Updated: Feb 26
Shared workspaces are becoming increasingly popular—and not just among startups. Established businesses and companies of all kinds are realizing the advantages of a shared workspace.
After almost three years of home offices, virtual meetings, and social distancing business leaders are looking into how they can potentially help their companies save money and operate more efficiently.
If sharing an office with other professionals sounds like something that might benefit you, read this guide to learn everything you need to know about shared workspaces and coworking.
What is Coworking?
Coworking is a term used to identify an office space that you or your company shares with other businesses. Shared workspaces are equivalent in function, but differ in strategy. Coworking is generally geared toward more startups while shared workspaces are for more established companies. Both meet the same needs with its main purpose being: saving on overhead costs, establishing collaboration opportunities, working more efficiently, and sharing resources. Other differences found in shared workspaces include having access to private offices and suites and their aesthetic resembling a more traditional office environment.
What are the Different Types of Coworking Workspaces?
There are four types of coworking workspaces:
Virtual collaborative workspaces
Virtual shared workspaces
This type of workspace is a personal desk within a shared private office. A dedicated desk space tends to be ideal for a more private work setting and truly gets you the best of both worlds: the networking perks of a coworking membership with the privacy of your own office space.
Shared workspaces are a great option for remote, part-time, or weekend workers. Many coworking companies offer physical shared workspaces that are very popular among professionals who do not need office space for a traditional 9-to-5. Primed for collaboration, these types of workspaces attract consultants, solopreneurs, and small start-ups from a range of industries.
Virtual Collaborative Workspaces
A virtual collaborative workspace is a collaboration software environment (i.e. Zoom) that provides a "virtual building" where teams can communicate, collaborate, and share information, regardless of their geographic location. Remote working has fundamentally changed the way we interact with our colleagues. One of the best things about working in an office is social interaction, something we don’t experience in the same way when working remotely. But what if you could increase social interaction and continue working remotely? That is where virtual workspace tools come in. Virtual office spaces allow colleagues to interact through communication channels such as instant messaging, video calls, document sharing, and screen sharing tools.
Virtual Shared Workspaces
Virtual shared workspaces include software tools like Google Suite or Microsoft Teams, which allow you to work with others on projects from your own computer in real-time. Although this type of workspace makes it easy to work with multiple team members, it is not strictly collaborative. They can be very useful for an individual contractor to organize, create, and produce on their own time.
What are the Benefits of Coworking?
There are many benefits to having a shared workspace:
Increased social connections
Amenities and services
Increased Social Connections
Working from home can get lonely and leave you feeling unmotivated. A shared workspace, on the other hand, often provides a dynamic work environment that includes employees from diverse companies. Connecting with these people can not only help your mood and overall sense of wellbeing, but it may even benefit your business—especially if they are in the same industry.
Saving money is one of the primary reasons that business owners enjoy shared workspaces. Rather than having to pay all the expenses associated with setting up a fully functional office, all you need to pay for in a shared workspace is the office space used by you and your business and everything else is taken care of.
Anhedonia is a clinical term used in mental health to describe a lack of pleasure. A lack of social interaction also leads to feelings of loneliness, negatively affecting well-being and productivity. Improve your work life balance by establishing a clear separation between home and work.
Many shared workspaces offer greater flexibility than other types of offices. You need room to grow your small business. You may start out coworking, graduate to a dedicated private suite, and expand to multiple offices to support your team.
Amenities + Services
Perks are the best part, right? Shared workspaces offer amenities like fully stocked kitchens, recurring events, and workshops as well as services like a receptionist or conference rooms. Even if your company is just starting out, a shared workspace can create a highly professional appearance.
Now that you know a little bit more about the different types of shared workspaces and what they have to offer, you can make the best decision that’s right for you and your company.