Coworking vs. traditional office space. Which one is right for you?
In today’s office rental market, people have more choices than ever when it comes to finding a home for their business. Along with more choices, there’s an increased awareness among businesses of all sizes of alternative ways to occupy office space. Even large companies like Amazon and Google are diverting some of their offices from traditional leased buildings to flexible workspace. This has resulted in an increase in requests for 10-plus desks which now make up of approximately one-fifth of the total office market demand.
Coworking vs. traditional office space – weighing the pros and cons
For start-ups and established businesses alike, making decisions about office space is no easy task. There are so many options to consider and factors to weigh. Before you begin your search for your enterprise’s home base, it’s critical to determine what you’re looking for: Are you going to go with a coworking space or a traditional office? Let’s consider the top merits – and drawbacks – of each.
Contrary to what some people may still think, coworking is not just a group office with ping pong tables, bean bag chairs and an unlimited supply of snacks. Instead, it is now an umbrella term used to describe a flexible work environment, whether it’s a dedicated desk in a communal space or a private serviced office within a shared office location.
One of the most important benefits of coworking is its flexibility as compared to traditional offices.
You don’t have to commit to a long-term lease and everything – including utilities, phone line, internet, postal service and reception – is normally covered in your fee. Flexible lease options provide a less rigid form of tenure such as the ability to use the space on a short-term basis and to grow or shrink your physical space requirements as needed. Larger companies or established clients can also negotiate longer-term leases – providing the ultimate balance of stability and cost-effectiveness. In short, coworking (ironically) can potentially offer a more tailor-made solution when it comes to lease and space requirements.
You can occupy your fully-equipped space right away. It comes with furnishings, internet and phone connections, plus a variety of amenities and on-demand meeting space arrangements.
Chances to network and collaborate
Shared spaces mean you have the opportunity to join forces with people with complementary skills and/or people who require your skills.
It may not be your space alone
Coworking locations are normally filled with a range of clientele, from startups to multinationals. This means the coworking space cannot be branded by any one client. However, while most coworking locations are shared, more and more it’s possible for one organization to occupy the whole premises. These “enterprise tenant” arrangements allow companies to reap the many benefits of coworking without sacrificing their autonomy and unique company brand and culture.
More expensive than working from home: For the solopreneur or small business, nothing beats the cost-effectiveness of working from home. Moving to a coworking location may cost more, but you’ll likely be way more productive!
When you lease or buy a traditional office, it’s your own space, to be used exclusively for your business. If you’re renting the office, you usually have to commit to a term of at least five years and enter into a contract with the owner of the premises. Building out and furnishing the offices is also your responsibility.
Branding and corporate culture: The entire office is yours and can reflect your brand and your corporate culture. You can design your space to accommodate the unique needs and values of your company.
Privacy: Because you aren’t sharing the space, it may be easier to schedule private meetings. You will also have better overall control of allotment of designated areas for privacy.
Less flexibility: Leasing a traditional office usually represents a long-term commitment.
Upfront costs: When you lease a traditional office, you will have to furnish and equip your space. This may also include expensive investments like building out amenities and meeting rooms.
The need for dedicated office management: You’ll have to take on the task of managing the office.
Fewer opportunities to network and collaborate: You have less of a chance of connecting with people from other companies or industries.
After you’ve thought about these pros and cons, remember to take a step back and look at the big picture. Make sure the physical space you choose reflects the image you want to project for your clients, potential employees and partners, and the type of business you’re in.
The Professional Centre (TPC) is a premium shared office space in Toronto’s Financial District. Our spaces are fully equipped with meeting rooms and services to meet the needs of any business. Book a tour today and discover the TPC difference!
Are Headphones Bad for Shared Office Spaces | Toronto Coworking Tips
Headphones have become part of the unofficial uniform of Toronto’s shared office workers. But in spaces designed for collaboration, are headphones putting back up the walls that coworking spaces tore down?
Many offices have converted into open plans or rent shared office spaces specifically to increase communication. So, what kind of effect does isolating equipment, like headphones, have on engagement and collaboration?
In this Toronto Coworking Tips article, we’re weighing the pros and cons of headphones in shared office space.
Pros of Headphones in the Office
If you walk into just about any coworking space in Toronto, you’ll find a sea of AirPods, earbuds, and over-ear headphones. At first glance, it can look like everyone is on their own island in an open space, but most employees are quick to defend the use, and they have some strong points.
With so much going on, it can be easy to lose focus in a shared office space. When you’re struggling to concentrate, you can’t close a door and shut the world out. Headphones, however, offer an easy solution.
Throwing on your headphones and putting on some music or relaxing sounds can have powerful effects on concentration. According to a Stanford study, “Music moves [the] brain to pay attention.”
Listening to music while focusing on a task has several benefits, especially with improving focus. It can also help with relaxation and memory.
The type of music has a significant impact. Different types of music can have different benefits. For instance, in the Cambridge Brain Science study Psychomusicology: Music, Mind and Brain, it was determined that low arousal, negative music has the best memory performance.
For improving concentration and productivity, the best options are classical music and EDM music. However, the most important factor is listening to music that you like. Music that you don’t like is distracting.
Do Not Disturb
In a coworking office, you’re always available. This is good most of the time, maximizing your ability to engage and collaborate. It’s very team-friendly, but it’s not always individual-friendly.
Being constantly available can be a challenge when you need to buckle down and hammer out some individual work. For some, this constant openness can lead to some stress. In both cases, headphones act as instant relief.
Wearing headphones in a shared office space is a visible “do not disturb” sign, letting your coworkers know you’re busy and don’t want to be disturbed. If you are immediately needed, people can still access you, but most people let you get on with your work.
Block Out Distractions
Walls are bad for teamwork and collaboration. But what they are good for, is blocking out distractions. In an open office space, it’s easy to get distracted by other conversations and happenings.
From time to time, distractions can be a nice mental break. But if they happen all day long, it’s hard to get much done. It can be hard to get privacy in a coworking space.
Once again, this is where headphones come to save the day. Throwing on your headphones, especially noise cancelling or noise isolating ones are a great way to block out distractions. They can block out loud phone calls and help keep your attention from going too far outward.
Cons of Headphones in the Office
At risk of causing stirring up treble with the headphone wearers, there are some potential downsides as well.
Putting on your headphones takes away from that atmosphere. It removes you from the community and detracts from team-building and open discussion. As good as they are for individual work, headphones are a detriment during collaboration.
They Can Be Distracting
The distraction argument cuts both ways for headphone use. Some music or ambient sounds can have benefits, increasing focus and promoting calmness. But that’s not all we listen to on headphones.
While there are lots of types of music that can run in the background, ebooks and podcasts are becoming increasingly popular. As titillating as it is to catch up on the latest serial killer podcasts, they aren’t doing anything to improve your concentration, productivity, or attention.
So, are Headphones Good for Coworking?
Really, it comes down to how you use them. There’s a lot of potential benefit to using headphones in a shared office space. Still, if you wear them all day, you lose valuable aspects of the teamwork and collaboration that makes coworking so powerful.
Sticking to music over podcasts or ebooks, and not keeping your headphones on all day, can help you remain a productive, engaged, and focused member of your team.
Find Shared Office Space Rentals in Toronto
The Professional Centre is a premium shared office space in Toronto’s Financial District. Our spaces are fully equipped with meeting rooms and services to meet the needs of any business.
Remote work has exploded over the last decade. As a digitally dominated workplace unchains workers from traditional workspaces, this trend has become the norm. And the growth is increasing exponentially.
Back in 2012, 39% of full-time workers worked remotely at least once per week. By 2018, that number rose to 70%.
The above stats don’t include self-employed workers or contractors. Even enterprise companies are renting coworking and remote office spaces. Remote work is convenient, affordable, and effective. And this trend is only expected to see continued growth. Especially with Toronto’s difficult market for office rental space.
We take a look at how to keep motivated as a remote worker:
9. Have A Routine
Whether you’re working at home or simply without direct supervision, procrastination is a big temptation. While remote work is proven to be more productive, it can be harder to get your day started.
Stanford economist Tim Bloom explains how working remotely increases productivity
Having a morning routine is the best way to make sure you get your day started properly. For most, this just means following the normal way you might start a traditional workday. For example:
Skip the ‘snooze button’
Have a shower
Grab your coffee
It’s not always easy starting a new routine but stick with it. According to The New Psycho Cybernetics, by Dr. Maxwell Maltz, it only takes 21 days to form a new habit.
8. Set Goals
Setting goals is a great way to motivate yourself to get things done. When setting goals, think in steps. Setting your goal as, “I want to complete X project,” is too large for good motivation.
Instead, break that project down into smaller sections. Create goals by scheduling all the steps you need to accomplish larger projects. In fact, setting up that schedule can be your first task!
Having goals to work on throughout the day keeps you on task and gives you a sense of accomplishment.
7. Reward Yourself
Now that you’re about to become a goal-crushing machine, you better get ready to reward yourself. Of course, you’ll want to set the rewards appropriately for the task at hand.
For instance, you might reward the completion of a large project with a night out. But that would be too extreme for completing a small task like creating a project timeline.
More common reward-based thinking is enough to keep you motivated, but not so much to distract you. Instead of getting a second coffee before starting a task, tell yourself you’ll earn that coffee once you complete it.
6. Get Enough Sleep
Remote workers are prone to working long hours, and that can contribute to an overwhelmingly underslept workforce. Getting enough sleep is an important indicator of workplace wellness. Too little can lead to employee burn-out, as well as a decrease in work quality and productivity.
Adults require a bare minimum of 6 hours of sleep per night. One of the best ways to improve your sleep is to have clear sleep patterns. Have a consistent bedtime and try to limit screen time before bed.
If working from home, having a dedicated home office is ideal. This creates a clear divide between your workspace and sleep space.
Your work environment has a direct impact on the quality and efficiency of your work. You want a clean, organized, well-lit, professional space that is dedicated to working. This space should minimize distractions and focus on productivity.
Many remote workers choose to work out of a Toronto coworking space. These spaces have all the professional equipment and services you might need, as well as an atmosphere that fosters creativity and productivity.
4. Surround Yourself With Motivated People
A big benefit of a coworking space is that you surround yourself with highly motivated people. This helps to boost your own motivation, as well as helping you grow your professional network.
When there are people around you who are working hard, it helps keep you on task. As well, they’re a great source for learning new trends, techniques, and skills that can help you.
3. Don’t Be Stagnant/Go Outside
It’s important to mix things up once in a while. It’s a good way to shake ideas loose and keep your head in the zone. A quick walk outside can clear up the mid-afternoon brain fog.
In a coworking office, many people choose not to get a dedicated desk. This allows them to switch things up day-to-day, as well as helping them meet new people to exchange ideas, boosting their skills and network.
Even those working out of a virtual office can mix things up. People who take advantage of the virtual mailbox services at coworking spaces have access to the lounge. This gives them a great place to do work and keeping themselves accessible.
2. Have The Right Tools
They say a shoddy workman blames his tools — but any self-respecting workman has the right tools for the job. For a remote office, you must have the right equipment and services for success.
This is one of the reasons coworking offices are so sought after by remote workers. They offer top-of-the-line equipment at a fraction of the cost of buying your own. As well, they offer a wide range of support services ranging from IT to bookkeeping.
1. Be Accountable
One of the most important things for successful remote work is being accountable. This is especially important if the remote work program is new.
Being accountable increases trust in you and the program itself. It’s a highly efficient business model, but many employers are skeptical when starting out.
Find Remote Office Space In Toronto
The Professional Centre offers prime remote office space in the heart of Toronto’s Financial District. Our coworking spaces boast top-of-the-line design and capability, making it ideal for any worker.
Book a tour now and discover how TPC can boost your remote work.
Staying Professional as a Freelancer
There’s a misconception among outsiders that freelancing is only for people who are between jobs or looking for experience. But freelancers know the truth. Yes, there are ups and downs, and all sorts of challenges — but nothing beats being your own boss.
Flexible schedules, control of self and personal freedom is a rewarding lifestyle. But too often, clients fail to appreciate the level of expertise and professionalism a good freelancer possesses. To maintain relationships and grow your personal brand, you need to present a professional appearance.
As one of Toronto’s top coworking spaces, and home to freelancers like you, we offer some key tips to stay professional as a freelancer.
Hone Your Online Presence
Nowadays, it’s pretty common for people’s first impression of you to occur online. You need to make sure this digital impression paints you in the right light. Your digital footprint should inspire confidence and trust in potential clients and partners.
Any good brand has a good website. It should be clean, professional, and easy to navigate. While it’s nice to be able to hire a team of developers and designers to build out the perfect site, you can get by without it.
Many website building sites allow you to purchase professional templates at low costs, often from $25-$200. It’s a low price to pay for something that, if done thoughtfully and with appealing content, imagery and site structure, will help you stand out from the competition.
Social Media Presence
Managing all the top social media platforms can be a full-time gig. But don’t worry, you don’t need to be a social media guru to succeed as a freelancer.
It’s a good idea to grab social media handles for top sites like Twitter and Instagram, as well as for any social media platforms you may want to use in the future.
It’s okay if you aren’t using them all right away, but make sure to update the images and information to match your brand. If possible, try and get the same handle across all platforms.
Two areas you will likely want to establish a presence are a Facebook page and a LinkedIn page. These help to get you discovered online, as well as increasing trust and credibility.
If you provide a local service, setting yourself up on Google My Business and Bing Places will help you show up on map applications and appear in local searches. And, as a bonus, they’re free tools.
First Contact Points
The first contact you have with a client can set the tone for the entire relationship. And while you may be a great talker in person or even over the phone, you aren’t always available. You need to take stock of where and how people may first speak with you.
Freelancing keeps you busy. As available as you may try to be, plenty of calls will go to voicemail. Having a strong, professional voicemail greeting can help establish confidence in your capabilities.
Consider writing out a script before recording. As well, check the acoustics of the room to make sure your voice is clear.
As well, you may want to consider a virtual secretary. This is part of a virtual office that forwards your calls through a secretary to increase your professional image.
If you are doing location-based business or are likely to have many meetings, your mailing address has an effect on clients. It looks good to be easily available, so it’s nice to have a downtown address. As well, being in a desirable location, like Toronto’s Financial District, can boost your professional appearance.
Of course, renting professional office space in downtown Toronto isn’t in everyone’s budget. But any business can afford a virtual mailbox. This virtual office address allows you to have a high-end address. It also gives you access to a host of other services, and even a lounge area to work in.
If you expect to be meeting clients in person or want to network, it’s worthwhile renting office space. A shared office space is an affordable way for freelancers to get their own professional space in the city.
A coworking space is a great alternative to the home office. It makes it easier to stay productive, helps you build a network, and creates a more professional image.
One of the challenges of freelancing, especially out of a home office, is divided attention. You can have a lot going on in your home, but it’s important to give your clients full attention while interacting with them. That means you don’t want the TV, kids, radio, etc in the background while communicating with clients.
As well, make sure to dress appropriately. Freelancers enjoy the freedom to dress comfortably, and it’s a hard habit to break. But when meeting with clients, even over Skype, it’s worth being presentable.
There’s no need to go all out. But a clean, professional attire and proper grooming help to show that you care. For many clients, how you present yourself is a show of respect that matters to them.
Having a good meeting space adds legitimacy to your business. Meeting clients in your kitchen isn’t a great look. It’s inconvenient and unprofessional.
Fortunately, professional meeting spaces are available for rent, even if you don’t have rent a shared office space. Meeting room rentals can benefit companies of all sizes, from freelancers to enterprises. High-quality design and modern technology set a professional tone for any meeting. Rentals are available by the hour by the day.
Clients, partners, and investors all place a lot of value on reliability. So any successful freelancer makes meeting deadlines a top priority. This helps to ensure repeat business and grow your reputation through word-of-mouth.
Staying organized and keeping an easy-to-read schedule is ideal for giving realistic projections for when you can complete a project.
Know When to Say No
It’s a hard lesson to learn, but it’s one every freelancer figures out eventually. You have to be willing to say no. That can mean saying no to jobs, timelines, payscales, or other factors. You need to manage expectations right out of the gate.
Accepting jobs where you can’t meet deadlines or expectations can damage your professional reputation. As well, it’s a major stress that can affect your other jobs.
You also want to make sure the pay scale matches your efforts. In a lot of freelance industries, there isn’t an industry standard for pay. Your value is where you value yourself. So don’t sell yourself short.
Build Your Professional Image With A Downtown Toronto Coworking Space
A Toronto coworking office makes you accessible, flexible, and professional. Enhance your reputation and capabilities with a coworking office rental. It’s the best value in professional office space for rent, and it’s sure to impress you and your clients.
Book a tour now and discover how The Professional Centre can boost your freelancing business.
How To Maximize Privacy In A Coworking Space
Coworking has taken the business world by storm. It’s effective, it’s trendy, and it takes all the best aspects of the new sharing culture. For some, however, all that sharing is a cause for concern.
To address those concerns, we’re providing a few easy tips for maximizing your privacy while working in a coworking space.
Estimates believe that by 2021, cybersecurity will cost business $6 trillion per year in aggregate. And half of all cyber-attacks are against SMBs. For all businesses, whether in a traditional or coworking office, digital security matters.
Companies in coworking spaces are notorious for being at the forefront of industry trends. In theory, this should help keep them abreast of security risks, but it can come with some drawbacks. For one, they tend to sign up for a lot of tools, services, and demos.
Keeping track of all those different passwords and usernames is a lot to keep in your head. So, too often we revert to just using the same combinations over and over. This puts your digital security at risk. If someone figures out the password once, they can access all your software.
A good solution is to use a password manager. This gives you an easy solution to store your passwords in one secure location. So you can vary up your passwords without fear of forgetting them, or of getting hacked.
Cloud software also helps protect your vital information, without compromising efficiency. It gives you a secure platform to store important documents and files that you can access anywhere, on any device.
As well, in the true coworking spirit, the cloud makes it easy to collaborate with your team. It allows you to share access with specific people, allowing them to review, access, or edit files. It’s not only great for coworking privacy, it’s also ideal for productivity.
Privacy At The Desk
Of course, not all privacy concerns live online. Nor are they all security-related. Sometimes, you just want your space to feel a little more like your own.
If you have a nosey desk neighbour or simply want to have your space a little more defined, a privacy screen may be your best bet. These screens come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and types. From full cubicle style screens to ones that sit on your desk, just high enough to block your monitor.
There are also less, formal screens you can use. For example, a desk plant can increase your coworking privacy without making it look like you’re trying to keep others out. As well, they add other benefits like filtering air, emitting pleasant aromas, and inducing calmness.
Filing cabinets are another good idea for your personal privacy in a coworking space. Getting one with a lock not only helps you organize your files, but allows you to feel secure when leaving equipment in the office overnight.
Privacy tech doesn’t just protect you online. Many shared office spaces also leverage physical technology for better privacy.
For instance, cloaking technology is becoming increasingly popular for meeting rooms. They place a strip on the glass that prevents outside viewers from reading the screen during presentations.
This lets your meeting space have big windows, for a more open feel, without sacrificing privacy. As well, it can make any clients or investors you meet with feel more secure.
Private Office Space
You can also rent private office instead of open space in coworking offices. These offices are available for teams or for individuals. They let you enjoy the best of both worlds. You have access to all the amenities and collaboration of an open office, with the privacy of your own space.
This is especially useful for teams that make a lot of phone calls or deal with private or secure information.
Book A Tour In A Downtown Toronto Coworking Office
At the Toronto Professional Centre, we understand that coworking privacy is a major concern. We take great care to create spaces that are functional, secure, and comfortable.
Our diverse range of open and private office space can fit the needs of any size or type of business.
Book a tour today and discover the benefits of coworking with TPC.
Hacking Employee Happiness With Shared Office Spaces
Even in the age of automation, the success of a good company falls largely on the shoulders of the employees. Getting the most out of your employees will often lead to positive results in all aspects of your business. Fortunately, a shared office space can help you hack the code to improving employee happiness.
The Value of Employee Happiness
Employee happiness is an important marker for the most successful operations. Factors like contentment help to increase morale and reduce retention. But the true value of employee happiness is measured in their ability to thrive. Thriving is what makes for truly effective, high-value employees.
Here are just a few key benefits of happier employees:
Working in an environment that allows them to thrive results in greater efficiency and quality of work. Happy employees are more engaged and driven. They are a driving force behind growth.
One of the great detriments to a company’s performance is indifferent employees. When an employee doesn’t care, it affects the quality of their work. They miss deadlines and make more frequent errors, as well as coming up with fewer solutions.
An employee who cares about the company brings more to the table. They create a better atmosphere for others and they take pride in doing a good job.
Sick days are an underrated source of lost profit for employers. The day comes out at a net loss for you. You lose out on the work you needed the employee to accomplish, while still paying for those hours. Of course, you can’t scrap sick days, but you can reduce how often people take them.
Improving employee happiness results in people taking fewer unnecessary sick days. As well, happy workers have less stress and tend to take better self-care, resulting in better health.
Above & Beyond
If you want to see your workforce going above and beyond the call of duty, you need to keep their job satisfaction high. Happier employees are driven to go beyond the call of their job, while simultaneously avoiding burnout.
It’s no surprise, happier workers are less likely to leave. By keeping their happiness-level up, you can avoid the high costs of employee turnover, as well as the loss in efficiency while they go off on interviews and touch up their resume.
The Solution: Shared Office Spaces Allow Employees to Thrive
When it comes to increasing employee happiness, coworking may be the solution. Employees at shared office spaces have higher self-reported levels of vitality, learning, and job satisfaction.
In the context of the workplace, vitality means the passion and excitement for the job. The collaborative, open atmosphere of a shared office space helps people see that their actions make a difference to them, their coworkers, and their company. The result is greater enthusiasm for the job, incentivizing people to accomplish more.
The landscape of business is constantly changing. As such, those who stay ahead of the learning curve help your business thrive. In a coworking space, people are more driven to learn. In part, this is due to to the increased vitality. However, it’s also propelled by the atmosphere.
In a shared office, your employees are in the proximity of other agile, learning businesses. This encourages further learning, as well as resulting in a cross-pollination of knowledge. Businesses in the same shared office space learn from each other, creating a symbiotic relationship, even if they do not directly conduct business together.
Furthermore, shared offices increase job satisfaction. Working in an open office keeps up a team mentality. This promotes a healthier, happier business atmosphere. People are less likely to try and one-up coworkers or steal credit. As well, it’s easier for management to see and recognize peoples’ efforts.
This collaborative atmosphere and recognition of one’s own efforts make a big difference in overall job satisfaction.
5 Ways to Enhance the Benefits of a Shared Office
While coworking is already a great way to promote employee happiness, there is still more you can do. Here is a quick list of five easy ways to enhance the benefits of shared office spaces:
Increase Collaboration & Community
1. Increase Collaboration & Community
Coworking is all about collaboration. One of the simplest ways to improve on this is to build a community in your workplace. Team outings are a low-cost way to quickly increase employee satisfaction and build bonds between workers. As well, they are a nice bonus for attracting new talent.
2. Provide Support
A shared office space gives management the ability to work closely with employees. This allows them to provide meaningful support and feedback. Employees feel more valued, leading to improved efficiency and/or quality of work.
As well, the best shared offices offer support services for on-demand use. These services avoid employee headaches, stress and inefficiencies that can happen when trying to solve problems outside of their expertise.
Technical services like IT and troubleshooting prevent frustrations and keep everyone operational. Administrative support can prevent your team from becoming swamped in by other duties in peak periods.
The workplace environment has a big impact on employee morale. Professionally-designed shared office spaces with plenty of natural light and ergonomic furnishings are a great help. But employers can do more to improve the environment inside the coworking space.
Allowing workers to have plants or other decor can make a big difference in a coworking space. It helps to remove the sense of the impermanence of agile office spaces. As well, it creates a more personal, friendly touch.
Also, making full use of the space can help employees thrive. Good coworking spaces have lounges, wellness areas, and more. This allows employees to shake it up a little, working in different locations. It’s a great way to keep them comfortable, happy, and flexible. Don’t keep your workers chained to their desks.
Toronto shared office spaces don’t share the same rank-and-file structure of a traditional office. You can use this free-flowing atmosphere to empower your employees. In this atmosphere, they feel more capable of making a difference and are more likely to suggest new ideas. You can promote this further by allowing them more decision-making and sharing information with them.
For example, many companies in shared offices have flexible hours. This can include allowing for different arrival/departure times so that employees can better schedule their day around their commute or needs of their family. For example, an employee may work from 8 to 4, rather than 9 to 5.
As well, offering the flexibility of a few work-from-home days is a great help. In addition to being a nice benefit for employees, it’s also great for employers. For example, many employees will use work-from-home days rather than sick days when they get a cold. This has a double benefit. For one, you don’t lose out on their work. And for the other, they don’t get others sick, resulting in more sick days.
Increase Employee Happiness With Toronto Shared Spaces
In a competitive landscape like Toronto, companies need every edge to reach their full potential. The best shared office spaces help to create happy, thriving employees, for more successful businesses.
Book a tour of our prime downtown Toronto shared office spaces today.
How Top-Performing Coworkers Leverage Professional Support Services
Business support services are an underutilized tool in coworking spaces. The most successful businesses are those that make use of all the tools at their disposal.
We take a look at some of the support services available to coworkers, and how leading companies use them.
How Companies Use Coworking Support Services
Taking advantage of professional support services in coworking spaces can give your business the edge it needs. Some of the most effective uses of these services include:
On-demand services make companies more agile. They allow them to be reactive so they can quickly pick up on any opportunities. Whether that’s renting meeting rooms for important meetings or using IT services to make important upgrades, leveraging your on-demand services allows your business to be ready for anything. It also makes it possible to quickly resolve technical problems without increasing the size of your team.
Keeping Businesses Lean
The best way to keep profits high is to keep your costs low. In an effort to keep businesses lean without sacrificing efficiency, smart coworking companies take advantage of business support services.
For services your business doesn’t need on a day-to-day basis, it’s more economical to buy support only as needed. This reduces the time and costs of hiring, onboarding, and training employees.
As well, using support services in your coworking space means the person helping you has familiarity with your company. This helps to speed up the process and provides more trust and reassurance.
For example, say you bring on a new employee but aren’t a large enough company to have an HR or payroll person. You can hire professional support services to onboard them. Having the same person providing this service whenever you need it means they know exactly how the process works for your company. As a result, they can streamline it. Which reduces the cost and time it takes to add a new employee on the payroll.
Full Business Capability
One of the great benefits of coworking support services is that they allow any company to have the full capability of larger businesses. It leverages a sharing economy to make professional services available to everyone.
This is ideal for small or new companies, who may not have the capacity or budget to afford the necessary services. Even those using a virtual office are able to upgrade their image and capabilities with tools like a virtual receptionist.
It also makes for ideal satellite offices for enterprise companies. Remote, temporary, or overflow employees in large companies can leverage coworking spaces. In addition to affordable and convenient office space, employees have access to all the tools and amenities they would have in the head office.
Types of Business Support Services
Some of the most in-demand business support services for coworking spaces include:
Administrative & Reception: An in-house team of administrative staff provides on-demand services. The include reception duties like personal telephone answering and reception service. As well, tools like word processing, secretarial service, and executive assistance are readily available.
Bookkeeping & Banking Service: Payroll, banking, invoice and cash flow management. Standard bookkeeping services are also available.
IT: Programming, support, and security services allow you to be proactive in your technical needs. Troubleshooting and network management are also available from an in-house team.
Printing Services: It’s an increasingly paperless world, but we still need physical documents for our most important items. You can print, scan, or copy documents using our high-quality devices. As well, our helpful staff can assist or offer services if you don’t have time to print yourself. Secure onsite shredding services are also available.
Publishing: All the most important desktop publishing services are readily available:
Find Toronto Coworking Space With Professional Support Services
Before renting coworking space, determine what business support services are available. The Professional Centre is a downtown Toronto coworking space in the heart of the coveted Financial District. In addition to professionally designed open and private offices, we have a wide array of professional support service. Book a tour today and discover why leading coworking companies love The Professional Centre.
Coworking 101: What To Check Before Renting Coworking Space
Renting coworking space is a great option for any business. These spaces offer greater affordability, capability, design, and agility. They’re quick to scale up as your business grows, and they offer short-term leases.
But to get the most out of your coworking space, you need to make sure it’s right for you. To help, we put together this guide on what to check before renting coworking space.
It’s the first rule of real estate, whether you’re buying or renting. The right location is a top priority. Here are a few factors to consider when picking the location of your coworking space:
A simple commute makes your life easier. If you’re working alone or with a small team, you can save a lot of headache by reducing the length of the commute. Stacking long hours on top of a long commute doesn’t do anyone any favours.
But it’s not just about your commute. You want to make sure your coworking space is in an easily accessible area. Central locations, road access, and TTC accessibility ensure that you, your coworkers, and your clients can get to your space without hassle.
A good location can do a lot to enhance your professional image. In Toronto, the Financial District is one of the most prestigious locations for an office. The lower costs of renting coworking space make it possible to get office space in the most desirable locations. This enhances your professional image as you’re surrounded by only top tier businesses.
Internet, laptop, and coffee. Often, people quote these as the base requirements for a workspace. But to function properly as a business, you need a whole lot more.
When you compare coworking spaces, take a look at their amenities. The different services, capabilities, and equipment affect your own capabilities and agility.
As much as we’re moving into a more paperless world, businesses still need tools like printers, scanners, and copiers. As well, you can improve your own work experience and create a better atmosphere for employees with premium amenities like:
Private phone booths
As well, the best coworking spaces in Toronto offer administrative and support services. From bookkeeping to hospitality to IT support, a good coworking office gives you access to all the support of an enterprise-level business.
Costs & Value
Simply put, coworking spaces offer the best bang for your buck when it comes to renting office space in Toronto. When you choose coworking, you’re already making a smart, budget-conscious decision. So instead of just trying to go all out on getting the lowest price, look for the best deal.
Getting the best value should be your goal when comparing spaces. Consider not only the cost but what you’re getting for your money. Paying a little more or a little less is easily outweighed by the capabilities, comforts, or convenience of a superior space.
That being said, it’s important to make sure you stay within your budget and keep an eye on what services you need most.
For example, a new company with fewer needs and shallower pockets can always opt for a virtual office. Although a virtual office doesn’t give you a dedicated desk, you do have access to the lounge where you can work, network and collaborate. All the while, you have access to services on-demand as needed.
One of the big selling points of a coworking office is the open, collaborative atmosphere. But if you need a little more privacy, this can be a bit of a drawback. Fortunately, some coworking spaces have some simple solutions.
Renting a private office in a coworking space offers the privacy you need. With this option, you still get all the benefits of an open office without sacrificing your privacy.
If you only need occasional privacy, many open offices already have good solutions. Meeting room rentals give you a private space to meet clients. And phone booths are a simple solution for private calls.
On average, most people spend about a 1/3rd of their lives at work. For business owners, this is number is often higher, so it’s worthwhile making sure you have all the right comforts. A well-designed, open space can add to your enjoyment and appreciation of an office – as well as boosting your professional appearance.
Good lighting is essential in an office. It improves mood, focus, and it’s good for your eyes. The best option is natural lighting, so be on the lookout for well-lit spaces with big windows.
Ergonomics & Furnishings
A furnished office has a couple of key benefits. For one, it saves you money since all the furnishing costs are already in place. For another, it improves the overall look and feel of the office. It helps maintain the professional design of the office, making it a more impressive space.
Ergonomic chairs, desks, and accessories also add to the work experience. Not only do they make you and your employees more comfortable, but they’re also better for health. For example, good back support reduces the number of visits to chiropractors and physiotherapists. As a result, you pay less for health insurance and take the loss of fewer sick days.
Meeting space rentals are now one of the most in-demand services of Toronto coworking spaces. The increase in demand means the best meeting rooms have more scarce availability.
Fortunately, coworking spaces with meeting spaces often give preferred booking availability and rates to those using their space. That makes it easy for you to book professional, technologically advanced, fully capable meeting rooms.
When considering your coworking space, consider the availability, quality, and capabilities of their rental meeting spaces.
Book A Tour of Toronto Coworking Space
Are you looking to rent coworking space in Toronto’s most desirable downtown locations? The Professional Centre offers a wide range of options and support for coworking in the Financial District.
Open vs Private Office Space: Which is Best for My Business?
The last decade has given rise to the Googleization of offices. A focus on collaboration and freeform thought has lead to companies shifting to the open office format. But are open offices better than private? It depends on your business & needs.
In this article, we weigh the pros and cons of each.
Open Office Space
The coworking explosion saw a dramatic shift towards open office spaces in all sorts of businesses. Cubicle walls melted away, opening up to create collaborative workspaces.
It’s a phenomenon that gained popularity at new age giants like Google and Facebook. Companies were quick to adopt, in hopes of capturing some of the same success.
Now we’re a few years into mainstream open office spaces and we’re taking an objective look at their pros and cons:
Open Office Pros
Collaboration is the most touted benefit of the open office. Putting people of different levels and functions into one space opens up the dialogue and offers more perspectives. The result is more harmonious, agile thoughts and ideas. As well, it reduces miscommunication and streamlines ideation.
The immediacy and accessibility that an office space provides to team members make it ideal for collaboration.
For companies in a state of anticipated or unsure growth, open office space rentals are ideal. These spaces are dynamic and adaptable. It’s easy to rearrange space and/or add desks. This allows for rapid growth if you need to scale up the workforce quickly.
Growing businesses save time and money on having to look for new offices.
Open offices are the most economical way to set up your office. It’s what has made them a staple of the Toronto coworking landscape. Cubicles, private, and individual offices take up more space and cost more to set up. On average, an open office space takes up less than 1/3rd of the space of a traditional office.
Businesses of all sizes are focusing on becoming leaner and more productive. An open office provides the perfect balance between quality and price point that fits many modern companies.
Open Office Cons
Interruptions & Distractions
The ease of collaboration can cut both ways. While it’s easy for people to communicate and discuss ideas, it’s just as easy to distract each other. According to studies by the University of California, Irvine, distractions happen 29% more often in open offices.
Approaches can be taken to mitigate distractions. Setting time for socialization can help reduce distractions throughout the day. Allowing for flex work, so employees can work from home when they need distraction-free work days, can help. As well, wearing headphones can help keep employees plugged into their own work, so they are interrupted less often while still being readily available.
Lack of Privacy
Constant collaboration isn’t for everyone. Some people, especially those from a more old school background or mentality, prefer private office space. For them, the four walls of an office aren’t restrictive, they’re a comfort. Privacy can offer freedom from distraction and makes your workspace feel like your own.
Lack of Permanency
While the agility of renting open office space is generally a benefit, there is a flipside. The whole, “move fast and break things,” mentality comes with a lack of permanency. While it’s proven to be a formula for success and rapid growth for many businesses, it’s not for everyone.
Agility allows you to push boundaries and scale fast, but more permanent workspace can provide a sense of comfort. It’s important to find the balance that meets your company’s needs and culture.
Allowing workers to personalize their desk space with plants, photos, and knickknacks can help them feel like their space is their own. As well, minimize unnecessary shuffling around of space.
Private Office Space
Private offices are the more traditional approach. Employees show up in their private offices and it’s their home for the day. The four walls of their cubicle or office are familiar and comfortable. In the wake of the open office boom, many companies are partially shifting back to private offices. They’re often used now for management roles or specialized jobs.
Private Office Pros
One of the most obvious benefits of a private office is privacy. Workers can complete professional or personal matters in their own space. It also makes it easier to deal with sensitive matters such as legal, HR, or financials without alerting or involving the whole team.
Often, salespeople who are on frequent calls will prefer a private office. The calls are less of a distraction to those around them, and they can have the comfort of a private call.
Another benefit of a private office is the lack of interruptions. People are less likely to disrupt or interrupt you while in a private space. This makes it easier to focus on your own work and reduces distractions.
In addition to interruptions, the noise of an open office can be disrupting. 58% of high-performance employees desire a quieter workspace. A private office offers more control over sound.
The lack of interruptions helps individuals to be more productive throughout their day. Employees can accomplish their individual tasks faster and with high-quality. Their interactions are more streamlined, usually occurring on their own terms.
Private Office Cons
Although a private office improves individual productivity, it can reduce team productivity. Where there are fewer interruptions, there are also fewer opportunities for communication and collaboration.
The result is less innovation at the expense of individual productivity. Companies need to decide which is more important to them in deciding between open and private offices.
Having the privacy of your own office can be nice and comfortable. But it’s also isolating. Spending days locked away alone in your own office can take a personal toll. It reduces your participation in company culture and can take away from workplace wellness and job satisfaction.
If working with private offices, be sure to schedule social time and try to pair break times with other employees. Solutions like Steve Jobs’ walking meetings can help to engage coworkers and break up the mundanity of spending all day cooped up in an office.
For all the comforts that come along with a private office, there is a definite cost. They take up more space, they cost more to put together, and moving in and out of spaces is more time-consuming and expensive than an open office.
They can have other cost benefits, however. For example, employers can use a private office as an incentive during promotions rather than just giving raises.
Private Office in a Coworking Space
A private office in a coworking space is another option that provides a healthy balance between the pros and cons of open and private offices. These are available for individual offices or team offices. They offer the best of both worlds, combining the privacy of your own office with the collaboration of an open office.
These offer the best value for individuals or small teams who are looking to rent private offices. They come at a lower cost than renting traditional business space while having all the amenities of a large company.
Private Office & Open Office Office Space for Rent in Toronto
Whether your company’s needs are best met by renting private or open office space, quality matters. Our Toronto coworking spaces are top quality. We have prime Financial District real estate, professional design, and all the technology and amenities a modern office needs.
Our diverse range of open and private office space can fit the needs of any size or type of business.
Book a tour today and discover the benefits of coworking space.
Not Just Startups: Enterprises Are Moving Into Toronto Coworking Spaces
In the initial explosion of coworking, spaces were rented by students, startups, and freelancers. The goal was to move in, grow, and move into your own space. But now, just a few years later, it’s not just startups in Toronto coworking spaces.
It’s a popular coworking myth that these spaces are just for small companies. In reality, the big guys are moving into shared offices at a rapid pace. Established companies and major enterprises are seeing the benefits of coworking and jumping on board.
In this article, we explore why banks and enterprises are searching for coworking space in Toronto.
Why Enterprise Companies Are Moving Into Coworking Spaces
Cost & Availability of Renting Business Space
Finding office space in Toronto is a challenge for any size of business. Market research shows that Toronto once again has the lowest vacancy rate (1.6%) of the top 10 North American Central Business Districts.
The low vacancy means there’s not a lot of availability in business space for rent. It’s especially challenging for large companies who need more space. It’s even harder to be pickier about the location.
Even if the ideal space is available, low-vacancy and high-demand mean the costs are high. Anyone who lives here already knows, Toronto is not a renter-friendly market. Higher rents mean lower profits.
Coworking spaces in Toronto allow enterprise companies to find space at more reasonable prices.
Companies that already have their own space are turning to coworking spaces for satellite offices. For companies already in the city, coworking spaces offer low-cost office space for staff who don’t need to be in the main office.
Marketing teams, web development, and accounting departments are just some examples of staff that are often in coworking satellite offices.
For companies based outside of Toronto, using coworking space for satellite offices is a great option. They allow companies to enter or test a new market faster, with a lower cost and less commitment.
Overflow & Rapid (or temporary) Expansion
In the modern world, things move fast. As companies often need to scale up rapidly, it’s not uncommon to see offices overflow. With the scarcity of business space for rent managing overflow and expansion is too slow and expensive via the traditional approach.
Coworking spaces resolve this issue. They provide ready availability, often in close proximity to the main office. It’s a much more agile option, allowing businesses to move in quickly.
They’re also a great option for temporary expansions since contracts are much shorter term than traditional office rentals.
Meeting Rooms & Amenities
High-quality meeting room rentals are in demand for businesses of all sizes. Even offices with their own meeting spaces are seeking out rentals.
The meeting rooms in coworking spaces are available in all sorts of sizes, fitting for meetings from 4 to 20 people. This allows the flexibility to rent a space that is more fitting to the size of your meeting.
They are also technologically advanced with presentation screens and whiteboards. Shared office meeting rooms boast a series of amenities that may not be found in a company’s own office. The designs and layouts also make them much more appealing alternatives to hotel meeting rooms.
As well, many large companies often find that their own meeting rooms are overbooked. Rentals allow more flexibility, so they don’t need to schedule around in-office availability.
Companies that use these rentals frequently will often sign up for coworking spaces, to take advantage of better rental rates. As well as access to their other amenities.
It’s hard enough finding business space for rent in Toronto. But locking down office space in the most desirable districts is even more challenging. A business’ location has a big impact on its image and convenience. Banks, for instance, want space in the financial district, where most meetings happen.
Coworking spaces in the financial district make it easier to rent business space in a competitive area. The spaces are well-designed and on high floors. Although they’re an affordable option, they don’t look cheap. Instead, they’re a good way to show that your company is modern, professional, and agile.
Renting office space in Toronto often means signing a 5 to 10-year lease. For many businesses that’s a long commitment. Especially for companies that are unsure of their growth needs. Will they still need this space in 5 years? Can this space fulfill their needs after 10 years of growth?
Coworking spaces keep companies more agile, with the ability to sign 6-month or 1-year leases. That means they can scale up or down as needed, always matching their current needs. More flexible lease terms take the guesswork out of your rental needs.
Although coworking spaces are professional, they break away from the mould of traditional offices. Their collaborative design and creative atmosphere promote productivity and workplace satisfaction.
These spaces attract better talent and maintain an engaged, healthy workforce. As well, they’ve been shown to improve workplace wellness by increasing work satisfaction.
Really Well-Designed Space
For any company, big or small, image is important. As such, a well-designed space says volumes about your business. Coworking offices prioritize design to boost your business’ productivity and professional image.
They are already furnished so companies move into a ready-to-use space and don’t need to worry about buying furniture or hiring designers.
For meeting rentals or daily office use, the professional design of shared office spaces makes them ideal for any business.
Book a Tour of Toronto Coworking Spaces
Although coworking offers better availability for Toronto office space, the best locations are filling up fast. Book a tour today and discover the benefits of coworking in Toronto.