Coworking is a style of work that involves a shared office space and where workers, who are typically not members of the same organization, gather to work.
Essentially, it’s people working in the same place together that are not part of the same company. Shared workspaces are growing in popularity amongst businesses, but is this really the best way to set up your employees for success?
Some people say that there are many benefits to a shared workspace. Employees are given the opportunity to collaborate, the overhead cost is limited, and the openness is appealing to millennials.
On the other hand, some say that the distractions and noise aren’t encouraging for employee productivity. Let’s review the pros and cons of a shared workspace.
Pros Of Shared Workspaces
Shared Workspaces Cut Employers’ Costs
One benefit of a shared workspace is that it cuts back on employer overhead. Office space costs money and it isn’t cheap. Not only do employers have to pay for the space of a private office, but all the utilities like heat, air conditioning, lighting, and energy.
When leasing a private office, most of them come unfurnished. You need to provide yourself and employees with desks, internet, phones, and supplies.
Some shared workspaces offer amenities and services that are included in your payment options.
Some of them include:
- High Speed WiFi
- Free Printing and Scanning
- Complimentary Beverages
- Full Kitchenettes
- Mail Distribution
- Onsite Support
- Privacy Nooks
- Meeting Rooms
Shared Workspaces Appeal to Millennials
Let’s face it, millennials are changing the way businesses are operating, the kinds of benefits and perks they offer, and shared workspaces aren’t any different.
Millennials want a laid back and casual work environment. If you’re looking remain relevant among the current talent pool, then this is a huge plus for your business.
Meeting New Entrepreneurs
If you’re a start-up, working in a shared workspace can be great for meeting other entrepreneurs.
This is a great way to spark up conversation, see if there’s a way to collaborate, barter services and even help spread word about your businesses.
Cons Of Shared Workspaces
Most employers are worried that the productivity of their employees will decrease in a shared workspace.
Everyone has a different kind of work day. Some days are heavier than others and some days are light. In a room where everyone has a different job, you might find yourself distracted by those who are having a “lighter work day.”
You might be preparing a presentation, having to make a ton of phone calls or need to really buckle down to get work checked off your to-do list. All of these things can be easily interrupted by a simple walk to the bathroom or trip to the break room where you overhear a conversation that’s way more interesting than the work you need to tend to.
Hours Of Operation
If you’re a start-up, you probably work long days.
Getting a business up and running takes a lot of work and grueling hours. Most open workspaces are a 9-5 operation. That might be a problem if you if plan on working beyond normal business hours.
Lack Of Privacy
Workspaces are noisy and sometimes that can affect an employee’s concentration.
When employers are concerned about the productivity of their employees in a shared workspace, noise frustration is a perfect example.
Sometimes employees need their own space to be able to get work done, especially if they are having a rough day (let’s be honest, it happens to the best of us) and need to focus. Those kinds of normalities are lost.
Some Jobs Require Security
In an open workspace, there is little to no privacy.
If you’re working on sensitive project that has specific security requirements, then an open workspace isn’t a place to discuss that business.
At times, it may be inconvenient to be on the phone with clients and not have the privacy to yourself.
Everyone is in the same boat, but that doesn’t mean that someone won’t overhear a conversation you’d rather keep private.
Shared Workspaces Are Becoming Popular – Are They Right For You?
Shared workspaces have positive and negative effects on your employees and your work environment.
Although they are becoming more and more popular, they might not be the best fit for your business. Keep some of the above pros and cons in mind if you’re considering a shared workspace.