboration, engagement, and productivity.
Coworking Space Grows in Number and Geographical Distribution
But coworking space isn’t merely returning to the pre-pandemic status qua. Historically, most coworking spaces were located in urban areas, but this is now changing with an expansion into suburbia and rural areas. As many business professionals do not live in downtown urban areas, they prefer to work from coworking spaces closer to their homes. Further, with many professionals relocating to rural settings during the pandemic, the need for coworking space in these areas is also booming.
In regard to the latter, the Fremont Economic Development Corporation’s (FEDC) TechSTART in Cañon City, Colorado and the Emergent Campus in Florence, Colorado are two examples. “We have 20% of our workforce that’s not fully activated,” said Brad Rowland, who left Silicon Valley in 2016 for Fremont County and serves as Program Director at FEDC and is a Partner and GM at the Emergent Campus. “So, what if instead of trying to create programs for people, we extend the infrastructure? Before the pandemic, that was harder for people to conceptualize.” Today, it’s not. “Let’s put all these pieces together and build the communities we want to live in.” The TechSTART initiative was so successful, all of its workspace was filled within six months. This gave rise to the launch of the Emergent Campus in 2019.
Reasons Why Coworking Space Is a Good Choice
The aforementioned growth in both the number of coworking spaces as well as their broader geographical distribution place coworking space in a more strategic position today than before the pandemic. Those who leverage coworking space include a number of different professionals:
• Digital nomads
• Remote workers
• Freelancers and contractors
• Startup company staff
• Business travelers—internationally and domestically
For professionals and businesses that are considering coworking space, the following are some of the advantages coworking spaces offer.
Enhanced Tech Capabilities
For professionals who work from their home office, technology capabilities can be limited—from high-speed internet access to presentation and collaboration tools. For the former, networks for coworking space are built for high availability and reliability; they designed with resiliency and sustained bandwidth connection speeds. In the case of the latter, coworking space typically comes with the latest collaboration and productivity technologies that foster creativity and outcomes. These technologies save time and can even save costs. In the case of the latter, businesses can avoid investing in certain technologies for each of their workers who work from their home offices and allocate those monies elsewhere.
Elimination of At-home Distractions
Working at home can have its distractions. Some of the examples include barking dogs, delivery people at the front door, babies crying, neighbors stopping by to visit, and other various interruptions. At the same time, professionals are responsible for managing their own technologies—from replacing ink cartridges in printers to troubleshooting internet problems.
Secure Wi-Fi Network
Home Wi-Fi networks often lack all of the security precautions businesses require. Larger businesses often implement all the security technologies needed to protect their workers’ digital communications, but that isn’t always the case for smaller businesses, freelancers, and entrepreneurs. Most coworking space comes with built-in security capabilities like firewalls, network activity monitors, spam and virus filters, and more.
Elimination of Loneliness and Disengagement
One of the outcomes of the pandemic has been the ability to analyze work from home over a lengthy period of time. The latest annual report from Buffer on the State of Remote Work found that 24% of those who work from home all or most of the time indicate they struggle with loneliness. Coworking spaces offer these workers the chance to engage with like-minded professionals—whether once or twice every couple weeks or a couple times a week—on a regular basis. This level of engagement can help minimize the loneliness felt by these remote workers.
Mental Wellbeing and Good Health
On a related note, mental health of work-from-home professionals took a beating during the pandemic. A study by the Royal Society of Public Health found that two-thirds of workers feel less connected to colleagues, 59% feel more isolated from coworkers, 56% find it harder to switch on and off, and 37% have sleep problems. Another study by Lyra found that the number of workers reporting mental health issues doubled this past year. Coworking spaces help minimize these mental health challenges by offering workers physical spaces for collaborative and social interactions with each other, opportunities for physical exercise, and other recreational activities.
Coworking space typically comes with ergonomic furniture. As not every business or remote worker can afford to purchase state-of-the-art ergonomically designed furniture, this can have a significant impact on the health of workers over time.
Reduced Environmental Impact
For businesses with return-to-work policies where the workforce is expected to spend the entire week—or specified days—in an office environment, coworking space extends them an opportunity to retain an in-office work policy but without requiring workers to commute long distances. In addition to impacting quality of life and the health of workers, long work commutes are detrimental on the environment (viz., more pollution, more congestion, etc.).
Lower Cost, Flexible Workspace Model
When compared to permanent, fixed workspace, coworking space is less expensive. Businesses and professionals can elect to use coworking space on demand or rent space on a short-term leases. In addition to reduced cost, coworking space provides much greater flexibility as compared to permanent office space. Workers can spend part of the week working from their home office and the rest of the week from the coworking space.
Most home offices don’t come with state-of-the-art equipment such as printers, scanners, telephone systems, video conferencing, photocopiers, and fax machines. Coworking spaces do. Having these at your disposal improves efficiencies while reducing frustration.
Available Meeting Rooms
Coworking spaces also come with rented meeting space. These can be reserved on demand and used for client, partner, and customer meetings. They also come with the latest video conferencing and collaboration technology. With rented meeting rooms, businesses and entrepreneurs can remain focused on their meeting and attaining the objectives of each meeting.
Coworking space also comes with lobby greeters who know the facility forwards and backwards—whether where the restrooms are location, the best restaurants that are nearby, parking logistics, and how to tap available administrative and catering services in the coworking space.
Many coworking spaces also offer on-demand administrative services. If a business needs assistance faxing documents to a prospect or client, the administrative staff in the coworking space can take care of the task for you. If you need help photocopying documents, the administrative staff is there to help. And if you run into problems getting one of the technologies in the coworking space to work, the administrative staff has you covered.
Finding the Right Coworking Space Provider
Davinci Meeting Rooms has a global inventory of coworking space from which a business or entrepreneur can choose. You can search for the coworking space based on location as well as business requirements (e.g., coworking space that has rented meeting rooms of a certain size)—using a web-based browser or by downloading an Android or iOS app. For businesses and entrepreneurs seeking to use coworking space in multiple locations and on demand, Davinci Meeting Rooms is a good choice.