By: Fabienne Hajjar
What’s your biggest office challenge? Is it access to suitable spaces or do you miss working alongside like-minded business people? Co-working space is the solution as it is adopting a new style for offices and it’s about seeing the business world from a different angle. What’s interesting about co-working spaces (aside from grabbing a cup of Italian coffee while you check your emails) is that they bring together business people working on their respective goals in an environment designed to suit their needs.
The culture of co-working spaces encompasses a number of ideas, including networking, flexibility, exposure, entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity, which are all the ingredients of any successful business.
In addition to culture, cost is another big draw. One of the advantages of these spaces is the ability to rent out only what you need vs an entire private office space, which can be costly. Through various membership-based models, costs vary and allow for flexibility. These include options for daily fees or monthly fees. Membership costs also differ based on whether you use a shared desk or prefer a dedicated one.
The open, harmonious and internally connected work area fosters better interaction with like-minded people, as well as others who might not share the same views as you. What’s more, common areas in shared office spaces have now become a breeding ground for networking, sharing information and knowledge with fellow co-workers. It is an opportunity to interact with people from varying professional backgrounds, who would likely be a useful connection and this in turn can be converted into generating leads and partnership opportunities.
Being surrounded by committed, enthusiastic workers is highly motivating. Co-workers give each other new perspective on projects you may have never considered. These collaborations often lead to business expansion.
The growth of co-working spaces
Nearly 1.2 million people worldwide are working in shared spaces. According to the latest Global Co-working Survey, the number of co-working spaces worldwide is approaching 14,000 and is growing at a rapid rate, almost doubling every year.
Co-working is the future of business, and here in Qatar, we’re seeing a great growth in co-working spaces, but it’s important for businesses to ensure that environments of this kind provide the services they are looking for.
Moreover, we notice large organisations adopting the co-working concept where it provides a strategic advantage. The flexibility provided by the spaces is a plus in terms of managing real estate and costs. This is true freedom and mobility. They allow for innovation by allowing different people with unique skills and talents to connect and collaborate.
How does a co-working space work?
Co-working spaces are places where employees of big corporations thrive – a membership-based workspace where diverse groups of freelancers, start-ups and other independent professionals work together in a shared, communal environment. The growing trend of co-working has made it possible for people to exert more control over their working lives.
Such spaces are ideal for freelancers who are not committed to specific working hours with one employer and do not have a permanent employer. They might be hired by different companies to perform several tasks according to their skills. Without doubt, co-working space is the best alternative for them to escape from the isolation of a home office or a coffee shop.
For start-ups, flexibility is also appreciated in such work spaces. Co-working spaces don’t come with the high costs and commitments of a traditional office lease. These spaces may even help entrepreneurs find a co-founder for their start-up by connecting the right people at the right time.