Are coworking spaces the future?

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The nature of professional life has changed significantly in recent years. The global pandemic and string of lockdowns forced companies across the nation to adapt the working habits of their employees. This can include office-based working, home-based working, or a combination of both.

More and more businesses are embracing a hybrid working model. Commuting to the office five days a week might have once been the norm, but according to a survey conducted by Free Office Finder in February 2022, 64 per cent of their clients said they take part in hybrid working.

In addition to a hybrid working model, multiple corporations have made the decision to close their offices for good. Capita, for example, has shut down 49 out of 294 sites since the pandemic began. Lloyds Bank also plans to shut down 20 per cent of its offices within the next three years.

The shift in working habits has encouraged the use of coworking spaces across the nation. Here, we will explore the benefits of coworking spaces and consider some of the companies leading the way for this model of working within the UK.

The benefit of coworking spaces

Coworking spaces provide offices for individuals and companies that embrace alternative models of work. These offer all the expected amenities of standard offices and can be rented by corporations, full-time and part-time workers, and even freelancers within a number of sectors. Whether you’re wanting to hire your own office for a day, a month, or a year, there’s a coworking space out there for you.

The demand for coworking spaces has fluctuated throughout the pandemic. In 2020, for example, the use of these spaces decreased by 10–12 per centcompared to the previous year. Savills, however, has predicted that this will rise to 15 per cent by 2023 as companies are “unable to plan for a longer period and see the five-year lease as an eternity”.

Therefore, considering the reason explained by Savills, coworking office spaces are ideal for companies that do not have the security to pay for offices in the future. This is understandable as the pandemic cast a shadow of uncertainty over the economy and 61 per cent of small business owners experienced financial trouble during this time.

In addition to this, employees may use these spaces for their work. If offices are closed or open with restrictions, workers may be expected to work from home. This isn’t always an ideal option for people with children, for example, and sometimes a local café can be just as distracting.

Coworking companies leading the way

There are multiple companies throughout the nation that offer coworking spaces for professionals. In recent months, for example, Currys has closed its officesand chosen to utilise WeWork’s coworking spaces. Here are some other companies that are leading the way.

IWG London

First and foremost, IWG is a trailblazing success within the coworking sector. The company, which hosts more than 8 million customers globally, has over 120 locations around the world and works with a number of high-profile clients, from Disney to Spotify and Microsoft. In London alone, IWG accounts for 20 per cent of all coworking office spaces. Would you be interested in spending your working day here?

Cardiff Containers

The growing demand for coworking spaces is encouraging businesses to think creatively about office space, and Cardiff Containers is leading the way for innovative working environments. The three-story complex is mostly comprised of storage containers. These are sleek and modern alternatives for traditional offices and are fitted with a rear window and internal plywood walls.

As well as its aesthetic appeal, Cardiff Containers is equipped with electricity and all the normal office comforts any worker could need. The complex is aimed at a number of workers, from desk-based businesses to hands-on practitioners and freelancers within multiple fields, such as designers and musicians.

Spaces Glasgow

Spaces is one of the leading coworking companies in Scotland. There are three locations to choose from: Charing Cross, West George Street, and West Regent Street. All are equipped with offices and meeting rooms for individual workers or businesses looking for temporary and permanent residence. Spaces also offers networking events for its customers.

Coworking spaces may be the solution for freelance, at home, and hybrid workers have been looking for. Considering experts predict that the market will continue to grow in the coming years, we don’t expect coworking spaces to be going anywhere anytime soon.

Business Matters Magazine

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