For many small business owners, renting office space is a no-brainer. After all, having a bona fide office makes a company seem legitimate—right?
But after signing that first lease, many business owners quickly realize that dedicated office space isn’t really what it’s cracked up to be. Maybe they’ve rented too much space. Maybe they realize after the fact that they’re not in the right neighborhood or business district. Maybe money’s tight, and business would be noticeably more comfortable if they didn’t have to write another pricey rent check every 30 days.
The good news is that, in 2015, small business owners no longer have to lease office space for their companies to succeed. Thanks to the evolution of technology and the rise of the mobile workforce, employees can be just as effective at a café or on their couches as they would be behind their desks.
The difference? Flexible working costs your business considerably less while most likely making your staff happier, more loyal and more productive. So what’s not to like?
Well, some decision makers are hesitant to embrace a truly mobile workforce for fear of appearing weak. They imagine a hypothetical scenario where a prospective client is in town, the kind that if landed would be truly transformative for their companies. Without dedicated office space, they wonder, where could we possibly meet these folks? Surely not at a Starbucks.
This is where the concept of coworking enters the mix.
Simply defined, coworking is a modern approach to work where creative professionals—everyone from the self-employed to those who draw paychecks from industry juggernauts—share professional office space as frequently or infrequently as they like. Because of the flexibility it provides, it comes as no surprise that coworking is becoming more popular all around the world.
Among other office staples, coworking facilities include dedicated meeting rooms, so businesses that adopt the style of work will have no problem hosting clients in professional settings should the need arise.
Coworking lets companies enjoy all the perks of being in an office while paying considerably less for them. On top of that, coworking spaces:
- Create networking opportunities. Those in the same coworking facilities are bound to run into each other a bunch during the time they’re there. Who knows where these kinds of interactions will lead? You might even land a few new clients just from setting up shop nearby.
- Improve work/life balance. Some remote workers say that working from home can be extremely isolating. Additionally, it can be hard for those who work at home to figure out when the workday ends and their personal time begins. Coworking solves both of those problems, allowing workers to socialize while giving them a clearly defined workspace when they need it.
- Inspire creativity. Because coworking allows your employees to work under the same roof as a diverse assortment of entrepreneurs and creative professionals, the environment is ripe for sharing ideas. According to a recent survey, 71 percent of respondents indicated they felt more creative thanks to coworking while 62 percent said the quality of their work improved.
If you’re a small business owner, it might be worth asking yourself whether all that office space you’re paying for is worth it. By embracing mobility and coworking, businesses can significantly reduce their operating expenses while increasing their output.
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