By: Ryan Ayers
If you’ve been looking to boost career satisfaction among your remote team members, co-working spaces may prove up to the task. Today, busy remote professionals around the world increasingly benefit from a changing office environment with the rapid proliferation of co-working spaces.
One boon that co-working provides for employers is that the spaces address the needs of today’s remote employees. For instance, women make up 50% of the United States workforce. Co-working spaces often provide childcare for women who are returning from maternity leave. In other instances, by providing co-working space for remote staff members, you can make disparate staff members feel like they’re part of the team.
Making a Case for Co-Working
Nearly half of all startup entrepreneurs work out of their homes. However, home offices aren’t necessarily conducive for professional activities, such as conducting interviews and meeting with clients or potential business partners. Furthermore, the increasing inclination to work from home makes it difficult to separate professional and personal roles.
Co-working space is a solution for entrepreneurs and professionals who need limited access to a professional work environment. The pay-as-you-go offices are also an excellent solution for cash-strapped startup entrepreneurs that need a professional space to conduct business. Today, remote employees, entrepreneurs and other professionals take advantage of co-working spaces to meet their limited demand for professional real estate.
This relatively new phenomenon is a flexible office space solution. Typically, co-working office providers offer renters several solutions. Co-working spaces may range from open floor plan desks to private offices, as well as “hot desks” – where leases pay for access to any open desk in their plan. If need be, you can also rent conference rooms at most co-working spaces, and all co-working offerings typically provide community amenities such as business equipment and dining areas.
Co-working spaces are riding the sharing economy wave. However, issues surround the sharing economy as a whole.
What’s Driving Co-Working?
PricewaterhouseCoopers forecasts that the sharing economy will surge from $15 billion in 2013 to $335 billion by 2025. As this growth takes place, legislators are scrambling to protect the interests of the workers and consumers of the sharing economy.
The sharing economy business model is still relatively new. In the future, there’s potential for other verticals to further penetrate the sharing economy, such as the automotive, hospitality, finance and staffing industries.
Some well-known sharing economy enterprises are Airbnb, Lyft and Uber. To date, legislators are playing catch-up in trying to regulate the industry. Lawmakers must protect the interests of sharing economy consumers and business partners. Still, the sharing economy is innovative in that it eliminates the waste generated by unused assets and unnecessary middleman as well as costly, extensive and ineffective delivery channels.
An Industry Disrupted: How Co-Working Is Changing Childcare
In particular, co-working spaces are turning one industry on its head. Remote workers maintain flexible hours, and many need childcare services that are just as flexible as their schedules.
Now, many co-working spaces offer on-site childcare. Resultantly, co-working spaces are an excellent segue for new mothers who are transitioning back into the workforce.
Some co-working spaces offer childcare during regular office hours and provide experienced, vetted caregivers. The cost to rent a co-working space – with childcare as needed – can cause half of what it costs to pay a full-time daycare service. Furthermore, new parents can better focus on returning to work with their children just a floor away.
According to FlexJobs, nearly 4 million Americans work from home for at least half of the workweek. Co-working spaces have emerged to fill the needs of a growing number of professionals who need occasional office space.
Office space is typically a large part of a company’s nonliquid holdings. Enterprises must also provide workers with essentials such as furniture, high-speed internet access, office supplies, phones, printers and other business equipment. Co-working spaces, however, disperse these costs among its many temporary residents.
Also, co-working spaces are an excellent way to remind your remote employees that their professional needs are just as valuable their in-house peers. With co-working, you can ensure staff members that they are an essential part of the team – no matter where they work. Simultaneously, you can untether employees from the office and give them the freedom and convenience that comes with working from home.
Co-working spaces will soon become increasingly important. Analysts forecast that 75% of the US workforce will work from home by the year 2020. Co-working spaces are an exceptional solution for keeping employees connected with the office while at the same time curbing unnecessary spending.
About the author
Ryan Ayers has consulted a number of companies within multiple industries including information technology and big data. After earning his MBA in 2010, Ayers also began working with start-up companies and aspiring entrepreneurs, with a keen focus on data collection and analysis.