Coworking spaces are in many ways, exactly like the typecast you’re probably picturing — free coffee, sofas for lazing, ping pong or foosball tables and a plethora of young people typing away furiously on their Macs. While comfort may be the first thing that comes to mind when you contemplate joining a coworking space, the real deal is under the hood.
Gone are the days when coworking was a niche perception, primarily associated with freelancers and shared desks. According to the latest data, demand for coworking spaces is now growing 10 to 15% per year across the Middle East & Asia-Pacific region. This substantial rise in popularity is partially powered by the rising number of start-ups that are joining coworking spaces. If you’re still unsure about the perks of shared workspace, here are 5 reasons why coworking spaces can help start-ups to thrive and flourish.
Start-ups often scuffle with finding a work environment that provides them the elasticity to scale their team. If you are a founder looking to upsurge your headcount within the next few months, committing to a two-year office lease is the last thing you want to do. This explains why a growing number of start-ups are shifting into coworking spaces.
By offering membership options that range from dedicated desks to private offices, coworking spaces offer the flexibility that so many start-ups need, particularly in the premature stages of growth. For instance, a company with only two or three employees might originally consider hotdesking, before switching to a small office as the team expands.
Another reason that start-ups are opting for coworking spaces is because they give you an alternative to the day-to-day formalities of renting an office space. What if the time and money that you spent on office managers or general maintenance could be directed towards quadrupling your business? By managing everything from electricity bills to facility management, coworking spaces give start-ups the chance to manage their limited resources tactfully, so that they can dedicate all their attention to small business matters.
Since networking is an essential way for start-ups to shape a solid customer base, it makes sense to find a workspace that nurtures organic business connections. Coworking spaces are fundamentally designed to inspire networking and collaboration. For instance, it’s very easy for people to strike up a conversation in the pantry over a cup of coffee, or during a professional development workshop.
Coworking spaces also arrange regular networking events, which offer a good platform for start-ups to build on their business contacts and possibly gain new customers. This amplified visibility can only be an asset for start-ups – especially if they are relying on word-of-mouth marketing for their products and services.
With a coworking space you get access to a network of knowledgeable entrepreneurs. If you are a start-up founder in the early stages of company formation, it’s extremely helpful to connect with successful entrepreneurs, so you can tap into their knowledge. Some coworking spaces even offer mentorship programmes, and arrange frequent workshops or discussions with industry leaders.
Amenities & Services
The world’s best coworking communities fit their spaces with modern amenities and services designed to help start-ups scale. Membership at a good coworking community usually includes:
- Meeting Rooms: For conference calls and meetings with potential clients
- Break Spaces: Outdoor verandas, pool tables & lounges
- Office Stationery & other amenities: Office furniture, electric rise-fall desks, dry-erase walls
- Food & Beverages: Free coffee, fruit, basic appliances such as a fridge & a microwave
Since building management is responsible for maintenance, all of your services will be suitably combined into a single monthly invoice. Not only does this merge monthly bills, but it also streamlines expenses.
Recent surveys show that full-time workers from around the world scuffle to balance their personal and professional lives. With an insuperable pressure to scale, start-up founders, entrepreneurs, and innovators continue to express apprehensions around getting enough sleep or making time for their near and dear ones. Can the coworking model lessen some of this work-life balance anxiety? Absolutely!
Coworking tests members to stick to a recognized work schedule. Sure, there might be a few late nights on your path towards startup accomplishment, but at least you’re not working from a confined home office, distracted by chores or pets, right? With adequate opportunity to spread out and get work done, coworking is the perfect distraction-free environment where founders can separate their work from their home lives.
Start-ups that go for coworking spaces often find that they provide an exclusive backing system that helps them improve their business. With all the aid provided by flexible working, it’s no wonder that more and more start-ups are moving away from the traditional office environment. With access to growth-oriented resources, like-minded entrepreneurs, and appropriate amenities, coworking communities remain to help start-ups grow and flourish. Data also shows that the number of coworking spaces is growing by 22% per annum in the region. Additionally, membership is flourishing at nearly 40 percent per year.
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