Coworking – Trading Myths for Facts
The number of professionals choosing the many benefits of coworking over using a traditional office continues to grow across multiple disciplines and industries. GCUC’s, the world’s largest Coworking conference series, 2018-global-coworking-forecast projects there will be approximately 30,500 spaces and over 5 million members by 2022.
With workers demanding greater workplace agility, coworking really is an ideal solution for corporations, entrepreneurs and remote/non-traditional employees alike. But as with any development that challenges long-held business norms, some still remain skeptical. Let’s explore some stubborn coworking myths…
Myth – Coworking is only for freelancers!
Fact: Many businesses-from large corporations to innovative start-ups-are embracing cosharing. Progressive companies are thinking outside the standard cubicle and utilizing coworking spaces to:
- Secure desirable, but still-affordable, satellite-office space that includes all the required amenities.
- Support remote/non-traditional employees by allowing access to a collaborative environment with state-of-the-art technology.
- Host off-site meetings in coworking meeting rooms as an alternative to more expensive hotels.
- Stimulate increased productivity and innovation from non-traditional employees via the flexibility and collaboration found in a coworking space.
Myth: Coworking Spaces Are Noisy and Distracting!
Fact: A new survey by Clutch, a leading B2B research, ratings, and reviews company, found over half (54%) of employees with an option to telework say they are most productive when working outside of a traditional office such as in a coworking space.
Certainly, coworking spaces encourage community and collaboration. Indeed, 25% of the Clutch survey respondents cited access to a professional community as the main benefit of coworking. Being surrounded by other highly-motivated individuals who want a professional environment means work gets done!
Coworking facilities also provide multiple options–ranging from open-desk seating to dedicated desks as well as private offices–allowing individuals to select the space that sees them perform best! The reality is coworking spaces are designed for work!
Myth: Coworking Works Only for Certain Sectors!
Fact: Coworking actually appeals to a broad range of companies and industries. Currently, IT, public relations and marketing & sales are the dominating industries for coworkers. But many diverse industries have begun embracing the business model. As the concept gets older and coworking spaces evolve, so do the individuals who use them. As such, it’s increasingly workable for a wider range of people and organizations.
Clearly, startups continue to enthusiastically embrace coworking spaces. But even traditionally conservative disciplines, such as the legal profession, are beginning to appreciate the cost savings, flexibility and professional environment they offer. Of note, niche coworking spaces that provide sophisticated, upscale spaces in prime locations are successfully attracting people who would not typically consider larger, less-sophisticated cosharing options.
Myth: Coworking Is Costly!
Fact: Comparatively speaking, coworking is definitely more-affordable than securing traditional office space. Flexible rental terms allow companies to reduce their exposure to long-term leases. Whether a new undertaking or an established business, coworking also minimizes overhead via savings on:
- administrative support
- state-of-the-art technology
- shared common areas such as reception areas, lounges and kitchens
- ancillary costs such as office cleaning
Companies can then invest these saving where it matters…in growing the business.
Harvard Business Review reports that coworking is seeing increased acceptance as more professionals begin to appreciate that any presumed shortcomings are actually myths. In fact, their study found that people who work in coworking spaces are flourishing. How come? These coworkers feel their work is significant. They report having more control over it. And they find validation in operating as part of a like-minded community.