With more people working remotely than ever before, and an uptick in gig-type occupations, coworking spaces have emerged as a popular and cost-effective option for businesses and the part-time, full-time and contract workers they employ. In an effort to tap into the global talent pool, more and more large companies are providing access to coworking spaces around the world. In fact, the number of coworking spaces worldwide has increased by 1,000 percent in the last five years.
The shift toward coworking can be explained by three trends:
- The increase in freelance, independent and temporary work leads to these types of workers in need of space to work.
- Employers are striving to give employees more flexibility to work from alternate locations like coworking spaces.
- Corporations are also relying more on independent workers and contractors and, thereby, provide space for these contract hires to work.
While investing in a coworking space creates additional overhead for companies with remote workers, there are a few reasons why these coworking spaces are beneficial for both talent and employers.
Why Co-Working is Successful
- They allow remote talent to connect and collaborate
Whether you’ve hired a freelancer for a contractual project or provide coworking for a remote employee to have an office space, coworking facilities allow virtual employees to connect with otherplaceholder independent workers in a community-oriented space.
On-site employees have the benefit of in-person collaboration, but it’s difficult for remote employees to have similar experiences. With coworking, your remote talent can experience the same type of connections, which can inspire innovation even in a remote setting.
- Millennials prefer these collaborative and open environments
Coworking spaces are especially designed to provide open seating, collaboration areas and less stifling settings than your traditional cubicle-based office. Millennials, who make up more than 30 percent of the American workforce today, prefer these types of work arrangements because they lead to better problem-solving, more rapid collaboration and community development.
- They provide greater autonomy and productivity
Research shows that coworking can provide emotional benefits as well. In a recent study on coworking, 84 percent of respondents said they were more engaged and motivated when co-working and 89 percent reported they were happier compared to remote employees who worked from home or another isolated location.
How to Create a Co-Working Atmosphere in Your Office
While coworking spaces provide these unique benefits, there are many ways companies can recreate these same benefits within their own workplaces.
- Flexible work options: Flexible work arrangements — whether that’s in the form of flexible hours or locations — increase productivity and output while reducing turnover.
- Open workspaces: Rather than sticking to the cubicle environment, businesses can provide spaces like coworking environments with open seating for meetings and collaboration areas.
- Technology to encourage collaboration: Companies can also ensure the business is equipped with the right technology to foster collaboration with virtual employees with tools like video conferencing and live chat.
By using coworking spaces as inspiration to drive productivity and collaboration, you can set up your business to reap similar benefits throughout your workforce.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.