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Do shared working spaces work? How you can benefit from co-working

co-working area

Hybrid working, hot desking and co-working. New terms in the working world that left most people scratching their heads. With less and less people working in offices, these new ways of working had to be introduced into most peoples lives. Working from home became the new normal for pretty much everybody over the past year. But with people being cooped up in their spare bedroom or balancing their monitors on their dinning room table. Working from home just isn’t doing its justice for people anymore. That’s where shared working spaces, or co-working, have come into play.
But with another option for people working out of the office, what actually are shared working spaces and how do they differ from being in the actual office?

What Are Shared Working Spaces?

Shared working spaces are basically self explanatory. They are office spaces designed for office workers to come and share. No matter what company you come from or what your job role is, you can use the shared spaces. Shared working spaces come fully furnished with the right amenities for people to work well. This solution is great option for people working from home, as they can come and go into the shared spaces whenever they please. Shared spaces however aren’t just for induvial home workers though. You and your team can book a meeting room or whole office spaces for your meetings and working day.

How Can Shared Working Spaces Help?

Shared working spaces to some may seem a bit pointless. But using the shared spaces does come with many advantages. If you have been one of the workers using your spare bedroom as your office for the past year. Shared working spaces can seem like a light at the end of a very long tunnel. These shared working spaces can give home workers a sense of normality and having an actual work day. Not only that but it gives people something to wake up and actually get ready for. Instead of waking up 20 minutes before work and doing your morning meetings in your pyjamas. Bringing back the sense of normality and office life that some may have forgotten. All this can majorly improve peoples mental health. And with good mental health, it can lead to more motivation and productivity.

A fully furnished office space with meeting rooms at the palm of your hand seems like a great alternative to working from home. So what are the benefits office workers can gain from using a shared office space.

Better Work Ethic

Using the shared working spaces can make for producing better work. With people having to get ready and travel to the shared office, it pushes them into a work mindset. Separating work time from rest time. Meaning that they have the time and the space to entirely focus on their work. Removing any distractions that could stop you from working if you were working at home.

Again it brings the feel of office life back and how you are used to working in an office job. This can also lead to work tasks being done quicker in the day. So if your company is flexible, you could be finishing work an hour or two earlier than usual. Or if your not too fussed about finishing early, it can let you start on a project earlier. Meaning more time to think through your ideas and a chance to come up with some new ones. This can make you feel way more independent and in charge of your day and work. This can help with motivation and confidence within your work. 

Mental Health

Being cooped up in your home all year hasn’t been fun for anyone. But for office workers it may have taken a bigger toll. With them being used to leaving the house every morning and communicating with people face to face on a daily occurrence. Having to stay inside their house all day and only getting human interaction over the phone or through video meetings, is a big change to their routine.

However with the opportunity to use shared working spaces, it can bring back the human interactions that office workers were so used to. It stops that loneliness that comes with working from home. And that may seem like not that much of a benefit, because yes you are going back into an office. But its an office where you don’t know anyone. Although with just being able to sit at a desk with a few people around you can definitely help you feel less alone and improve your mental health.

Do shared working spaces work? How you can benefit from co-working - office mental health

Going back to being cooped up in your home office, having a new environment to be in can also improve peoples mental health. Plus it helps give them a fresh mind. Breaking up their week so they feel like each day is different instead of the same old routine. Leading to better mental health and a better separation between their home life and work life.

Work Life Balance

This is a massive factor that plays with shared spaces helping people with their mental health. The shared spaces are there to use whenever you want to use them, whether that’s daily, weekly or just a few days a week. Using the shared working spaces is totally customisable to your wants and needs. If the week has been tough and its only Tuesday, you can book a desk or phone booth space in a shared working space for Wednesday. Again breaking up your week and giving you a new work environment. Plus its a professional setting that could help you get back on top of your work and giving you a break from your family, home and your make shift home office. A benefit for not only you being able to get you work done but a chance for you to separate your home life from your work.

New Connections

Shared working spaces not only gives people a professional work setting for when they need it. But with so many people coming from different companies and having different job roles. Shared working spaces are an easy way to make new connections. This may seem a minor benefit but in the long run it can help with your work. Think of it as LinkedIn, making new connections and expanding your networks. You can chat with others about their job, your job and what type of business you work for. For all you know the person sitting next to you in the shared area could be in the same industry as you. And you may miss out on an opportunity to share ideas and come up with great business plans if you don’t spark up a conversation.

But of course you have to remember that shared working spaces are there for people to get their head down and get their work done. So chose your conversations at the right time.

 

What Are Some Drawbacks?

Even though to some, shared working spaces can seem like a dream. Getting to use a furnished professional space, that may be an upgrade from your previous office, can seem like a great place to get your work done. However, shared working spaces do come with a few disadvantages.

Privacy

The whole idea of shared working spaces is that it is almost a communal area for people to work in. So privacy is somewhat limited in these types of working spaces. However this drawback obviously depends on how busy the shared office space is. Not only that but it also depends on the layout of the space.

If the shared working space has multiple tables for you to chose from, privacy may not be too much of a problem. But considering how popular shared working spaces are becoming, space may be an issue. So shared working spaces will need as many desks as possible to be able to accommodate the regular flow of workers using into the building. The working area may be packed full for most of the working week. Either leaving you without any space or a spot for you to work but you cant hold any video or phone calls as its so busy. Basically limiting what work you could do.

This can be a big disadvantage as along with working from home becoming the normal routine of workers. Video calls have also been on the rise, with workers using the likes of Google Meet, Zoom and Teams to talk to their colleagues and potential customers. So taking any video conferencing calls would be a difficult task in shared working areas. So if you are contently on and off video calls, shared offices may not be the best route of action.

busy co working space

Hours Of Operation

If you are one of those dedicated workers that also seem to work overtime. Co-working spaces are probably not the best place for you to conduct your work. When working in the office was normal and allowed, it may have been the usual for you to work late into the night. But as most shared working spaces open from 9:00am and close at around 6:00pm. It suits the main working hours in the day but it may not suit your working hours. And its not like you could stay after the building closes. So it will restrict the hours you are able and want to work. Which can lead to less work done or your tasks being rushed.

However, even though this can be a disadvantage to some, it can actually be turned around into a benefit. Always working over hours can be a huge strain on your motivation and your mental health. So having a set time of starting work and a set time of actually shutting off the laptop, it can make you have some time to you self and break down your day. It also allows you to stretch out your task through the working week. As if you have some last bits to add to a spreadsheet and the shared working space is closing in a few minutes. You can spend those few minutes organising your day tomorrow instead of rushing to finish and making mistakes.

Pricing

Pricing for shared working spaces can depend on a few different things. It depends on the location of the office building, how many days a week, or month, that you will be using the shared working space. And just generally the shared working company. If you are located in London, then the shared office spaces are going to be a little bit more expensive.

For example the shared working space Hana in London offers a range of hot desking, private office spaces (5 people) and private office spaces (12 people). If you are an induvial looking to book hot desking it will cost you around £350 a month. Hana works their shared working spaces with workers using memberships. So if you wanted to spontaneously use the shared working space on a Thursday. Hana charges a cost of £325 for a monthly membership, putting most people right off the idea. Now this isn’t the case for every shared working space. As some shared office spaces can charge an hourly rate or can charge a set daily amount. Although, monthly memberships seem to be the way a lot of shared working spaces run. Although, with Hana if you wanted a larger space to work with your team. You can book an On-demand meeting space for £50 an hour. This particular shared working space would work for small teams wanting to use a meeting room. but for individual workers, it’s not the best option. 

So Do Shared Spaces Work?

In conclusion, coworking spaces can have a big benefit of home workers life. It doesn’t just give home workers a chance to work in a nicely furnished office, but gives them a chance to get back to their old routine, letting them, essentially, go back to work. This solution may not seem like the best for some but it covers a large group of workers who may have felt somewhat abandoned this year. All together shared working spaces can benefit the amount and the quality of work, people working from home, can produce while getting out of their home office that benefits there mental health. There are the noticeable drawbacks of these shared spaces like the price and privacy. Privacy is not always a guarantee with these spaces so this can be a real issue for some workers, but it really depends on your type of work.  

Natalie Horn

Natalie Horn

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