It used to be just a way to get out of the house, but co-working spaces like FutureSpace are evolving into something much bigger.
“Prior to shared office spaces, entrepreneurs and startups were working out of their homes or headed to coffee shops to get their work done,” said Linda Trim Director of FutureSpace, a joint venture between Investec Property and workplace specialists Giant Leap that offers high end, offices on demand.
“Renting office space for small businesses was usually out of the question due to high upfront cost, long lease lengths, and bland offerings. But innovators were looking for more than a tiny cubicle in a corporate office or the high priced and uninspiring serviced offices of the past.”
Here are some of the reasons why co-working will upend the business model of traditional office space:
Technology and the Sharing Economy Levels the Playing Field
Co-working spaces are able to spread the impact of high cost items like fibre optic data lines, conference rooms, high end printers, and beautiful spaces over a large number of firms, making companies more productive and also affordable to small business. “Co-working spaces are levelling the playing field between small business and big business,” Trim noted.
Feeding off the technology boom, co-working spaces have found a niche market among startup communities and entrepreneurs by offering space that is more flexible, more efficient, and more productive than traditional office space.
Collaboration is Key
Co-working spaces benefit more than just the entrepreneurial occupant; there’s multiple advantages for anyone who decides to participate in a shared space. Co-working spaces often offer personal and professional development opportunities. As white-collar workers demand inspiration, there will be a shift from corporate environments with homogeneous peer pools towards the dynamic stream of ideas and talent that co-working spaces offer.
Large corporations can also learn from co-working spaces how to create a more productive work environment. Said Trim: “Research reveals that individuals thrive when working in a co-working environment because they feel as though they belong to a community and have more control of their work.”
High Demand for Space that is Flexible, Efficient, and Productive
The trend towards urbanisation and the competition for top talent has never been stronger. Well located, beautiful, and services-rich office space acts as a tool to entice potential hires to join, and to retain valuable staff. Traditionally office leases come in large blocks of space with a long term lease and require tenants to build out and furnish their space in dreary ways.
While landlords will continue to try and push for longer term leases, the business cycle has sped up and most firms have no idea what their space needs are going to be in five to ten years. Traditional office leases will become shorter, and flexible space will be in greater demand.
Cloud Technology is Disrupting Traditional Offices
The rise in cloud technology and the implementation of digital services are forcing traditional offices to start rethinking their purpose. As the need for a traditional office space slowly declines, multi-functioning spaces that act as creative hubs for innovators and remote workplaces are taking hold. For employees who work remotely, co-working offices are an affordable solution that offer a productive and fun setting to work.
“With businesses operating increasingly in a digital world, employees top need is for a reliable high-speed internet connection and a space to work, “Trim added.