Benefits of Coworking Spaces & Shared Office Space

Coworking spaces are spreading, and for good reason.

Thanks to their unique blend of flexible space and membership options, as well as their varied cast of users, coworking spaces offer benefits ranging from affordability to productivity. The benefits of coworking are such that clever individuals and organizations are overwhelmingly choosing these spaces over the alternatives: working from home, from a coffee shop, or renting their own office. Curious to learn more? Let’s take a detailed look at some key coworking space benefits.

Key Coworking Space Benefits

1. Affordability

Compared to renting your own office, coworking spaces are significantly more affordable. This rings true both for companies and individuals. In prime real estate markets - think New York, Boston, Chicago - full-time monthly memberships range from $300-600. You can also opt for part-time memberships, which can be for a few days per month, or for nights and weekends.

2. Complimentary amenities and space management

At the majority of coworking spaces, amenities like coffee and cleaning are included as part of your membership. Many spaces also offer snacks and beer on tap. You won’t need to worry about facility management either. The coworking company takes care of everything from HVAC repairs to rotating the artwork.

3. Locations across the region

Several coworking companies have multiple locations across a region. This means you can choose where you work based on your schedule. On days when you have a lot of heads down work, you may work from the location in your hip neighborhood. On other days when you need to meet clients, you may choose to work downtown. Workbar has more than ten locations in and around Greater Boston. It also has partners that enable you to work anywhere from Amherst, MA to Newport, RI.

4. A place designed for work

Coworking spaces are designed with your productivity in mind. To start, you can expect to find sturdy tables and comfortable chairs. Printers, Post-Its, and paper are standard too. In addition, many spaces offer phone booths to keep your conversations private, and whiteboards to support your big-picture thinking.
Some spaces go the extra mile to boost your effectiveness. Workbar, for example, offers external monitors and standing desks. Workbar also makes sure you find the right environment for your work, thanks to its neighborhoods concept. Among the options, you can choose the pin-drop silent Study for your focus work, or the lively Café to get creative. Prefer the comfort of your own spot? You can sign up for a dedicated desk too.

5. A supportive community

One of the key benefits of coworking spaces is the community. As a member of a space, you’ll be surrounded by professionals who are overwhelmingly open to a genuine chat. Community managers are happy to make introductions too. Your fellow coworkers can become close friends, valuable professional connections, or simply friendly people to chat with at the coffee machine.

Coworking spaces work hard to foster this community. On the planned side of things, they put on social and professional events for members to meet and mingle. At Workbar, these take the form of happy hours and bagel breakfasts. On the spontaneous side, coworking spaces design areas for members to meet organically. At Workbar, members commonly bump into each other in the kitchen and the Café. This creates an environment where people build genuine connections based on trust.
The community is also a great resource for your work. Thanks to their variety of personal and professional backgrounds, your coworkers can open you to new ideas and fresh perspectives. They can tell you about industries you know little about and parts of the world you may have never been too. Overall, the community holds great potential to enrich your life and career.

6. Good for your health

Coworking spaces have your health in mind. They offer healthy snack options and plenty of natural light. Several spaces also support your ergonomics, offering standing desks and supportive chairs. These are just some of the health benefits of coworking. Workbar itself is a leader in the field – their Back Bay location is the first coworking space to achieve WELL certification.

Beyond your physical health, coworking spaces also support your psychological well-being. The connections you make with your coworkers drive your sense of belonging. Smiling community managers feed your positivity. The times you talk about your work reinforce your purpose. Altogether, these factors make coworking spaces an ideal environment for you to thrive.

Name plates featuring fun facts about fellow members allow coworkers to get to know each other at a personal level.

Displays showing which members are present in which neighborhood builds familiarity within the coworking community.

Coworking benefits for individuals

If you’re a freelancer, a solopreneur, or someone working remotely, there are several coworking space benefits that are specific to your work style. Let’s start with the community.

The people that are part of your coworking community can offer more than just friendships. They can help you professionally too. An experienced consultant, for example, can become your mentor. A fellow writer can advise you on pricing a proposal. A startup sharing the space can become your client. Even so, the benefits extend beyond your peers.

To better understand the coworking space benefits for independent professionals, let’s compare coworking to your alternatives.

Coworking benefits vs. a coffee shop

First off, you won’t be paying extra for coffee. Java is included in your membership, and at most coworking spaces, you’ll get complimentary snacks too!
Second, you don’t have to worry about leaving your laptop unattended. The majority of coworking spaces are card-access only, or are staffed by a community manager at the front door. Furthermore, you can trust that your fellow coworkers will leave your things alone.

There are other coworking space benefits too. You’re guaranteed to find a seat. Coworking spaces are managed so that there are always free workstations.

Coworking benefits vs. working from home

Goodbye procrastination! At a coworking space, the distractions that exist around the home are gone. There’s no laundry to do. No closets to organize. No mail to sort. Better yet, cleaning is taken care of by the coworking staff.

You won’t be lonely. Coworking spaces work hard to build community among their members. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to interact with coworkers: when you grab coffee, when you eat lunch, or when you attend events.

Coworking benefits for startups & companies

There are several benefits of shared office space that are particular to startups and organizations. They range from people benefits to strategic benefits. Let’s take a look.

People benefits

There are several benefits of coworking spaces that are key for your people. First off, because of the appeal of shared office spaces among several generations, working from a coworking space can help attract talent. Secondly, shared office spaces can drive employee satisfaction. One of the key benefits of coworking spaces is that they give people flexibility for where to work. This can lead to higher employee engagement, productivity, and happiness.

Strategic benefits

Shared office spaces offer several strategic benefits. For one, they enable your organization to plant teams in target locations for short durations. This can be Ideal for researching target markets, or for short-term collaborations with partners. Shared offices also enable you to flexibly adjust your team. You can easily bring on new employees, or reserve a desk for a short term contractor. With their flexible membership structures, shared office spaces also enable you to quickly move on or switch locations.

Shared office spaces also offer benefits derived from visibility. Within the space, you are likely to meet partners & collaborators. You’ll also drive exposure to your brand. These are just some of the benefits of coworking spaces for startups and companies. To dive in deeper, you can read more about the advantages of flexible workspace for large organizations.

Considering Coworking in the Greater Boston Area?

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Wrapping up

Whether you’re an individual or an organization, joining a shared office space can give you a strategic advantage. Flexibility, community, and focus are just some of the benefits of coworking spaces. And with many different spaces in operation, finding the right fit is easier than ever. So consider coworking as part of your strategy!

About Tobias Froehlich

Tobias Froehlich is a workplace consultant. He applies design strategy principles to enhance the workplace experience with organizations in and around Boston. Visit his website to learn more.

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