Are co-working spaces worth it?
Traditionally a haven for small businesses and entrepreneurs, the benefits of co-working spaces are now becoming clearer to larger businesses and employees across the board. And it’s not just because of the reduced commute. Co-working facilitates a different kind of interaction, opening up opportunities for networking, collaboration and idea exchange in a way that can’t necessarily be replicated in a conventional office environment.
This is where the co-working movement really excels: in bringing together an office-like framework with a hospitality-style setup. The result creates a strong arena for productivity with a more organic sense of community. And that makes these spaces a huge draw. Especially at the moment, where people have missed their usual levels of social connection and the mental strains of lockdown conditions have impacted ways of working.
It’s easy to see then, why providing co-working spaces for the workforce is an option that will deliver long-term benefits for both employees and employers. If flexibility is the “new normal”, then you want your team to have the same ability to carry out critical tasks in remote settings as they would in the office. Here, they can access high-speed internet, secure printing and scanning services and refreshments - with the added bonus of both collaborative and quiet spaces, giving users an agile range of options for meeting their office needs. The key to unlocking this is to ensure you have a robust cloud infrastructure in place to enable this level of flexibility.
And while we can expect some initial sensitivity around any shared space in the current climate, we know that users will be looking for hubs that prioritise safety alongside experience: easy access to hand sanitiser and anti-bacterial wipes, frequent deep cleaning procedures and features like plexi-glass dividers between desks, for example. When it comes to the in-house technology, somewhere that simplifies device interaction with features like mobile printing and one-touch print and scan, is going to be a more preferable choice. As time goes on, we could even see the widespread implementation of touchless fixtures, like door sensors, automatic sinks and soap dispensers and voice-activated lifts.6
There are both challenges and advantages to be found in whatever the “new normal” brings, but what is clear is that if businesses don’t get on board with a more flexible working culture, they are in serious danger of losing relevance and will fail to attract the best talent. Is your business really ready for the unknown yet to come? Is your setup sufficiently agile to cope? Now’s the time to get a solid cloud infrastructure in place for enabling you to manage your business information irrespective of location, review your workforce strategy and partner with the right co-working space to shore up your flexible approach. We could well be entering an era where work is not seen as a place, but a function that can be completed anywhere if you simply have access to the right technology and environment – and those that don’t move quickly enough to change, are unlikely to survive.