The Reasons for the Popularity of Shared Office Spaces
Have you been considering a shared office space? Maybe you’re a business owner or a freelancer or even a student and you’re trying to figure out why this new trend seems to be really taking off. Maybe you’re wondering if it’s something that you should be getting into too. Well, if you’re trying to figure out why so many people are turning their attention to shared office spaces you’re definitely going to take a look at this.
#1 Who Needs All That Space?
When you rent or buy a whole storefront or a physical location of any kind you are getting quite a large area, right? You get hundreds if not thousands of square feet (depending on the type of facility you get). But does your business actually need that much space? Chances are that you don’t. You could probably get the job done in just a small amount of space. Or you could get it done only having a specific physical location once in a while. A lot of people feel this way and it’s one of the most popular reasons that people are starting to forego the traditional office setup and opt for a shared space instead.
#2 Cutting Down Costs
Think again about that huge office space or physical location that you may have been planning to get. It probably cost quite a bit, right? You would have to rent it out by the month or you have to buy it outright and either way it’s a whole lot of money that you probably don’t want to spend. Most people with a business also don’t want to spend that kind of money. So, a shared office space helps them out. Sure, you have to pay for use of the space, but since you’re only using it on an infrequent basis and you’re not using much space you don’t pay nearly as much.
#3 Spending Time With People
If you’re a freelancer you probably spend a whole lot of time sitting in your own home, entirely alone. You might have conference calls once in a while or even go to lunch meetings (or just get out of the house somehow) but you’re spending most of your time alone. Working in a shared office space allows you to spend time around other people, whether they work with you or they work entirely separate. You don’t even necessarily have to talk to other people to get the benefits of just being around them.
#4 Skipping the Mundane
When you have your own office space or your own physical location you’re responsible for things like cleaning and fixing the lights or anything else that might go wrong. Or at least, you’re responsible for hiring someone to get it taken care of. With a shared office space you don’t have to worry about that. Someone else is in charge of the space and if there’s any kind of problem you just contact them and let them handle it. Everything from changing light bulbs to mowing the lawn out front is taken care of.
#5 Networking with New People
Remember all those people who are nearby that we talked about? Well, each and every one of them is a potential contact and a potential link to that next job. You’ll have the opportunity to reach out to each of them and to find out more about their business even as they’re finding out more about yours. That’s definitely going to give you a whole lot more potential for expansion and growth. Whether you’re working freelance or you’re planning on building up to a physical location of your own in the future, you’re going to have people to talk to about your plans and what you can offer.
#6 Meeting with Clients
It’s not just about having a spot to work and getting out of your house. For some people, a shared office space is actually the perfect place to meet with clients and potential clients. Think about it, depending on the type of business that you’re running do you really want to meet at a coffee shop? Or your house? With shared office space you can get anything from a desk to work at on your own to a conference space where you can hold meetings (either in person or virtual) and have a truly professional look to your business.
#7 Shortening the Commitment
How long was the lease you looked at on that physical location? How long was the mortgage going to take to pay off? It was probably a long time, right? You may have had to sign a three or even a five year lease or you could have been paying a mortgage for the next 30 years, just like your house. With a shared office space you generally sign an agreement for a month at a time, or you could even walk in when you need to and rent a space for a couple hours or even just a couple days. The flexibility definitely helps you get the space you need, when you need it, no more.
#8 Building Yourself Up
Are you just getting started? If you are then you may have quickly outgrown your basement but you’re not quite ready to jump into a large physical location. Still, you want to have a professional space for yourself and your employees to work. You want to have a way to host meetings and collaborate on ideas without doing everything online. A shared space can definitely help you while you’re in that between stage from being a ‘hobby’ to being a business capable of supporting its own space and a whole lot more.
#9 Fitting in the City
Who wants to be cooped up in an office building on the outskirts of town all day? With a shared office space you’re generally going to be right in the heart of the action and people love that idea. You’re right downtown or in the city center and that lets you be part of everything that’s happening. When lunchtime rolls around you can walk down the street to your favorite café or you can head to a meeting with a corporate client in no time. It all balances together and makes sure you can be where your business needs to be or even just where you want to be, at all times.
#10 Keeping Things New
Younger generations are actually far more likely to want to be remote workers because they tend to really dislike the traditional style of offices and the traditional workplace. What this means is they don’t necessarily want to work the standard hours or come in to an office every day. Using this type of space allows them the freedom to break out of the corporate mold while still maintaining the level of professionalism that’s needed. New experiences, new ways of interacting with people and new methods of conducting business make these spaces even more popular amongst those young generations.
#11 Separating Business and Pleasure
Have you ever tried working from home and found that it can get distracting? A lot of people do. They have a big project to finish for work, but the laundry needs to be done or the dishes or a million other things. This is one of the big reasons that bosses don’t like their employees to be remote workers, but there are so many benefits to the concept. So, people decide to get out to a shared space. It allows them to distance themselves from the normal, everyday things that need to be done at home, but also to stay away from the traditional work environment.
#12 Styling it Up
If you’ve ever looked at some of the shared office spaces that are going up you’ll see why they’re so popular. One of the big reasons is that they look amazing. Office spaces don’t need to be cold and detached anymore. They don’t need to be filled with cubicles or traditional offices. Rather, they can be really unique, stylish and a whole lot of fun. These types of office spaces are generally a lot more casual and comfortable than what you would find in your normal office and that helps add to the appeal. You get a great atmosphere to work in, but you’re not sacrificing the other features that you want in an office.
#13 Spacing You Need
If you don’t know what type of spacing you’re going to need this month versus next month or if you know that you’re going to need a full office of your own or just a simple desk you can actually rent exactly what you want and need. You can choose the size of the space that you’re looking for and that makes it a whole lot easier for you to get things done. People who want something small can get it and people who want something a little larger can get that too. You still get flexibility, even though you’re saving on so much else.
#14 Choosing Your Hours
When you rent or buy a space you generally get freedom to work whenever you want, because it’s all yours, but you’re paying a lot for that privilege. When you’re working from home it might be harder to work in the evening or at night, especially if you have a family. You also may have to schedule your clients around things happening in the neighborhood or keeping your neighbors happy. With a shared space you get to set up hours when you want, because a lot of them are open 24/7. That gives you more flexibility to work when it’s convenient for you.
#15 Cutting Out the Boss
Okay, so you may be a remote worker who still has a boss out there somewhere, but your boss is no longer going to be breathing down your neck to see if you finished that project, right? If you’re at a remote desk and your boss can only send you emails it’s definitely going to be a whole lot less stress than what you would get in a traditional office setting. Who isn’t going to be a whole lot happier with that kind of arrangement?
#16 Moving All Around
Who wants to sit in the same seat every single day, looking at the same walls and talking to the same people? With these types of workspaces you don’t have to. You can move around every single day if you want to. You can even move around several times a day. That’s definitely going to make things more interesting for you and it’s going to help you get to know different people each day too. No more single cubicle for you. You’re going to be expanding your horizons.
#17 Decreasing Your Interruptions
When you’re working at home, with children or a spouse or a roommate or anyone else wandering around you find yourself distracted by people talking or wanting you to come help them with something all the time. When you’re working in a traditional office setting you have the same problem, but with your boss and coworkers. When you’re working in this type of space you’re going to have the ability to talk to people, but you’re not going to have to. That means you have fewer disruptions and interruptions when you’re trying to get your work done. You can focus as hard as you want (or need) to.
When it comes to the popularity of shared office spaces we only have to look at the way it really improves the capabilities of anyone, in any business, to see why they’re taking off. People absolutely love the idea of getting out of the traditional mindset and the traditional business setting. Shared spaces definitely allow the freedom for just that. Whether you need something for a few hours, or you’re going to be renting out space for a few months, you’ll have plenty of options, flexibility and a whole lot more. What could be better than that?
SOMAcentral is a leading coworking space with two shared working spaces in San Francisco. SOMAcentral has been home to hot startups such as Instagram, Mashable, Etsy, TaskRabbit, Grammarly, Twilio, AngelList, Good Eggs, Instacart, Playfish, Getty Images, and countless others. To learn more about our spaces, contact us today!