Shared office space, often referred to as coworking, has its roots in Silicon Valley. It started with a bunch of startup employees looking for a way to share the enormous expense of an office. The concept was brought to the mass market by the billion-dollar startup company WeWork.
Since its inception, shared office space has grown and evolved. While it may have once been simple coworking for young entrepreneurs, the benefits of shared office space have been adopted by organizations of all sizes. Small businesses and corporations around the world have come to realize the many perks and efficiencies to shared space. Let’s take a look at a few of these advantages.
No Debt Liability
There are many advantages that shared office space can provide when it comes to work itself, but we often overlook a key financial advantage for small businesses. When an organization signs a lease for 3,5, or even 7 years they now have a huge liability on the balance sheet. When a small business needs to take out a line of credit or loan with the bank, the liability of that lease will be a major consideration.
Most coworking spaces require short term commitments, sometimes as little as one month. With these short term memberships, small business owners do not need to carry the financial liability of a lease. This can preserve the financial margin for debt that might be used for equipment, working capital, and other types of expansion.
Shared office space helps small businesses stay leaner and avoid the hit of a large asset or debt liability.
Truly Valuable Networking
Shared office space provides networking opportunities that are very unique. While meetups and events provide a few days or hours of opportunity to connect with new people, coworking spaces provide daily opportunities to connect with like-minded businesses. In a shared office space, you have the opportunity to meet many different types of for-profit and non-profit companies.
There can be significant advantages for large companies to join shared workspaces for this very reason. Coworking spaces can provide an easier way for small businesses and entrepreneurs to interact with your large organization. Establishing a small presence in a shared office space can be a great marketing tool for any company with a focus on small business clients.
Recruiting Great Talent
It’s tough to get the best talent. One thing great talent is looking for these days is flexible working environments and added amenities. Shared office spaces allow small businesses to offer top amenities and flexibility. Few small organizations can afford to offer things like fitness centers, beer on tap, local coffee, or historic working spaces on their own. But in a shared environment, all of these amenities become viable.
Shared office spaces are a significant tool for companies of all sizes when it comes to bringing in the best talent. Event larger organizations can use coworking spaces to establish remote teams in more hip and trending spaces. The top developers may not want to work in a corporate America cubical, but they are happy to work in a local coworking space.
Shared offices spaces are a mix of people, ideas, concepts, and thoughts. This diversity can be a huge advantage or coworking members. Many businesses suffer from a lack of diversity. Not simply diverse skin colors, but a diversity of thought and concepts.
In a shared office space, ideas flow around the physical network of people. There are different backgrounds, ages, and life experiences. All of these unique perspectives play into the unique advantage of a shared office. There are few other places where businesses can bounce ideas off of multiple people who spend their time doing something completely different.
Shared Office Is Unique
A coworking space is not right for everyone. There are, of course, tradeoffs from a more traditional office environment. It’s likely to have less privacy in a shared space. There may be a bit more noise and distraction. Not every types of business or team will be a great fit for a coworking space. Still, companies of all sizes should consider the very unique benefits that shared office space has to offer them like diversity, recruiting advantages, valuable networking, the reduction of financial liabilities.