What Is a Coworking Environment Like? [What to Know]
Coworking Space Pre- and Post-Pandemic
Much has been written about coworking space, and the exponential growth rates before the pandemic. By the end of 2019, the number of coworking spaces grew to over 22,000 worldwide—with 2.2 million working from them. The number of professionals per coworking space also had expanded to 90, with 11% of them hosting over 300 members. While in-person work changed dramatically during the pandemic, a rapid return to some form of office work is now the norm for the majority of businesses.
Coworking spaces offer entrepreneurs and small businesses flexible solutions that align—and promote—a new mode of work that permits remote work and embraces hybrid work models. Large enterprises are also turning to coworking space for some of their workers. The end result is that the number of coworking spaces is expected to skyrocket over the next two years, hitting almost 42,000 by 2024—achieving a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.3%.
What to Expect When Working from a Coworking Environment
While a growing number of businesses and professionals either work or have worked from a coworking space, others have not done so. This blog post is for them, providing details on what they can expect to see and experience in a coworking environment.
Who Else Is Working in a Coworking Environment
Depending on the business and the professional, coworking might be something they do five days a week to once a month. The use cases for coworking are myriad. Some small businesses and entrepreneurs closed down permanent, fixed offices during the pandemic and realized that they didn’t need one once the pandemic subsided. You can run their business from a home office and/or a coworking space more effectively than from a permanent, fixed office space. There is no long-term leases and the need to “acquire” office space that you don’t need today but might in the future. And if your office space requirements increase or decrease, you lack the flexibility to adjust your office lease accordingly.
There are many other use cases for coworking. The following are just a few of them. First, a coworking space is a great option for businesses without a permanent, fixed office space. Portions of coworking spaces may be dedicated to these businesses. 47% of workers in coworking spaces work five days a week from the space. Second, for businesses that adopted a hybrid work model, coworking space can serve as the location for the days when teams get together. They can also provide professionals, on they days they work remotely, a professional space to focus on work (e.g., when a home office is not available). Third, for some professionals who work remote most or all the time, they can begin to feel lonely and isolated. A coworking space gives them an opportunity to spend one or two days a week to interact with other professionals. Finally, for professionals who travel, a coworking space can serve as a place to work for a few days or simply a few hours before a client meeting.
Coworking Environments Lead to Higher Productivity
Some falsely assume that working from a coworking environment can be a distraction and result in diminished productivity. However, studies show that working from a coworking space actually enables most professionals to improve their productivity. 46% of those who use coworking space say their productivity is higher there than when they use other workspace environments—permanent offices to home offices.
Coworking Environments Are for Large Companies, Too
Much of the attention around coworking space focuses on use cases for entrepreneurs and small businesses. But the reality is that a measurable percentage of organizations using coworking space are mid-size businesses and large enterprises (between 14% and 22%, depending on the study), and this number is expected to grow in coming years.
Coworking Professionals Are Happy and Have a Great Work-Life Balance
Professionals who use coworking space tend to be happier than their counterparts who spend significant time commuting to work from a permanent, fixed office space five days a week. One study found that 89% of those professionals in coworking office space said they are happier after they switched to coworking. Coworking space is typically an optimistic environment, one where workers share social experience, expand their social networks, provide flexible schedules, and encourage learning and personal growth.
Availability of Virtual Business Addresses
Entrepreneurs and small businesses that rely exclusively on coworking space or hybrid coworking-remote work arrangements require a mailing address to register and incorporate their business. A business address is also needed for other types of documentation. Home addresses are a bad idea for various reasons. Virtual office addresses are a better alternative, and some coworking space providers like Davinci Meeting Rooms provides virtual office address solutions (such Davinci Virtual Offices). Thus, for entrepreneurs and business professionals who work from a coworking space, you are likely to find a number of other members who have virtual office addresses.
Availability of Rented Meeting Rooms
Most coworking space also comes with rented meeting room options—or this is certainly the case with Davinci Meeting Rooms coworking space. For client and partner meetings, confidential company or employee discussions, and training sessions, you need a private meeting room. Here, you need to ensure that the meeting room size accommodates the number of meeting attendees, and that the presentation, collaboration, and video conferencing tools also meet your requirements. You even might need business services like faxing, photocopying, and notary services. As part of this process, it would benefit you to plan out your meeting—which includes selecting the right space and accompanying services.
Getting Started with Coworking Environment
Finding the right coworking environment means you must understand your key requirements—a short commute, the right size and configuration, availability of business services, a lobby greeter, catering and beverage services, and more. Unlike permanent, fixed office space that lacks flexibility and scale, coworking space gives entrepreneurs and businesses the ability to expand and contract as needed. You even can move into new market locations without leasing a permanent, fixed office space. Finally, your workers are more engaged, more loyal, and more productive.
At the same time, workers realize significant value. They have better work-life balance, are healthier and happier, network and develop broader and more meaningful professional and social relationships, and have much greater flexibility in managing professional and personal obligations.