When co-working first got here available on the market, these workplaces had been primarily marketed to unbiased contractors, freelancers and IT start-ups. The communal nature of co-working workplaces gave the self-employed a number of the conventional advantages of working in a crew setting, resembling collaboration {and professional} interplay.

Co-working workplace areas will probably proceed to develop in reputation as increasingly more companies uncover the conveniences they supply.

However co-working areas can even current challenges for some firms. For instance, what are your tasks for offering a secure work setting and your liabilities if a co-working area doesn’t function as anticipated? How do you guarantee work is getting achieved?

Right here’s what you want to find out about this newer kind of workplace area and methods to decide if it’s going to work for your corporation.

How co-working areas work

The everyday co-working operation consists of some mixture of an open work space with a number of work stations, particular person workplaces and convention rooms with furnishings and primary workplace tools offered. You’re charged a day by day, weekly or month-to-month price relying on what number of workstations, non-public workplaces and convention rooms you utilize.

WiFi, espresso and tea are normally free, with further fee-based providers accessible, resembling printing, mailboxes or specialty tools (projectors, TVs, and many others.).

Costs range wildly relying in your metropolis and whether or not you desire a long-term contract or no contract. That stated, a fast on-line search reveals averages of $50 a month for a shared desk in an open work space the place you may drop in any time, to $1,500 a month for a lockable workplace that seats just a few individuals.

Execs and cons of co-working areas

The advantages to co-working areas could appear apparent to the self-employed or very small enterprise proprietor who desires one thing extra skilled than a espresso store during which to work. However what about co-working for bigger firms?

Advantages of co-working areas for bigger companies embody:

  • Offers distant staff with a extra skilled, much less remoted setting than working from a house workplace
  • Alternatives to community with potential shoppers, distributors and new staff
  • Inexpensive, versatile workplace area that may develop or contract shortly for cash-strapped start-ups or bigger companies shifting into a brand new market
  • Non permanent area for coaching, small conferences or different specialty, short-term area wants
  • Might assist with recruiting youthful staff who count on extra alternatives to work remotely

The cons of utilizing co-working areas are just like any distant work association. Listed here are some potential downsides to co-working areas.

  • If noisy or crowded, the workspace is probably not productive for workers who want a quiet place to execute their work.
  • As a result of restricted construction inherent to this sort of setting, staff who lack self-direction or motivation might battle to remain engaged and productive.
  • As a supervisor, you’ll want to obviously talk your expectations of accountability and methods to evaluate productiveness out of your distant staff. For instance, because you gained’t see your distant staff at their desks, day after day, how will you realize work is getting achieved?
  • Your staff might be working in a spot you may’t management, however you’re nonetheless liable for offering a secure, non-discriminatory setting on your staff to work in. So, if different individuals working inside the co-working area harass or mistreat your staff, you continue to should do your due diligence and examine the criticism. Your solely recourse could also be to take your corporation elsewhere.
  • Workers working in open or communal workplace areas might discover it tough to debate or deal with confidential enterprise data.

What to contemplate earlier than permitting staff to work in a co-working area

What questions do you have to ask if a person or crew requests to work in a co-working area?

First, take into account the proposal as you’d another new thought. Require the worker or crew to offer a well-thought-out rationale backed by knowledge. This may embody a cost-benefit evaluation evaluating co-working prices to the bills of a 2- to 4-year lease on conventional workplace area with furnishings and utility prices.

Subsequent, take into account how spinning off a person or a crew to a distant location may impression your organization’s tradition. Assume by how your organization’s insurance policies apply to distant staff, whether or not they earn a living from home or in a co-working area, significantly within the areas of confidential data and use of firm tools.

Talk about how productiveness might be measured. With out efficiency requirements in place, your managers gained’t be capable of choose whether or not work is assembly requirements. Will you count on your staff to work sure hours within the co-working area, or is it sufficient that they’re accessible for conferences and while you name?

Obscure expectations imply you may need bother letting an worker go if deadlines are repeatedly missed or work product isn’t delivered.

Lastly, you’ll want to contemplate the efficiency historical past and the tasks of the staff who’re submitting the requests. Are they self-sufficient staff who can work independently and nonetheless be priceless contributors to the corporate? Or, do they require a major quantity of oversight and steering from their supervisor? If it’s the latter, it’s possible you’ll be setting them up for failure when you enable them to work from a co-working area.

Go to the co-working area 

It’s additionally very important that you simply go to the co-working area in individual at varied occasions of the day to evaluate the ambiance for your self. Issues to search for embody:

  • Does the workplace area meet your organization’s requirements for security and safety? Are the bogs and communal kitchen areas clear? Is the constructing in satisfactory restore? Are electrical cords from computer systems strung throughout walkways?
  • What’s the noise stage? Is there a celebration happening each time you drop in? Or, is it comparatively quiet and the ambiance skilled?
  • If staff might be working at night time, is there satisfactory mild exterior the constructing and within the car parking zone? Is the entrance door locked after a sure time?
  • Are alcoholic drinks accessible? If sure, is that in opposition to your organization’s insurance policies?
  • Does the co-working area have written insurance policies that defend customers from sexual harassment, discrimination and different areas of habits you defend in your common workplace?

In the event you and your staff already work in several buildings or separate cities, a co-working association might not create a lot change. For extra conventional firms, sharing a co-working area with different firms might require new insurance policies to guard confidential data or further coaching for leaders used to managing staff who sit proper exterior their workplace.

It might be time for firms to get snug with co-working workplaces. In line with the U.S. Division of Labor, 35 p.c of staff in skilled occupations labored from residence in 2015. Co-working areas might nicely supply firms the camaraderie their distant desk jockeys want with out the long-term expense of conventional workplace area.

Discover extra methods to encourage and encourage your staff by downloading our free e-book, The best way to Develop a High-notch Workforce That Will Speed up Your Enterprise.