Coworking (yup its one word) refers to the growing phenomenon of available for hire, shared office spaces where budding entrepreneurs, small and medium sized business owners, freelancers or people engaged in similar fields can come together to get their work done. Workstations are available for hire by the hour, day or month depending on your requirement with prices ranging from $5 an hour to $400 a month and beyond. There are cheaper options as well. These coworking spaces come with all the amenities of a modern office as well as recreational sections like a snack and coffer counter, lounge and maybe even a pool table to help you bond with fellow coworkers.
And it’s not just smaller businesses which otherwise may not be able to afford the plush infrastructure the coworking spaces have to offer, even companies such as Google, GlaxoSmithKline, Amazon, Twitter and Nokia have been known to outsource their office spaces to companies such as Regus (the world’s largest provider of flexible office spaces).
While Marissa Mayer may have slammed ‘working from home’ options for her company, there is a lot of merit in offering your employees the ability to work remotely from coworking spaces. As per Mark Dixon, Regus CEO (in an interview with FastCompany), “The future of work should not be dictated by space or place, but by the individual and the tasks that he or she has to deliver”. With employees no longer being tasked on number of hours they put in and instead on being able to get the job done, coworking spaces are a great way to facilitate flexi- working hours and in the bargain enjoy a better work-life balance.
The Global Coworking Survey 2012,conducted by Deskmag across more than 2000 people, backs up the advantages of coworking with statistical data that will hopefully silence some of the skeptics. Here are the key results that showcase clear benefits from coworking:
- Increase in productivity – 71% of respondents
- Improved work standards – 62 % of respondents
- Able to focus better – 68% of respondents
- Better time management of tasks – 64% of respondents
For growing business coworking spaces are a great option for working in a vibrant professional environment without having to take on the pains of operating an office. For established businesses, coworking enables a more a flexible approach for work as well as helps in reducing the cost of owning infrastructure at all times versus using it as and when the requirement arises ( large conference rooms for instance).