What is a Coworking Office Space?
For countless reasons, the work landscape has indelibly changed, becoming more physically decentralized and reliant on the free exchange of ideas. As a result, both traditional office workers and independent entrepreneurs alike are better able to accomplish their daily tasks without being dependent on a single location — so it’s no surprise that the demand for coworking spaces has skyrocketed.
A coworking office space is a facility where remote workers can come together to enjoy the benefits of a modern, fully equipped office building while maintaining flexibility and independence.
Far more than a novelty, coworking space rental is quickly becoming the preferred method by a workforce decreasingly dependent on centralized business and financial models. By all measures, the remote work niche is here to stay and growing larger by the day – read on to learn how the phenomenal growth of coworking space is facilitating business at a record pace.
Coworking Office Space Features
Most fundamentally, the coworking office space offers a place for independent and ambitious people to focus on their work in a more accessible and open way. After emancipating themselves from the cubical lifestyle, Remote workers have long faced only a limited range of options: either work from home or at a wifi hotspot, such as the library or an endless rotation of cafes.
In this way, the initial freedom of earning a living outside of a rigid 9–5 schedule became at least somewhat short-lived. Remote workers lacked access to professional-grade office equipment and other amenities, such as privacy and security, or even staples such as readily available food, refrigeration, and bathrooms.
Though these options carry great benefits in their own right, they also prove to be double-edged swords. Working in your pajamas can make it too easy to slip out of focus, and setting up shop at a cafe every day means leaving vital work equipment and information subject to theft every time you leave the table for even a minute.
Somewhere in these shortcomings, however, was born the motive behind the flourishing coworking office space movement: provide a happy medium between the utility of an office while facilitating the flexibility of the remote-work lifestyle.
Though every coworking space is unique, there are certain staples you can expect from the most dedicated coworking space companies:
- A combination of public seating and private rooms
- Natural lighting, air-freshening plants, and outdoor seating
- Well-stocked snacks and drinks, refrigerators, and even kitchens
- High-end office equipment (printers, copiers, scanners, etc.)
- Fast and secure high-bandwidth internet
- Conference rooms and event spaces
- Private mailboxes
- Free parking
- Inspiring and artful décor
- Membership packages & options
- A comfortable, inviting space conducive to creativity and productivity
A coworking office space might leverage its natural position as a hotspot for fostering lasting community bonds with community events and networking functions. Some such coworking spaces thus encourage deeper engagement with their members and their community and may even have particularly inviting qualities, such as:
- Openness to children and pets
- Parties & social events
- Media events
- Free guest passes
- Skills-development & networking programs
The sky is the limit (and demand has never been higher) for coworking spaces most dedicated to supporting their clientele’s ambitions to shape their live-work balance on their terms more firmly. In a short time, coworking office spaces have become the preferred solution for many who’ve left the rigid 9–5 office model behind yet feel unnecessarily lost a certain level of structure along the way. The result is a niche somewhere in the middle between traditional office culture and drifting between wifi-hotspots.
Related: An Office at a Coworking Space is Better Than a Traditional Office Lease
Lifestyle Benefits of Renting Coworking Space
It used to be that traditional offices were a drag to depend on – but they seemed necessary because that is where the equipment and proprietary company information was. That’s all changed with the proliferation of affordable telecommunication with free and decentralized internet, enabling workers to access necessary workplace data from almost anywhere. High-efficiency office supplies and equipment have also become more affordable and freely available. As mentioned above, the physical amenities of coworking spaces often outmatch even those of principal corporate offices.
Another shift remote workers often experience is a sense of loss without having other potential collaborators. It’s a little ironic, considering the resentment that had built up towards notoriously boring and useless corporate meetings. On the other hand, it speaks volumes of the unsated but deep-seated need to meaningfully communicate ideas in a group and experience oneself collaborating effectively with others.
Interestingly, many feel that a coworking office space actually and genuinely facilitates such collaboration, even though the vast majority of coworking space members have similar professional aims but are identical. Perhaps the element of choice and consent was missing from the traditional corporate environment, which all-too-often bred a culture of merely “showing up for the paycheck.”
On the contrary, the opposite feeling makes coworking spaces thrive: the desire to show up and accomplish meaningful work. With greater autonomy, it’s as though responsibility becomes much more of a badge of honor than a kind of burden. Managing one’s workload with discretionary choice proves to be an essential factor for creativity and innovation. Well-equipped coworking spaces attract like-minded people where collaboration flourishes in ways traditional office managers once only dreamed of.
Suffice it to say, the keystone benefit of a coworking office space is the freedom it facilitates. From there, ingenuity thrives, and many other benefits arise naturally. The full breadth of these benefits is limitless, but commonly, they include:
- Self-pacing according to one’s most productive schedule
- Ability to work after hours as the mood strikes
- Better work-life balance and satisfaction
- Greater creativity and inspiration
- A free and open exchange of ideas
- An end to inspiration-crushing “office politics”
- A more comfortable and natural social environment
- Much less disparity between weekend and weekday rhythms
- Spontaneous solutions and innovations arise more freely
The physical benefits of a coworking space can be seen immediately upon taking your first tour or taking a friend up on their offer to use one of their guests’ passes to experience it firsthand. But the lifestyle benefits, once they become an ingrained way of life, are indeed at the heart of what makes a coworking office space successful.
Related: Why the 9-5 Schedule Could Be Harming Your Health
What Does the Choice-Driven, Modern Workforce Want?
Being more empowered with choice and flexibility than ever, the American workforce has become better able to influence their workflow and work environment. Shifting population movements and radical economic policies have contributed to the pressure that even major corporations feel to allow their employees more free reign regarding where and when they accomplish their work.
Now that a critical mass of the country’s population has gotten much more than a taste of the remote-work lifestyle, it’s a virtual certainty that it’s here to stay. Even employers trying to maintain traditional office routines are seeing the benefits of at least offering hybrid work arrangements. With much of the workforce feeling more “off-leash,” so to say, they find themselves in a unique and unprecedented position to shape the workspaces and routines of the future.
With such a shift in the dynamics of choice and empowerment, what do remote employees want? According to a LinkedIn survey asking what employees are looking for, 40% of remote job seekers stated that flexibility is at the top of the list. It may seem to some like an “overly simplified” or “unrealistic” expectation, but a profound analysis of the relationship between flexibility and workplace productivity is nothing new. As far back as 1967, the effects of “flextime,” a concept initially introduced by a German aerospace company, immediately saved time because it eliminated the mad rush that occurs by jamming everyone into the same space simultaneously.
For many other reasons, the success of the flexible worktime experiment spread, with American companies such as HP adopting similar policies shortly after. Today, the concept has simply accelerated to record heights.
Pessimists may balk at the ever-increasing expectation of being left by and large alone to pursue meaningful work on one’s terms, thinking such attitudes are “haughty” or a recipe for slacking off. Those who rise to these challenges quickly learn that flexible work environments, such as coworking office spaces, are veritable magnets for some of the most ambitious people, not less. Many might be (re?)discovering of late that most people genuinely want to work – if only that work is allowed to flourish organically and creatively.
While some indeed find the animating contest of freedom so immense as to be somewhat paralyzing, such effects give way to a subtle thrill as the new remote worker finds their footing. Once they see that the flexibility they’ve long craved is more viable than ever, its value will grow as measured in both profits and happiness.
With the most precious commodity – time – more firmly under control, one’s newfound job flexibility tends to lead to attempts at fulfilling even more desires that previously went unfulfilled by traditional office cultures:
- The ability to try new solutions
- Creating more inspiring workspaces
- Finding more supportive and inspired co-workers
- Making your work environment more comfortable
- Achieving greater autonomy & decision-making power
- Taking on higher responsibilities
- Monetizing hobbies
The list goes on! But aside from the benefits of controlling one’s workflow, the source of it all remains clear: flexible work conditions. Now that it’s been experienced en masse, the role of work in the remote worker’s life has become a much more positive experience – and coworking office spaces are leading the charge.
Coworking Office Space – A 21st Century Staple?
Is the increasingly popular co-working office space trend a sign of the future? We’ll let you decide – but we encourage you to find out the full extent of its benefits for yourself, as millions of Americans have (and far more the world over). Creativity and the desire to apply oneself to productive ends are functions of the human psyche.
No singular or collective institution(s) can lay claim to them, neither in whole nor in part. But it’s only natural that our internal motivations to own the fruits and the means of our labor are coalescing into environments that most effectively facilitate our talents. Most sincerely and essentially, that is what the coworking office space is.In a spirit of growth and dynamism, Vuka’s been hard at work facilitating the full potential of some of the best and the brightest in the Austin, Texas, business community. With two state-of-the-art coworking spaces, we strive to most humbly set the stage for our partners to lead the story of their lives and achieve ever greater heights of self-sufficiency and economic stability. We’d like to invite you to consider how we can help further your business goals and encourage you to get involved however much or little suits your rhythm.