With more than 19,000 coworking spaces across the globe, coworking has become a new normal for the worldwide workforce.
How do employees feel about working in a shared office space, though?
Overall, employees are happy in their coworking offices: In a survey of 501 coworking employees across the U.S., Clutch found that 77% are satisfied with working in a coworking space.
Just 11% of coworking employees are dissatisfied with their shared office space, while 12% are neither satisfied nor dissatisfied.
Coworking provides both tangible and intangible benefits — from snacks and social events to flexibility and convenience.
5 Benefits of Coworking Spaces
- In-office perks such as coffee, snacks, social events, and games (94%)
- Convenient location (57%)
- Opportunity to interact with other businesses (55%)
- Increased flexibility (53%)
- Sense of community (51%)
1. In-Office Perks and Events
The general stereotype of a coworking space is that it’s not only a place for millennials to get work done but also to play games, drink beer, and socialize.
Many of those stereotypes are true. The majority (94%) of coworking spaces include perks beyond workspaces.
Breaking it down, the majority of coworking spaces offer:
- Coffee and tea (71%)
- Snacks/meals (56%)
- Networking/social events (45%)
- Sit-stand desks (39%)
- “Fun” elements such as games (30%)
- Gyms/exercise facilities (26%)
- Pet-friendly amenities (26%)
People increasingly want a “cool” office space with amenities beyond simply a place to work. Many businesses in a traditional office space don’t have the resources for these amenities, though.
For example, imagine a small business with 15 people that signs a lease for a traditional office space. After the moving costs and other overhead costs such as utilities, there may not be more funds for the “fun” aspects of an office, such as drinks and food, games, or social events. These simple perks the company can’t offer may reduce employee morale in their desire for a “fun” office space.
In a coworking space, the same company has the necessary workspace but also has access to amenities it may not otherwise be able to afford. Its employees enjoy the free refreshments, social events, and games the coworking space offers, and the company’s culture and morale increases.
The perks most coworking spaces provide can lead to happy workers.
2. Convenient Locations
People don’t always have to travel into the city to get to their coworking spaces. Coworking spaces can be found in rural and suburban areas in addition to urban areas. This reduces the stress of commutes and makes it easy for employees to get to their office.
More than half of coworking employees (57%) say their coworking office is in a convenient location.
A convenient location is important to people. According to another Clutch survey, 49% of employees say that being near their home is the most important factor of an office location, more important than restaurants, coffee shops, parks, and retailers combined.
If a coworking space isn’t near employees’ homes, it can still be convenient for employees if it’s near public transportation stops or major roads.
Next to in-office perks, a convenient location is the most common benefit of coworking spaces.
3. Ability to Interact With Other Businesses and Employees
Businesses take advantage of working near other companies in coworking spaces.
About 55% of coworking employees say they have networked with other businesses and people in their coworking space.
Many businesses in coworking spaces are small or new. Networking with other businesses — both in similar and different industries — can help a business get off the ground.
For example, a business that sells discounted theater tickets to consumers might need help building its website. Luckily, a web designer works in its coworking space and can help. In exchange, the ticket company’s owner might use her digital marketing skills to advise the web design company on its social media strategy.
In a traditional office space, workers are limited to interacting with their colleagues. At a coworking space, on the other hand, workers can interact with people from other companies. This can grow their skills and knowledge and even better their own business.
Coworking can lead to important professional connections.
4. Increased Flexibility
A traditional office space makes sense for companies that are stable in size. For a changing or growing business, however, a coworking space’s varied office spaces and layouts can offer necessary flexibility.
Fifty-three percent (53%) of employees say flexibility is a key benefit of their coworking space.
A three-person company may sign up for three cubicles in a coworking space. But one year later, the business has grown to 15 people and needs more space for collaboration and privacy than before. It can switch offices in its coworking space more easily and efficiently than if it signed a long-term lease at a traditional office space, where it is likely stuck for several years.
Coworking spaces provide more flexibility than a traditional office for both businesses and employees.
5. Sense of Community
Coworking helps employees feel like they belong somewhere, which can increase the strength of their work and overall morale at their company.
Just over half of coworking employees (51%) say coworking spaces provide them with a sense of community.
Remote working can lead to employees feeling left out and isolated. According to Buffer, 21% of employees say loneliness is their biggest struggle with remote working. Coworking can change this.
In addition to building professional connections, coworking gives people a feeling of belonging to a wider community. For example, a remote worker may be the only employee at his company in a certain city. However, a coworking space can help him feel like he still has colleagues to interact and socialize with.
Being around others makes people healthier and happier. In fact, people’s brains tend to function better when they regularly interact with others. This helps people be more productive.
Coworking spaces give people somewhere to not only work and grow professionally but to also feel welcome and included.
Coworking Spaces Give Employees More Than Just a Place to Work
More than three-fourths of coworking employees are satisfied with their coworking space overall.
Coworking spaces offer many tangible perks such as in-house coffee, snacks, social events, and games. They also offer intangible benefits such as increased flexibility and a sense of community.
Coworking spaces will continue to be part of the modern working world and provide benefits many traditional offices are missing.