Shared Workspaces and Why Your Company Needs One

As the coworking space landscape evolves around the world, it still stands as an important model of workspace that has helped many companies grow.

As the coworking space landscape evolves around the world, it still stands as an important model of workspace that has helped many companies grow. While the words “shared workspace” might come off as not your ideal choice for an office space, shared spaces actually entail many business opportunities you might not have yet discovered. We wrote on a similar topic not too long ago, covering some of the myths you might have heard as it relates to a shared workspace.

So, how does office sharing work? In this article, we will tell you why the concept of shared workspace is such an advantageous and beneficial one that your company should not miss out on!

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What is a shared workspace?

A shared workspace, or coworking space, is when like-minded individuals gather together at the same location to work together. This could be on the same project, or if you are working on your own individual company. To further distinguish this from a traditional office, coworking spaces are workspaces that are shared between workers of different organizations.

This may look like a shared area in an office building that usually has a less formal and casual setting. This area is usually an open and inclusive workspace for anyone to join and leave when they feel like it.

coworking space
A shared workspace at Co.

While these shared workspaces have a wide-open plan concept, they usually still have private and quieter places, like meeting and conference rooms, to allow for more confidentiality. This allows you to also hop out of a group conversation when you need to take an important work call or meeting with a client with ease.

What coworking allows is the organic cultivation of networking in a less awkward manner and making it a day-to-day activity. Also, depending on the design and philosophy behind the shared workspaces, it’s a misconception that these spaces are one and the same.

The significant growth of coworking space – places where working professionals can rent a desk of their own while sharing facilities with other entrepreneurs – provides a clue about the dynamic nature of work as any qualifying indicator that you can name.

So, let’s discuss some of the advantages you can reap and disadvantages you may face in these coworking spaces.

Advantages of shared workspaces

There are plenty of benefits! From increased productivity from happier and more satisfied employees to being able to easily hold seminars and networking events, these will guarantee a much more lively workplace.

coworking space with function room function
Photo by Greenhouse

A study done on coworkers based in Germany showed that shared workspaces give employees a more relaxed and flexible environment. This will then contribute to feeling like they have more autonomy in what they do, compared to a traditional work setting which might induce more hardship and stress with its demanding work schedules. Your employees will also be thankful for the organic and meaningful conversations they can hold with each other, and with other business partners.

Most of these shared workspaces also have many amenities to hold large-scale events like workshops, seminars, and networking sessions. They should also have the basic amenities you need, for example, a printer, strong and secure working wifi, and more.

So, why not consult Greenhouse’s service providers of office spaces to find the best one for your company now?

Disadvantages of shared workspaces

One huge question you may have, in 2021, might be how coworking spaces can remain safe for usage. How are businesses with these shared workspaces surviving?

Using WeWork as an example, it is highly important to maintain adequate social distancing and purify the air regularly to ensure the safety of their employees. As such, they have implemented hybrid working into their office as well as an air purification system. So, although one of the difficulties of such shared workspaces is that of physical proximity, if your business still requires you to frequent the office regularly, you can still opt for the coworking option and remain safe!

Another question that most companies struggle with is: How do I ensure that my employees maintain their privacy and productivity?

We understand that some coworking spaces sometimes lack the infrastructure which raises issues like the lack of privacy and diminished productivity. Most of the time this is due to the lack of the proper work environment or ergonomics which might induce more stress and strain. Another study done on 69 coworkers working in eight different places in Austria stated that proper facilities are important. Although coworking spaces can achieve great social support from “direct social support and collaboration”, it also recommended that these spaces “should also fulfill other needs of coworkers for concentrated work or having dedicated space to perform individual work activities.”

By finding trusted service providers to outsource the appropriate place for your company, your employees and yourself will soon be able to enjoy the benefits of coworking spaces.

Examples of companies who use coworking spaces

Globally, there are many companies from startups all the way to big corporations that have adopted the use of coworking spaces.

Some examples to name are:

  • Google
  • Facebook
  • International Business Machines Corporation (IBM)
  • Bank of America, and many more!

Alongside those above, we have also compiled the Top 10 Best Coworking Spaces in Southeast Asia that you may want to check out if you are in the area!

Traditional office vs. Shared workspaces

Still not convinced?

Here is a side-by-side comparison table between the traditional 9-to-5 work setting and a coworking office. Let’s take a look at it!

Traditional office

Shared workspaces 

9-to-5 schedule allows for more routine and familiarity

Flexible working schedule, more autonomy

Individual and set desks may increase focus and privacy

Variety of work desks and spaces to change scenery 

Bounded physical space does not allow for social interaction and networking

A shared environment that will naturally lead to various conversations

More expensive because of occupancy and maintenance fees

Cost-effective because you pay for what you need

Familiar workplace relationships with company’s colleagues

Endless supply of networking with other professionals 

Coworking places are here to stay and they have traversed a long way since their inception many years ago. The beginning of the coworking concept has also brought a revolutionary change in the way a traditional office works. The intricate nature of a formal workplace has given way over to the casual nature of work. This so-called “casualization” of workplace culture has remarkably altered the working culture and landscape of work style itself.

To cowork or not to cowork?

The future of working in a co-working office space is more rewarding and profitable. Although the co-working concept is still a growing idea, thousands of people prefer working in this setting because:

  1. They can mold their typical workday into a routine that delivers and provides purpose and definite meaning to their daily work.
  2. They can be more flexible, productive and exercise more control over their working day.
  3. Help mingle and interact with people who come with different professions and working styles.
  4. Share, exchange, and distribute their ideas, expressions, opinions, and concerns with other like-minded associates. Sharing is caring and demonstrating a concern! This is perhaps the motto of shared office space. Incidentally, people who work under such a scenario might automatically become a responsible individual who is ready to help someone who actually needs it.

Shared workspaces are also sustainable. Not just environmentally sustainable, but also for the longevity of your employees. So, we really do recommend trying it out and seeing the results of it for yourself.

The Future of Work

The future of the work clearly sides with co-working office spaces because of their immense attraction and cajoling parameters. As the world starts understanding the vast benefits of working with a casual and informal co-working setting, the entire concept of co-working will witness drastic measures intended to introduce fanciful alterations that are usually progressive and helpful.

Another research by user experience researchers Melissa Gregg and Thomas Lodato (in an essay titled “Managing community: Coworking, hospitality and the precarious future”), co-working could be a preferred choice for many freelancers and traditional workers, because they may seek “relief from the emotional demands of the corporate office.”

So, wait no more and find yourself the perfect location to start coworking!

Greenhouse works with some of the finest shared office space service providers across the region.

Feel free to reach out to us via this page, if you need any help in finding a new home for your business across the Asia Pacific.

If you are considering expanding your business into your target market, Greenhouse also empowers you to book business incorporation services. Learn more about our marketing expansion solutions.

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