Co-working spaces are a relatively new concept that has blossomed in recent years in response to a growing mobile workforce and higher rental costs. Apart from the amenities and ultra-modern décor that could compete with the likes of Facebook and AirBnB, here are 5 other reasons co-working spaces could be the offices of the future:
Shared office space helps you counter rising rental costs with much lower prices. This is thanks to most co-working hubs’ subscription model, which lets businesses pay for only as much office space as they need. The model also lets you scale your office space to suit an SME’s changing needs.
If you’re a freelancer looking to work in a more professional setting, these spaces give you hot desking options with services like printing and IT solutions at your disposal. Startups and small businesses also get a leg up with their own studio space at affordable rates, and access to amenities like meeting rooms and gaming facilities.
Increased staff engagement
The open, thriving business environment creates a conducive atmosphere for creativity. According to David Walker, partner at Openwork, the millennial workforce gravitates towards this new environment because it “emphasises values such as flexibility, autonomy and choice.”ii
Sharing a space with entrepreneurs means you get the chance to meet others with a passion for business. Co-innovation and partnership opportunities are thus facilitated in an open environment.
Establishments like The Working Capital also organise regular events like talks on anything from architecture to anthropology from well-known speakers, to help their tenants meet growing business challenges.
This is also achieved by StarHub’s own Hubtricity, a brand new facility created to accelerate Singapore’s path to a Smart Nation. The innovation centre aims to “bring local technopreneurs together, who can create ideas and test out their solutions, catalysing greater collaboration and innovation from Singapore.”
Greater work-life balance
A co-working manifesto, signed by over 1,700 co-working spaces all over the world, outlines the sense of community encouraged in these offices, prioritising ‘“value ecosystem” over “value chain.”’iii
Singapore’s The Hive fosters this environment with regular events like film screenings while The Working Capitol offers free yoga classes for its members. Another local co-working hub, Trehaus, even has childcare facilities and services, so members can work while maintaining a close bond with their kids, reducing the pressure of juggling career and family.
Less office politics
In a working environment where your staff is surrounded by peers from other companies, with different tasks and goals in mind, the sense of competition is reduced. According to Harvard Business Review:
This creates a healthier, more conducive environment that’s free from the strain that a regular, isolated office would have.
With its numerous benefits, it appears as though co-working spaces are the offices of the future. Not only do they change the way we think about working environments, they are innovation hotspots. Collision8 founder Michelle Yong says her co-working space wants “people to look out and feel inspired to be part of the future. We hope to be the place from which the next Facebooks and Ubers of the world will be launched.”v
ii “The way we co-work”,Ascent, The Ascendas-Singbridge Magazine, Vol. 01.17