If you’ve been hearing a lot about “coworking” the last few years but are unsure about how coworking spaces work, you’re not alone. While the concept isn’t new, its break into the mainstream is. Coworking spaces have become increasingly popular and more common in post-pandemic worklife.
In this article, we’ll explain how coworking spaces work and whom they benefit, along with different types of coworking spaces.
What is a Coworking Space and How Does it Work?
A coworking space is where professionals from different companies or organizations can go to work and share an office space, desk area, or common lounges. These flexible work spaces offer a variety of options to fit many worker’s needs, from remote workers to solopreneurs.
Unlike a typical office that is leased and used by one company, a coworking space is a shared workspace for anyone who wants to use it. Some of your coworking colleagues might be:
- Independent contractors or freelancers who work for themselves
- Start-ups or small businesses that do not have a budget or need for their own full-sized office space
- Remote workers or teams who wish to meet up in person or access office space rather than working at home
- Global organizations that need regional offices for their local teams
- Established organizations that need a private workspace but are in search of greater flexibility and cost savings
6 Benefits of Working in a Coworking Space
If you’re wondering why they’d want to do this, there are a few big benefits of coworking spaces compared to traditional offices.
- Unlike traditional office leases, coworking spaces offer extremely flexible terms, so professionals or organizations don’t have to sign multi-year contracts.
- This flexibility also extends to your ability to scale your space up or down as your business grows or contracts
- In a coworking space, all amenities and overhead costs are shared, meaning there are significant cost savings to be realized
- For small businesses and solo pros, coworking spaces offer an air of professionalism that they may not get when working from home or at a coffee shop
- For larger teams and businesses, coworking allows you to maintain credibility by operating out of a top-tier building in a well-appointed workspace
- Coworking spaces come with built-in community, networking opportunities, and events
What To Expect in a Coworking Space
In most coworking spaces, you are likely to find:
- Bookable meeting rooms
- Mail services
- Technology support or equipment
- Office supplies
- Lounge or kitchen areas
At Launch, we understand flexibility is important and offer the ability for you to tailor your own membership to suit your exact needs.
The Difference Between Virtual Office and Coworking Space
Coworking spaces and virtual offices are two of the most common options for remote workers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses. The main difference between them is that a coworking space is a physical space, whereas a virtual office is, well, virtual.
Virtual offices are the perfect option for those who need administrative support without the actual workspace. One of the main reasons to use a virtual office is that you can get exactly what you need and nothing that you don’t! Virtual offices are a cost-effective and convenient for busy professionals.
Virtual office services to pick from often include:
- Phone services, such as a handset and phone number (toll-free options, too). This helps you avoid giving out your personal number to clients and customers.
- Mail and address services, like mail and package handling, forwarding options, and a professional business address. Similar to a phone number, it helps you keep professional communications separate from your personal life.
- Day office access to workspaces or meeting space for team or client meetings. This can be offered on hourly, daily, or weekly options; evening access is an option, too.
A coworking space will typically offer all of the above plus physical space for professionals to come and work in. Sometimes you need a bit of both—there’s also an option for part-time packages, which allow you access to a private space for part of the week and virtual office services the rest of the time.
4 Types of Coworking Space Services
Coworking spaces can look tons of different ways! Some might be like a traditional office, whereas others are trendy and aesthetic, with lots of unique features. Here are some options that suit different workplace needs.
Private offices are secure spaces that can be used as your own exclusive space. Independent professionals or a small team might use these spaces as a permanent home for their business. People choose private offices because they are:
- Exclusively accessible.
- Secure and safe.
- Move-in ready and convenient.
Team suites are a turnkey option for small groups and teams. They’re fully furnished and have flexible contracts, perfect for teams that are ready to grow.
Sometimes you just need a laptop and a place to sit and work.
Coworking offers simple, flexible options that are typically best for a solopreneur or remote worker. You might not need the security or exclusive access like a private office and want to be seated around other people. There are two options in coworking areas:
- Communal workspaces: These are flexible areas to work, where you can sit down at any open desk, lounge area, or table.
- Dedicated desks: You’ll have access to your own desk, chair, and storage area, but are seated in an open-concept communal workspace. It’s mid-way between a private office and shared desks.
People choose coworking options because they are typically a lower-cost option to private spaces. It’s also easy to engage with other professionals in a shared space. You can also choose between 9-to-5 coworking or 24-7 coworking—whatever fits your schedule!
If you have a client or team meeting, a private meeting room is a must. You can get on-demand access to a professional meeting space and take advantage of a quiet, secure area. Benefits include:
- Quiet and private environment; creates a professional appearance for teams and clients.
- Comfortable space with room to host multiple people.
- Access to essentials and logistics, including tools and technology like A/V capabilities, phones, and video-conferencing equipment.
Virtual services can help you elevate your business and support you as you work from home or another location. A virtual office provides:
- Mail and address services to maintain a professional shipping address.
- Phone and voicemail services.
- On-demand or part-time access to private office space and meeting rooms.
How Will Coworking Spaces Change Post-Pandemic?
Remote work has grown exponentially in a post-pandemic era. And, as many organizations decentralize or recognize the fact that their needs will be different as things return to normal, it continues to become an increasingly viable option.
Pivoting to flexible office space is inevitable after the pandemic, as it fits the needs of workers and companies alike in a post-pandemic workforce.
After the pandemic, coworking spaces will be used by:
- Remote workers who seek connection and a productive work environment.
- Teams who need physical space for occasional meetings.
- Entrepreneurs who need professional services and workspace.
- Self-employed individuals who want to have a professional mailing address and phone number.
Coworking spaces are flexible, professional work environments with many benefits. Contract workers, small businesses, remote workers or teams, and established businesses who need flexible space or are setting up a regional office are all choosing coworking spaces. The flexibility, networking opportunities, and virtual or administrative services create the perfect place to get to work at what they do best!
If you’re working remotely or manage a team that does, get in touch today to learn about Launch Workplaces and the different options for flexible office space.