It’s estimated that more than 1m people now work in 14 thousand coworking spaces around the globe and the trend becomes increasingly popular.
Linda Trim, Director at FutureSpace, a co-working joint venture between Investec Property and workplace specialists Giant Leap with two offices in Sandton, said: “The coworking phenomenon is driven by a combination of the freedom the Internet affords workers and full offices facilities at a much lower cost than traditional space.”
But what makes a winning coworking space?
Most companies don’t need an entire building or even the whole floor. “Coworking is a chance to reduce operational costs by finding a coworking place that offers all the facilities of an office for much less than an office.” In South Africa, coworking offices cost 30 to 50% less than traditional offices.
A very important decision driver is location. You don’t want to spend too much time commuting, while it’s also good to have a position close to potential clients and major business hubs. Being close to shops is also useful.
You can’t fully understand the nature of a coworking space until you spend some time there, but you can get a feel of the ambience immediately. Said Trim:”Try to choose a place where you and your colleagues can feel at home.” Most people feel more relaxed in coworking spaces due to the general atmosphere of well-being and a stress-free environment.
A great atmosphere often comes as the result of a coherent community. Some of the best coworking places attract likeminded people who establish good relationships. Many coworking spaces hold learning and social events which helps build a sense of community.
A coworking space must have every piece of equipment you need in everyday work such as printers and copy machines. Of course, a stable and high-speed Internet connection is mandatory, as well as landline telephones.
Most of the time, clients and business associates won’t mind having a meeting at coworking places. However, sometimes it is necessary to provide them with a more peaceful room and hold an appointment without external disturbances. Said Trim: “For this reason, a good coworking space must have several conference rooms. They are also useful for established companies that want to hold offsite meetings.”
Food and coffee station
Everyone needs a break in the workplace. “A thoughtful coworking space should offer not only great coffee and food but also a to relaxing place to really enjoy the pause and forget about professional duties for a while,” said Trim.