Co-working spaces have risen in popularity over the last five years. Globally, the number of co-working sites is expected to reach 40,000 by 2024, a rise of 24,000 since 2018.
What we know as ‘co-working’ can take many forms. This could mean paying for individual hot desking for your employees or a dedicated small office space within a co-working hub. Either way, it’s very different from a traditional office environment.
The benefits of co-working spaces on employees are well-documented, but how can it benefit you as a business owner?
For small businesses, networking is vital. Forming business relationships can open up lucrative growth opportunities and ensure that you’re staying in-the-know about your industry.
Co-working spaces have networking at their core. These sites often host informal networking nights and other opportunities to get to know the other companies in your building. Without this, networking as a small business can feel far more daunting.
By promoting collaboration, both between employees and with other businesses, co-working spaces can drastically improve how productive your business is.
Creativity doesn’t always flow on its own, and sometimes having conversations with other business leaders offer a spark of inspiration. Co-working spaces encourage open conversation and collaboration between businesses, as well as promoting a sense of community. In a space where everyone is working to improve their business, you’ll feel inspired as well.
Running a small business can be stressful. Often, you might need to put in more hours than a typical 9-5 job, which might not be accommodated by traditional office spaces.
Co-working sites, on the other hand, often have flexible opening times and out-of-hours services. This means you can keep your business running whenever and however you need to.
The dream of any small business owner is to effectively scale up their business. However, this can be difficult in traditional offices where a lease is typically 12 months long. Without effective utilisation of space, it’s difficult to know how to grow sustainably.
Importantly, co-working spaces offer crucial opportunities to scale your business, often with month-by-month leases and the opportunity to use hot-desking and office space. If you find that you’re growing faster than anticipated, it’s easier to move to slightly larger office space, and you can always keep some employees hot desking while you make the move.
While co-working spaces don’t work for all businesses, they can be a great option for small businesses that feel like they could benefit from greater opportunities for collaboration and increased flexibility.
As part of a co-working space, you’ll know you have the space to grow your business and the expertise nearby if you ever need help.
We are opening our very own co-working space Unity Co-working, check out our Facebook page today www.facebook.com/unitycoworkingmaidstone.