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What is a Shared Workspace and Can It Help You?

14 February 2022

Shared workspaces are an up-and-coming way of working in post-pandemic office culture. Different from collaborative workspaces, shared workspaces are communal offices where individuals that are either self-employed or employed by different businesses come together to work in the same place.

So why work in a shared space when you can just work from home?

Read on to explore the benefits of opting for a shared workspace as opposed to solo working at home, why shared workspaces are increasing in popularity and how they can help you get the most out of your workday.

Why Work in a Shared Workspace?

Shared workspaces gained momentum among start-up companies as a cheaper alternative to renting out a whole building for their staff. Since then, shared workspaces have increased in popularity as established businesses and self-employed workers are realising the benefits of flexible workspaces.

Still, many executives and entrepreneurs are unaware that such spaces even exist, and how they can help you or your employees increase productivity and boost overall business growth.

The key driver of shared workspaces are the features that they have to offer. A variety of physical workspaces are often available as well as software to accommodate virtual working.

Other benefits of working in a shared workspace include:

  • Flexible working options
  • Amenities and services
  • Increased networking opportunities
  • Cost

How Much Does It Cost To Access a Shared Workspace?

With new workspaces popping up across cities around the globe, the cost of hiring out a workspace is competitive and affordable.

Overall, no matter what kind of shared workspace you need, it is significantly cheaper than hiring out your own building and the savings do not end there.

Companies and individuals that hire shared workspaces do not have to worry about overheads like lighting and temperature control. They do not have to pay out for domestic services to keep the office clean, nor the basic amenities required to meet staff needs.

The cost of hiring a shared workspace can range from £150 to £400 per month depending on your needs and the size of your team. This is a huge saving compared to the monthly cost of your own building which can often run into the thousands.

Are Shared Workspaces Good For Solo-Workers?

Cost tends to be a disadvantage to solo workers who choose to commute to shared workspaces rather than work at home for free.

Yet, there is a huge increase in solopreneurs commuting to shared workspaces - why?

The main reasons are productivity and networking.

Solo working has its advantages. You can set your own schedule, you have the Wi-Fi all to yourself, there is no pressure to dress for work. However, these advantages do come at a cost, increased distractions, limited capacity for networking and slower business growth.

Shared workspaces are great for people who are easily distracted at home and need an office environment to keep their productivity high. It is also a good solution for extroverted solo workers who feel more energised when working in close proximity to others.

For many self-employed people, the benefits of working in a shared workspace outweigh the cons of the commute and the additional business expense.

The shared workspace comes with all the benefits of working in an office, but without having an employer. It is also a professional space to hold meetings and invite customers as opposed to your home office, local coffee shop, or kitchen table.

How Do Shared Workspaces Boost Productivity?

It is a common belief that working alone with fewer distractions makes you more productive than working in a noisy office, but for many people the opposite is true.

Shared workspaces offer remote employees the choice of a quiet workspace for solo projects and dynamic, open creative spaces for collaborative work.

Open workspaces offer workers an interactive experience, where workers have the opportunity to bounce ideas around and get real-time feedback on their work.

The flexible options offered by shared workspaces give employers and solopreneurs a range of options depending on their mood and the type of work they need to engage with that day.

The Harvard Business Review found that shared office spaces are incredibly good for boosting productivity. They are filled with self-motivated workers that are engaged in creative work and are all striving to grow their businesses.

The review put this motivating factor down to the psychological principle of ‘keeping up with the pack’. That surrounding yourself with people who are getting down to work is a strong external motivator.

Is Working in a Shared Workspace Practical?

If there is room in your budget for a shared workspace, it is the most practical solution to many remote working problems.

If you work remotely for a company, ask your team if they can support you to commute to a shared workspace a few days a week.

If you are an employer managing remote workers, it is a practical solution to manage team working and virtual meetings. If you are self-employed, working in a shared workspace will boost productivity, create networking opportunities and is a natural remedy to isolation.

Tips for Working in a Shared Workspace

If you are seriously considering switching to a shared workspace, a little etiquette must be followed.

Clean Up After Yourself

Always leave your desk in a condition you would expect to find it.

Manage Your Noise Level

Always use your indoor voice and avoid shouting over cubicles.

Be Considerate

Always treat people how you would like to be treated. Even though the space is shared, it should always be respected.

Shared workspaces are on the rise as hybrid and flexible working models are being offered by employers. Those who work from home benefit from getting out of the house once and a while, and have access to a professional space to conduct meetings.

Shared workspaces are a cure for the effects of isolation, they offer a chance to network, share ideas and benefit from the productive office environment - all without the cost of running a traditional office.