For most industries, the world of work has changed forever. Nearly two-thirds of workers now prioritize a healthy work-life balance over pay and benefits, while 40% believe they’ve been more productive remotely than they were in a traditional office setting. It’s what’s made shared office space for remote workers a fast-growing option.
Coworking spaces in particular have seen massive growth. Already on an upward trend since at least 2010, the last three years have seen that growth skyrocket—and it’s not projected to stop anytime soon.
But when might shared office space for remote workers be a good idea? What factors are important for businesses and their employees considering a move into this type of office environment? In this guide, we will discuss the benefits and features of shared office space and when it makes sense
The Rise of Shared Office Space for Remote Workers
As recently as four years ago, remote work was still a relatively niche option. Statistics show that less than 6 percent of U.S. workers were fully remote in 2019, a number that understandably skyrocketed to more than 41 percent during the COVID-19 pandemic. While that number has declined slightly as more businesses return to previous work models, this trend is here to stay.
Experts now estimate that anywhere between 15% and 25% of all work in the U.S. happens remotely. In addition, 41% of workers whose jobs allow them to work remotely now do at least partially, a number that’s higher than ever.
These rapid increases have naturally led to an increase in shared office space opportunities, as well. The amount of workers using coworking spaces has grown from less than 300,000 in 2015 to more than 1 million in 2022, and that growth is projected to continue in for at least the next few years.
Examining the reasons behind this trend fits neatly into our main topic of discussion: when and why a move to shared office space makes sense. For both businesses and the workers themselves, there are at least seven core reasons to consider.
1. Limited Workspace at Home
There’s a reason that coffee shops have historically been a popular place for remote workers. Especially in cities like Austin, workspace at home can be limited, making it difficult to find space for your computer, electronics, files, and other working essentials.
For workers, that limited space and a lack of a dedicated home office can become a significant frustration in their daily attempts to get their work done. For organizations, the negative impact this limited workspace can have on productivity is just as frustrating.
In these scenarios, a shared office space begins to make sense. Whether it’s an open-office environment or private office space, it can allow workers to spread out and focus on their work much more efficiently than their kitchen table ever could.
2. A Lack of Work-Life Balance
Work-life balance has become an increasingly important consideration, especially for younger workers. According to Microsoft’s 2022 Work Trend Index Annual Report, more than 50 percent of Millennial and Gen Z employees have quit a job specifically because they found that it lacked a work-life balance and required them to sacrifice too much of their personal time.
This lack of work-life balance is one of the major drawbacks of working from home. Simply put, there is no separation between professional and personal life. It’s a major reason why a 2020 study found that 70% of remote workers clocked at least some time on weekends even when they weren’t scheduled to work.
Shared office space for remote workers alleviates this issue, at least partially. Like a traditional office space, it creates a clear and distinct space designed for work, allowing time at home to feel more removed and relaxing as a result. What’s more, if an office space is still warm and nurturing enough to feel like home, it’s a win-win for remote workers who don’t need to sacrifice their creature comforts, even at work.
3. Professional Meeting and Working Space
Where can remote workers meet with clients and colleagues? In the past three years, the answer increasingly revolved around videoconferencing. But of course, that becomes difficult in a home environment and takes away from the unique benefits of in-person meetings that videoconferencing simply can’t replace.
Shared office spaces remove that issue. At their best, they’re comfortable and professional spaces that are ideal for any business meetings. These meetings may take place in open and common areas, conference rooms, or private office spaces depending on the size of the meeting and how formal it’s expected to be. The flexibility of having this space is a core reason why shared office space can be more beneficial than working entirely from home.
4. Moving From Isolation to Community
On balance, working remotely has been shown to improve the well-being of workers as their happiness increases by about 20 percent compared to traditional office settings. However, studies are beginning to show that one of the core downsides of remote work arrangements relates to feelings of isolation, as professionals have fewer chances to interact with others in their daily work life.
Here, again, shared office spaces can solve an increasingly important problem. Workers in these spaces are able to come together and build a community, whether that is through working together or just reigniting those watercooler conversations about news and pop culture that we’ve all come to value.
This benefit of shared office space for remote workers is especially prevalent in those offices that pay attention to creating a welcoming environment in not just the work spaces themselves, but also the other locations. Comfortable common areas and kitchenettes, outdoor areas, lofts, and more can all work to build this type of community for the regular members in the shared space.
5. Networking Within and Beyond Your Industry
Of course, working alongside other professionals does not only offer community benefits. It can also be beneficial on a professional level when it comes to networking opportunities.
The beauty of coworking spaces is that the professionals around you are not limited to your immediate co-workers. Instead, desk neighbors and those taking a break in a communal areas may work for either other organizations in your industry or different industries entirely. It’s a great chance to meet a wide variety of people, and the networking benefits of this type of communal space are difficult to replicate elsewhere.
We’ve even seen members of our spaces go into business together. It’s entirely possible that a quick conversation with another professional might unlock new perspectives on your own work. Collaboration can both be natural and intuitive, ultimately benefiting both your daily work and your career trajectory.
6. Access to Business Resources and Other Amenities
Remote work is rising rapidly, but there is a reason some employees still prefer to work in a traditional office setting. In addition to some of the aspects discussed above, like community and professional workspaces, it’s also about the amenities the office can offer its workers on a daily basis.
It might be as simple as access to a printer or scanner, or even having reliable internet. A kitchenette with healthy snacks could also be a big draw. Amenities that are offered as standard in an office setting can become much more complex when working remotely.
Traditional office environments have some downsides which may make these amenities seem less important, however, in a shared office space, remote workers can access them without making any other compromises.
7. Natural Scalability for Businesses With Remote Workers
The final benefit of shared office space for remote work focuses specifically on the business side of things. Especially compared to traditional office settings, scaling your workforce becomes much more flexible, as you can more easily find work and meeting spaces for your teams to work without the long-term planning of owned or leased space.
Working with remote spaces can also make your business more location-independent. Now you can recruit team members from a broader area, without having to worry about office commute time. And of course, compared to hiring remote workers without shared office space, you can still leverage the benefits of getting the team together, building community, and meeting in defined spaces.
Make the Move to Shared Office Space in a Coworking Environment
Any of these signs may be the key reason why shared office space for remote workers makes sense for you. Combine more than one of them, and you have a strong motivation to consider coworking spaces that match your needs.
Of course, you still need to find the right coworking space to leverage these benefits. That includes finding a space that inspires both creativity and productivity, helping everyone in it both get their work done and look beyond their daily tasks.
If you are looking for coworking office space environment that nurtures and fosters both you and your vision, complete with holistic support and connected impact, give Vuka a look. Our spaces are centered around our members, helping everyone working in them to feel completely at home—but with the distance needed to leverage the benefits of shared office spaces. Book your tour to get started.