More and more companies are willing to rent coworking space over traditional office. What does it mean for them?
Serviced office, flexible office, space for short term – they are commonly known as coworking office and most often associated with a workplace for freelancers or people who cannot afford to rent an office while suffering inconvenience of working from home. Meanwhile, coworking is becoming an increasingly popular solution among larger companies and legacy business.
It can certainly be assumed that renting coworking space is much more beneficial for companies than renting a traditional office. First of all, subscription rates are lower than monthly rental rates, and besides, the coworking subscription includes all costs which tenant must pay in addition while using traditional space – these are utilities, Internet, cleaning services or printer paper. Usually the price includes access to coffee, tea and kitchen facilities. To compare with – after summing up all the costs that the company covers when renting traditional office (including the purchase of various devices) – flexible office might turn out to be more expensive by 5 percent of total cost, than maintaining a traditional office. In the same time, Tenant does not have to worry about purchasing equipment or parts of interior finishing, because everything is already included in the price paid, as stated in the contract. However, this form of office organization may prove unprofitable when it comes to supply space for greater number of employees. In such situation, sum of subscriptions and additional fees can significantly exceed the cost of renting a traditional office for the same number of people.
An additional advantage affecting the costs is the lack of long-term commitments. Even the biggest corporations sometimes work on projects, and employees migrate between departments located in different cities (or even countries) for a specified period of time. Coworking offers attractive solution for such needs, as it guarantees more flexibility than traditional office leasing. Flexi space contracts have typically short notice periods, unlike traditional lease contracts – they give a comfort of resigning from the rental or possibility to change agreement’s provisions at any time. Additionally, some flexi office operators provide right of using space within their network, located all over the world. Among Tenants of serviced offices, there are many leaders on the e-commerce market, which do not require significant number of the office staff and focus on people working in stores or warehouses throughout the country. Flexi offices are also a great alternative for companies that are growing rapidly but still waiting for their own target office location. These kind of tenants do not risk shortage of available space. They are able to lease additional workplace quickly, according to their own needs, in a given period. In opposite case of full-time jobs reduction, it is also possible to give up part of the leased space.
The opportunity to work in a group and skill sharing
For many people, even those who are not disturbed by other household members at home, coworking is primarily a chance for personal contact with other people. One-man activities, however dreamlike and wonderful, often involve working alone – contacts with clients and contractors are usually limited to exchanging correspondence and telephone conversations. Meanwhile, the human herd instinct triggers the need of contact, not only with family members and immediate surroundings. Employees of multi-person companies have this opportunity every day, as coworking creates such an opportunity for people working alone. You get the impression that you work in a big company, still working only for yourself.
The opportunity of meeting other people has other benefits – not only for the spirit, but also for the business. The coworking space usually gathers people who work within a wide variety of fields – from graphic designers, translators, architects, IT specialists, marketers to recruitment and engineering companies, law firms, accounting offices, management boards of large companies and enterprises from the e-commerce and technology sector. It is a great opportunity to exchange services or establish cooperation and work on connected projects. The possibility of consulting matters on the spot, on a regular basis, without having to send materials and waiting for an answer significantly speeds up the work and benefits both parties’ efficiency.
Holidays and weekend getaways
Flexi office is about more than a business. Coworking operators take care of the atmosphere on the leased area not only by providing comfortable desks, free coffee and access to a printer. A lot of them also animate integration between Tenants by offering and planning attractions and celebration after hours. Coworking “Christmas Eve” became a standard; other activities, such as weekend joint trips or integration parties, are also becoming more common. Some offices go even a step further and allow their Tenants to participate in events such as joint training and appearances in a very relaxed, evening atmosphere. Co-work clients are also often provided with mobile apps connecting them with people from all over the world using the office space within the same network.
Many coworking spaces have been opened in modern office buildings offering their subscribers access to exclusive facilities and amenities. Flexi offices are often located in buildings of the highest standard – class A – in a prestigious locations with convenient access. The quality of interior design and the appearance of the office spaces are very high due to increasing employees expectations. This solicitude is also appreciated by the jury of numerous competitions. For example, the Warsaw business space Spaces became a laureate of the Office Super Star competition in 2019. Therefore, Tenants of coworking spaces often have the opportunity to use such facilities as gym or fitness club, and even a swimming pool. In many places there are also other services important from the employee’s point of view, such as a nursery or kindergarten. No wonder then that coworking is growing in strength and more people are willing to take advantage of this model.
Pros and cons
A flexible offer, people-to-people contacts and reducing the costs of running an office are the most important features of coworking model. When you are looking for a flexi office, you must always specify your priorities, because it may turn out that the offer that seems attractive is not suitable to our needs. The most important issue relates to your requirements and business needs. Perhaps the added values, located outside the space itself – such as global access, training courses offers or free access to specific services – will be more relevant than equipment, location or low price of the space. Unfortunately, within coworking, many things do not depend on us and we have no influence on the time of repairs, purchases or other obligations. Due to the wide variety of flexible office offers, you also need to carefully analyse costs and contracts, especially records of any additional, non-standard fees.