Coworking Spaces vs Traditional Offices – What is Better for Small and Medium Businesses?
One of the most important, and desirable, benefits of using a coworking space is its flexibility as compared to traditional offices. You don’t have to commit to a long-term lease and everything – including utilities, internet, mail service and reception – is normally covered in your fee. At The Thrive Network all of these things are included in your monthly fee plus so much more – dedicated customer service staff, end of trip facilities, premium AV amenities and fully equipped kitchens.
Flexible lease options provide businesses with the ability to scale – up or down – without incurring extra capital expenditure and provide the ultimate balance of stability and cost-effectiveness.
Small to medium businesses can usually move in straightaway and occupy a space that is fully equipped. Desks, chairs, lockable storage, internet and phone connections are all ready to use. Spaces also come with a variety of amenities and on-demand meeting rooms and conference room arrangements.
What is a Coworking Space?
A coworking space or shared space office, often has an open-plan layout and is shared with a variety of other businesses and individuals who are members of the space. In order to maintain an environment of collaboration and communication, the spaces are typically filled with comfortable furniture, shared technology like printers and wifi and free coffee. Many coworking spaces, including The Thrive Network, also offer private offices and sectioned off team areas for larger businesses or for those who desire a level of privacy.
A good flexible workspace will offer a great environment and culture that is conducive to productivity, fosters creativity and inspiration, and encourages networking and collaboration. Social events for members of a flexible space allow companies to offer these benefits to their employees – community lunches, after work drinks, educational sessions and health and wellness offerings are all part of enjoying being a member of a flexible office or coworking space.
Most businesses will benefit from the countless networking opportunities that shared workspaces provide. Working alongside a varied collection of individuals, businesses, creatives and niches makes it easy to build your network, collaborate and find new clients.
What is a Traditional Office?
A traditional office is typically your own space, whether leased or owned, to be used exclusively for your business. If you’re renting the office, you usually have to commit to a term of at least five years and enter into a contract with the owner of the premises. Building out and furnishing the offices is also your responsibility along with connection of services and all utilities. This includes everything from finding the right internet connection to making sure you always have toilet paper in stock and the bathrooms are clean. Other expensive investments may also include building out meeting rooms and providing staff amenities. This could also involve you having to hire a dedicated person to manage your office.
A traditional office can reflect your branding and culture but at a steep cost – in contrast many coworking spaces will allow you to brand your own area and provide signage for you on their website or at the entrance to their space.
What kind of Amenities are available in a Coworking Space?
Amenities are one of the many benefits of a shared workspace. Coworking spaces provide so many options for the small and medium businesses and independent workers who use the space. Fully equipped kitchens, coffee machines, end of trip facilities including showers and lockers and hi-tech meeting rooms using the latest technology for hybrid meetings (webcams, conference speakers, etc) as well as large screens for screen sharing presentations, whiteboards and pinboards. Bike storage and dedicated car parking are also available at many coworking spaces to ensure your employees can travel to work without any obstructions. Community managers or reception staff make sure the space is always running smoothly – you don’t need to worry about buying paper for the printer or teabags for the kitchen, it is all done for you!
Cleanliness in coworking spaces is paramount. Cleaning services are included in your monthly fee and cover professional cleaners coming into the space, as well as the dedicated staff at the coworking space continually sanitising and maintaining hygiene protocols in common use areas.
Private Offices vs Open Spaces
Some companies prefer to have a private office space within a coworking space. This could be because they regularly make a lot of private phone calls or need security for their client files. Other companies enjoy the open plan layout coworking spaces offer in their team or individual desk areas.
Private offices are lockable and can be branded with the company marketing materials. The office can normally be altered to suit the business using it and then simply returned to its original form once that company has moved on. A private office can also provide fewer distractions and be a quieter space than an open plan area.
Open plan spaces provide individual desks, team areas and flexible desks for different types of businesses. Many businesses and their staff love the hubbub of an open plan space – the chatter in the kitchen at lunchtime, the casual social interactions across the desks and the common collaboration areas which foster creativity and learning. Despite the desks being open plan, they are often sectioned into groups of 4 or 6 making them perfect for small or growing teams. At The Thrive Network our desks are large enough to provide social distancing whilst still being collaborative and they all include lockable storage and network connections.
What are the Benefits of a Coworking Space?
- Lower Costs
- Networking and Collaboration
- Atmosphere and Employee Benefits
- Built-in Office Management
- Move-In Ready
- COVIDSafe Workplace
- Up to date technology and amenities
The rise of the hybrid workforce has made coworking and shared office spaces an attractive option for businesses of all shapes and sizes. The importance of flexibility cannot be overstated in relation to the bottom line of any business, and the mental health and wellness benefits provided by coworking spaces for employees of all businesses is paramount to creating a long lasting and dynamic company culture.