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Remote work skyrocketed during and after the COVID pandemic. But it did not come without challenges, from mental health struggles to collaboration difficulties. Getting distracted easily is among the challenges of remote working
More remote workers admit that they get distracted by video games, online shopping, and listening to music. Some employers fix this issue by creating work schedules for remote employees to adhere to. Others turn to coworking spaces, and it is a gamechanger.
Coworking is when workers of different companies share a working space– the coworking area. The zone is designed to cater to working needs, providing high-speed Wi-Fi, electricity, desks and chairs, and bathrooms.
The setup works well for many workers struggling with remote working conditions. In addition, it has benefits for small business owners, startups, and new entrepreneurs, as the information below will cover.
The primary reason why coworking is becoming more popular is that workers thrive in the setup. Working in a shared office space gives workers endless networking opportunities since they meet people from other companies. It, in turn, facilitates a sense of community, which is impossible with a home office.
Many coworking spaces offer workers control by remaining open 24/7. The worker can, therefore, show up during a time when they are most productive. Coworking space is a step up from a traditional office and a good place for remote workers to remain focused.
Coworking and shared office spaces are terms often used interchangeably, despite their differences.
For starters, a shared office space usually caters to more established, mid-sized, or large businesses.
And because of this, shared office spaces have more equipment and features, such as a dedicated desk and chair, meeting rooms, a kitchen, private offices, phone booths, and a reception area with a receptionist.
While coworking spaces lease monthly or for 3 to 6 months, shared office spaces have longer contracts, often up to a year. In addition, shared workspace tends to be less social thana coworking setup.
Traditional offices are suitable for structure. But in the world of digital nomads, coworking spaces prove to have some advantages over traditional office space. They include the following:
Workers and entrepreneurs enjoy flexibility inworking hours and payment. Most of the coworking spaces remain open 24/7, allowing workers to show up when they want.
Unlike a traditional office where hours are set, it caters to different workers as some work better in the morning and others in the afternoon or evenings. So workers have the opportunity to maximize their productivity.
Startup managers or small businesses have the flexibility to commit to the lease short-term or long-term. They can lease the work environment for one month or more while getting the company off the ground. It is more financially practical than an office space.
Coworking spaces come ready to move in. The offices offer basic amenities for running a business so companies can get started on work. Traditional offices often take time to setup, considering furniture deliveries, painting/repainting, branding, internet connection, etc. It can take weeks before the office is fully functional, which is not the case with coworking spaces.
Coworking spaces come with the advantage of networking opportunities. Workers will have access toother entrepreneurs and creatives that facilitate support, brainstorming, creativity, and new ideas. Coworking introduces workers to people they would otherwise not have met working in a traditional office space.
Entrepreneurs don't have to worry about renovations, furniture, branding, rebranding, or other miscellaneous costs. Everything is included in the initial fee depending on the number of rented spaces. In addition, managers can stop paying the fee if they need to redirect resources elsewhere. The setup is more affordable than a traditional office space.
Other benefits of coworking spaces include the following:
● Better professional image. Independent contractors and freelancers can benefit from coworking environments since they help create a more professional image for clients. They show clients that they have a dedicated working space away from home where they can conduct meetings and get projects done.
● Productive atmosphere. Home offices and remote working can have multiple distractions. But being in an environment where others are getting work done can encourage workers to focus on their tasks.
● Mental health benefits. Many workers felt lonely during the pandemic because they were forced to work from home. The lack of social inclusion has a mental health strain where workers feel more anxious and depressed. Leaders in traditional office settings are encouraged to promote socializing for better mental health and productivity. Coworking provides this advantage as it is often a social environment. It also improves work-life balance for better mental health.
Of course, the coworking community setup comes with shortcomings. The most common challenges include the following:
● Pricier than alternatives. Some workers, such as independent contractors or freelancers, find working at coffee shops or from home more affordable, considering how often they would need to accomplish tasks.
● Privacy. While a coworking environment has many perks, it takes away privacy, especially for those used to the home working environment. The spaces are often open, with no cubicles or offices. Therefore, conducting meetings, making phone calls, and even working on confidential projects can be challenging.
● Lacks some perks. Unfortunately, collaborative workspaces lack some perks workers would get from a traditional office, such as breakroom, refrigerator, food delivery service, microwave, kitchens, etc.
● No personal branding. Another challenge new businesses opting for coworking spaces face is the lack of personal branding. It is challenging to develop a brand image in a shared space.
Reports show there are over 25,000 coworking spaces globally, which is predicted to increase in the coming years. Growth is expected to introduce or fine-tune elements such as:
● Eco-Conscious Spaces. Recycled furniture, policies discouraging plastics, better energy management, and sustainable travel will be popular in coworking spaces.
● Additional Perks. Coworking spaces will offer low-cost, high-value perks such as pet-friendly spaces, free parking, and local shop discounts.
● Inclusivity. Coworking spaces will be on the frontlines of inclusivity, undergoing constant reinvention to meet workers' diverse needs.
These are just the tip of the coworking space iceberg. Keep up with Workpay's informational blogs on upcoming trends in business and HR.
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