Shared workspaces and the concept of co-working have gone through a major transition over the past 5 years. Many will remember the famous (or infamous) rise and fall of WeWork), a company that put community-driven co-working spaces on the map.

Then along came COVID, and the Work from Home (WFH) concept obliterated any form of an office environment. But, in a strange twist, the pandemic is now contributing to the rise and growth of shared workspaces. If some reports are to be believed, collaborative shared spaces are fast becoming the office norm. A recent Microsoft article claims that employees yearn to get back into the office, abuzz with chatter and the feeling of being a part of a community. Employees and staff want some form of flexibility, however, hence the hybrid work model, exactly what shared working spaces were designed to offer.

For me personally, getting up in the morning and having a destination to head to, knowing I can research and get my work done, is much better than sitting at home with a multitude of pointless distractions. It is better to have other people to talk to and laugh with while I work.

Below I have listed what I feel are the key benefits of shared workspaces:

The Real Advantages of Shared Workspaces


Some of the real advantages of shared workspaces include the following:


1. Sense of community


Inspiration comes from the people you surround yourself with and let’s all be honest – there are days when you are just not feeling motivated. Perhaps you looking for advice or just some company to chat with in between online meetings. The nature of shared working spaces generally means that you meet people you may not necessarily socialise with, and these people can give different perspectives on different topics. I know in our shared space we have business owners and entrepreneurs from different industries, ranging from software developers to journalists, digital marketing specialists, architects, and even a group company secretary. What a great mix of experience, all in a single office environment.


2. Convenience and reliability


In this age of loadshedding (rolling blackouts basically), it is great to know that I have one less hassle to worry about each day. Offices as a Service (OaaS) means that I am pretty much assured of backup power when loadshedding hits, and I know the WiFi will stay connected. Co.Unity has a fail-over Business to Business connectivity. I don’t check the EskomSePush app any longer, and I certainly am not canceling meetings or not getting work done because of factors outside my control. Co.Unity has given me control of my work day, making my life a little bit less stressful.

3. No financial risk


Paying only for the space and time you are using the services on a Pre-Paid basis has meant our members or you don’t have to sign long-term onerous lease agreements. If there is a tough month financially, you may not use the shared office space. People should have the choice to vote with their wallets. What this also ensures is that the shared space continues to offer a great service. Customers keep coming back if the service is good. If the service and experience are poor, customers leave and are not forced to pay due to a legally binding contract.

4. All-inclusive working spaces


Everything is included – cleaning services, furniture, WiFi, and everything else you need. This makes budgeting much easier, with no funny or hidden costs, like variable utility costs. I like simplicity, and the more simple the billing model, the better it is to budget.

5. Professional surroundings


While it is really vibey to sit in coffee shops, it is also good to have quieter spaces, where you can feel that you are actually at a place of work. Doing a con-call in a coffee shop is noisy and frankly doesn’t show too much professionalism when you battling to be heard by your colleagues because a screaming coffee machine is competing for their attention. Coffee shops are also full of distractions – people coming and going, talking above each other, and lots of noise. Shared spaces offer relatively quiet spaces, and for privacy, you can even hire a private office for a couple of hours

These are my biggest benefits of shared workspaces. I believe that the OaaS (office as a Service) movement will continue to grow, as more and more companies look at how they can implement a hybrid work environment, without incurring additional “Satellite” fixed office costs. But at the same time, they can ensure that staff and employees have a professional environment to carry out work activities.

The Co.Unity brand is focusing its footprint on Lifestyle/Zoom Towns, and we will continue to look for areas that were once holiday towns. With the change in technology, people can now live and work in these destinations for a better work-life balance.

To find out more about our shared workspaces, contact our team today.

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