While we have been looking at the misfortunes of WeWork and the growing disillusion with the co-working industry, often we ignore that most of us seem to be working in some sort of co-working space. We often forget that the evolution of office spaces has drastically changed the traditional working culture.
A recent Harvard Business Review study with WeWork (yes, we know) seems to correlate what industry insiders have been saying for a while, there are a lot of tangible and intangible benefits of co-working spaces. From the usual flexibility benefits to the perception benefits of working in a professional space – the co-working space seems to have its benefits.
So while the rest of industry keeps on piling on the ailing WeWork and the industry in general, we look at some of the benefits and why it might just be the best option for you.
Providing flexibility for small businesses
Shorter leases and the benefits of a larger office structure can be very beneficial to small businesses looking for office space. Flexibility is often at the core of co-working spaces and even individuals have options to explore professional working environments that may sometimes not be available to them.
Co-working builds communities
Asia Pacific has over 11,000 co-working spaces, making it the largest co-working region. From what we can tell, users often feel a part of a productive and flourishing community.
Here are the top 9 co-working spaces in Southeast Asia
If utilised properly, shared spaces can be a great place to collaborate with others and learn. However, the general wariness of strangers in many Asian cultures can often make the process slower than American or European co-working communities.
Client perception and professionalism
Co-working spaces can help new businesses make a positive impression on potential clientele. Meeting your client at your neighbourhood coffee joint may not have the same impact as having them meet you in a large boardroom surrounded by a busy office.
This creates the perception of professionalism and corporate trust that some freelancers and small startups may struggle to create.
Employees feel the positive impact
Co-working spaces give some employees a sense of professionalism and credibility that traditional remote working can lack. While the prospect of working next to a beautiful beach is tempting, being professional and productive, often requires a more structured working environment.
It also has an impact of how others see you and your employees, as working from an actual workplace (as opposed to your house or cafe) is a sign to some that you take your work seriously and that others see you as a serious worker.
Creativity boost (for some)
Some, not all, employees feel more creativity in co-working spaces as they traditionally mix professionalism with the more aspects of a working environment. From breakout rooms to more open concept offices, it does offer a break from the cubicles offices of the 90s.
If cultivated properly, a vibrant and exciting workplace can improve productivity in employees. Generally, co-working spaces offer different styles of work spaces so that they can cater to every individual or organization.
So if you’re a freelancer, a startup company, SME or large multinational, there might be a case to utilise a co-working office. From flexibility to creativity, there are quantifiable benefits to this alternate working environment.