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Lynette Hay: 9 reasons the coworking space is changing the way we work

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Business centres are becoming an emerging preference for a work location around the world as we emerge from the pandemic, and people seek more connection — and some separation from home — in a convenient and professionally outfitted coworking space.

When we were forced to work from home because of the endless COVID lockdowns, for many of us it seemed like a blessing in disguise. We could hold meetings in our trackies, put on a load of washing in between work calls and the daily commute to the office went from one hour to a few minutes.

But now, over a year later, that gloss has well and truly worn off. The reality is, we were working alone for hours with children and domestic distractions interrupting daily working life. We felt we could never have a break; and let’s not start about the fighting between siblings and the dog madly barking which always seemed to happen just as we were beginning an important work call.

For most of us, we crave the company of our colleagues and value a distinct separation from our work and home life. However, what has stuck with most people is the need to have work-life balance and the flexibility that comes from working close to home. How do we achieve this? The answer can be found in the growth of coworking business centres around the world, which provide office space, support and advisory services – and even a person to answer the phone when you are not there.

Why the coworking space is changing the world of work

Here are 9 reasons why we are changing the way we work.

  1. We want to be connected. The office of the future is not just about space. People want to be connected, enjoy a good coffee and take advantage of quality communal networking environments – while escaping the jungle of a city office. You can’t underestimate the value of face to face connections.
  2. We want to be closer to home. Businesses of all shapes and sizes are relocating out of the city centre to suburban locations. People are then closer to home and in a suburban area surrounded with good coffee shops and restaurants. People get greater community connections in the suburb of their choice. As a bonus, parking is usually both easy and free.
  3. Flexibility is key. When you experience success in business, expansion can bring its own risks. Most of us don’t want to be locked into a long-term lease and value the idea of month by month tenancy arrangements until the business has grown. Some prefer to hire an office on a casual basis in a coworking space, and to expand the size of that space as they grow, without having to move locations.
  4. Start-ups need help. With 70 percent of start up companies likely to fail on their first attempt, co-working business centres are a blessing. They provide an opportunity to access a low cost professional business environment while opening up networks and benefiting from business training and mentoring. A good environment can influence positive behaviour and experience. As well as a private office, the best hubs also offer on-site opportunities for business training, mentoring and advising. Experts are down the corridor, not kilometres away. Much better than working out of that spare room in your house!
  5. Better access to talent. When an employer is flexible they can access new talent by placing them in hubs at different locations which in turn, significantly reduces real-estate costs. New employees are more likely to take up offers if they can work near where they live, but still be in a professional environment.
  6. People want to separate work and home life. Women, and increasingly men, want to separate their business from home. Women are motivated to establish systems, plan for growth and proactively seek out useful business connections. Operating from an environment that delivers professional reception services, private office space, onsite advisory and networks and meeting rooms, gives women a one stop shop whether they are in the formative stages of a start-up or diversifying their services and markets.
  7. The growth of consultants. Sadly, the COVID pandemic led to many people in both the public and private sectors being made redundant. However, many took the opportunity to start their career afresh and use their years of experience in a new business venture. While creating a positive experience out of a negative one, who wants to do that alone and at home the whole time? A space with like minded people is a great opportunity to network, find someone to have a break with and run ideas by.
  8. Impress your clients. Most business hubs boast impressive meeting rooms, kitchens and share facilities where you can meet clients. It’s much more professional than meeting a client at your local coffee shop or home.
  9. Improve your work-life balance. When you are commuting back and forth from the office in peak hour, you are often time poor and stressed. You arrive home after work exhausted and this can impact negatively on relationships. Achieving a good work-life balance brings harmony and happiness.

Lynette Hay is the Chief Executive of the Adelaide Business Hub, which provides motivating workspaces in Port Adelaide and mentoring and training support to small businesses across metropolitan and rural South Australia.

 

 

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