As our understanding of which working environments both deliver value for businesses and give employees the best opportunities to reach their potential, it is becoming clear that the benefits of flexible workspaces are numerous for companies of all sizes.
Although collaborative working environments have been steadily increasing in popularity for the last decade or so, interest has risen sharply within the last twelve months. But, why? Well, it’s partly because the sheer number of benefits collaborative spaces bring means that they have something to offer almost every business, freelancer or entrepreneur.
According to research from CBRE, collaborative spaces in Manhattan increased to 13.5 million square feet in 2018, up from 9.4 million the year before. This isn’t just a New York trend, however, as similar trends are being observed across the UK. From self-contained containers in Manchester to studio spaces in Cardiff, flexible and affordable collaborative workspaces come in many different shapes and sizes.
But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s step back and look at what a collaborative workspace actually is.
Collaborative workspace 101
Collaborative workspaces allow employees from a variety of different businesses to work beneath one roof. Spaces are usually comprised of a mix of dedicated offices and common areas, which helps staff to utilise their workday in the most productive and beneficial ways.
Although some spaces will have coworking areas, working from a collaborative workplace doesn’t necessarily mean your employees will be working in this type of environment.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the key benefits working from collaborative workspaces can offer.
Regardless of the industry in which you are working, today’s world is fast-paced and isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. So, if you can’t keep up, your business will be left behind.
As a key part of your business operations, ensuring that your real estate can keep pace with the changing needs of your company is imperative. From housing a growing team to establishing yourself in new marketplaces, working from collaborative spaces keeps your business agile and means you won’t have to sign inflexible leases that might not meet your needs for longer than a few months.
Cost efficiency and speedy set-up
Collaborative spaces allow businesses to pay for the space they need, offering a level of flexibility that simply isn’t possible with the traditional renting process. So, if renting a full office wouldn’t be cost-efficient for your business right now, opting for a private office set within a collaborative space is the ideal solution.
Additionally, from removing the need to purchase or move bulky office equipment to never needing to worry about buying ink for the printer or finding the best Wi-Fi deal, moving into a collaborative space is easy and hassle-free. All you’ll need to do is walk in and start working. It’s that simple.
Location, location, location
There is no getting around the fact that office spaces in prime locations are costly and difficult to find. But for businesses wanting to make the right impression with clients and retain top talent, occupying central locations with good transport links is imperative.
Collaborative spaces allow businesses of all sizes to set up in prime locations, including key business districts and financial centres that might otherwise have been out of reach financially. What’s more, key amenities such as electricity and energy are included. Many spaces also offer extras, including tea and coffee, post and printing services.
Tech-ready, scalable spaces
Technological infrastructure can be difficult and costly to install but with collaborative spaces, all the hard work has already been done for you. Furthermore, everything will be well-managed, ensuring that if you do run into any issues, there will be someone on-hand to ensure that you’re back up and running efficiently as soon as possible. From secure, locked spaces to video conferencing tools and more, all your business needs will be covered.
Growth is a key business goal for all firms and you need to know that you are occupying a space that will grow with you. Collaborative spaces allow you to build teams within highly flexible environments and provide them with the tools they need to drive your business forwards.
Networking and knowledge sharing
Even if you decide to rent a private office within a collaborative space, your business will benefit from the myriad networking, problem-solving and knowledge sharing capabilities that this type of environment can facilitate. This is where some of the best innovation is born and your team will benefit from the collaborative projects that can arise simply by working alongside other companies.
Culture and loyalty
From decorating your space to reflect your ethos to incorporating your own branding, many collaborative spaces can be customised to suit your business needs. Additionally, ensuring that your employees are well-equipped and have a comfortable working environment is an excellent way to foster company loyalty and demonstrate that you care about their well-being.
Businesses of all sizes can benefit from collaborative workspaces that facilitate interaction and creativity alongside boosting productivity and enhancing team spirit.