The rising popularity of shared offices is a marvel of the past decade, with the sheer number of them rising dramatically. With about 35,000 different locations worldwide open as of 2019, flexible workspaces occupy about 521 million square feet of space, clearly exhibiting the extent to which people value the whole co-working experience and environment. But it would be misleading to suggest that co-working spaces and shared offices haven’t evolved massively over the years. Once taking up trendy backstreet locations for freelancers, creatives and small yet up-and-coming businesses, the definition of co-working space trend now encompasses shared offices neighboring their traditional alternatives in the heart of central business districts. And in spite of the recent news surrounding WeWork and the entire co-working community, shared spaces are in fact forecast a very promising future. While growth may not be as extreme compared with previous years, it is still present, rather with more of a focus on consolidation and occupancy rates. In this article, we’re going to go over some of the key reasons why businesses ahead of the game are making the move into shared office spaces.
1) Productive work environments
Having a productive work environment is what most people consider the most important factor when looking for a new office. Reportedly, 74% of people who work in a shared office environment are more productive. The effects of an atmosphere conducive to work are often understated but can really help drive your business’ growth. Transforming the idea of a co-working space, certain shared spaces place a great emphasis on minimizing any potential distractions in favor of a simple and productive work environment. Especially in cities like Hong Kong, shared offices can provide countless opportunities when coupled with the right ethos. Productive spaces are designed to feature clean and minimalistic furnishings intended to foster productivity and allow businesses to bring their own color and individuality to the space. Our ethos is all about businesses graduating from the playful setting of traditional co-working spaces into something more mature and engaged with productivity, teamwork and business growth.
Building on from the bountiful networking opportunities that shared offices can grant you, one of the more understated advantages of shared offices is the flexibility they can offer. In a traditional office space, a lease period of 1-3 years is considered short-term, while 3-5 years is considered standard. While this does mean you know exactly how much you’re going to be paying for in advance, it also forces you to plan for expansion and effectively overpay for space you don’t yet need. In a co-working space, leases are far shorter, often sitting at around 3 months, meaning you’re able to scale up and down your office space as the needs of your team changes. Another aspect of the benefit of this flexibility is being able to try them out for a reasonable time, and then find exactly what is best for you and your team. In short, spend less money and worry less about making a huge commitment. Thinking about what it’s like to work in a shared office in Admiralty or Causeway Bay? Just dive right in and give it a go. Many shared spaces owe much of their success over the years to being flexible and are continuing to see growth going into 2020.
3) Helpful staff and hands-off management
Having a shared office within a co-working space also significantly reduces the number of menial tasks you must worry about. Think security, WiFi contracts, bills, cleaning services, furniture and much more. A private office in a shared space means you don’t have to spend any time worrying about that. You just sign the contract and move in. And if you’ve got a problem, the co-working staff will always be more than happy to help.
What tangible benefit does this give you? More time to focus on things that actually matter to your business and to nurture its growth.
4) Shared facilities
One of the most noticeable advantages of a shared office is the option to share facilities. Office printers and copiers, pantries, meeting rooms as well as all the amenities listed above are all expensive to have and difficult to maintain. Not to mention, you won’t be using them all the time, so having other people to share them with means a much more cost-efficient workspace – and that trickles down directly into your rent prices. This comes in especially handy for smaller businesses who might not even be able to consider having all these facilities to themselves. Being in a shared office space can simply mean spending less on more.
5) Increased networking potential
Co-working spaces and shared offices offer an enticing alternative to traditional office spaces, however. Catering to individuals from all walks of life with businesses operating in all kinds of industries, shared offices give you the unique opportunity to talk and network with like-minded people. While co-working spaces have traditionally been known for their creative, freelance and young start-up crowd, newer places focus on productive work environment welcomed by SMEs and corporates. Their communities are made up of professionals and businesses who have been around for many years and are looking for a place to consolidate their business and further their already expansive networking reach. Because of this, many members are generous with their introductions and help to foster the ethos of mutual help and generosity. The benefits you can gain from this are huge, whether it be new potential customers or simply inspiration and advice from people in similar positions to you. With a mutually beneficial atmosphere, the sense of community and companionship amongst members is far stronger than anything you would find elsewhere.
Many co-working spaces tend to cultivate this strong notion of community, as they know it’s one of the main features that sets a good co-working space apart from the rest. Under the auspices of a co-working community, events are held for members to attend and connect with other business leaders, giving valuable opportunities for business growth while also being a great place to talk business and work with minimal distractions.
In short, co-working spaces have a myriad of benefits that often fly under the radar. While many have gathered a reputation of being lifestyle orientated over the years, many more in recent years have been gearing their focus towards fostering a productive environment through a simple design ethos, member collaboration and much more. Why bother going through the efforts of signing a traditional workspace when co-working offers such tangible and clear-cut benefits?
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