Shared Offices Are the Future - How to Make Them Work

For many of us, remote and hybrid working were alien concepts before the pandemic. Now the latest official figures show that 16% of British workers are fully remote, and a further 28% are hybrid workers. This shift away from the traditional office has caused many businesses to consider whether shared offices like coworking spaces could be the way forward.

What are coworking spaces, and what are their advantages? Let’s explore the answer and examine how acoustic pods for coworking spaces can take them to the next level.

What Are Coworking Spaces?

Coworking spaces are offices shared by employees of different companies and/or freelancers. They can trace their roots back to Berlin in the mid-nineties but are now firmly embedded in the mainstream. Coworking spaces in London, Birmingham, and Leeds, to name a few, are thriving and could be a great fit for your business.

It’s not just small businesses that are experiencing the benefits of coworking spaces. International heavyweights such as IBM and Microsoft have recognised their advantages and started to make strategic use of them.

Benefits of coworking spaces

There are several reasons why businesses should migrate to or simply utilize coworking spaces as part of the new normal:

  • Cost: It costs a lot to run an office. There are major overheads to pay each month, including utilities, internet, business rates, cleaning, supplies, and insurance. If your employees work remotely some or all of the time, you could find yourself paying for space that isn’t being fully utilized. The cost of hiring desks in a coworking space is generally much lower. So for smaller companies, migrating to coworking spaces could be a cost-effective alternative to a private office.
  • Flexibility: Coworking spaces allow businesses to be more agile. As the business grows, you can hire more desks to accommodate your new employees. In the future, if you need to scale back your operations, you have the flexibility to do so without being tied into lengthy and expensive commercial leases.
  • A new hybrid model: Coworking spaces could allow you to better meet the needs of employees looking to avoid a long commute to the office. By allowing them to work from coworking spaces near their home, you could hold onto and get the best out of your current employees. Offering this way of working to new recruits could allow your business to recruit the best talent from across the country and even the globe.
  • Increased productivity: The Harvard Business Review made an unexpected discovery about coworking spaces. They found that people thrived in this environment. They cited the lack of office politics and the flexibility of being able to access the office 24/7 as key benefits. At the same time, they still feel part of a community - something many remote workers miss.

Other benefits include still having a physical presence to meet clients and investors, which can help maintain your business's professional image. But along with the advantages, coworking spaces present a few disadvantages that you need to weigh up.

Disadvantages of coworking spaces

While many people love shared offices, here are some of the disadvantages they most commonly complain about:

  • Noise and distractions: When everyone is talking on the phone at once, or there are loud conversations going on, coworking spaces can become very distracting. Plus, just like in normal offices, it can be tough to stay focused if you get a chatty person at the next desk.
  • Lack of privacy: Have you ever phoned a call centre and found yourself engrossed in a conversation taking place in the background? It’s easy for coworking spaces to start to sound like that. That’s not the professional image most of us are trying to project.
  • Lack of support: If the Internet goes down in the middle of a crucial Zoom meeting, you might find IT support in coworking spaces lacking. This could cause issues if you’re up against a tight deadline and also does not give the best impression to your clients.

Getting the Best Out of Coworking Spaces

While there are drawbacks to coworking spaces, they are still a great option for lots of businesses. Here are some tips on how to make them work.

Choose carefully

Analyse the needs of your business carefully before deciding to move to a coworking space. Be very clear about what you need and what you cannot tolerate. Then find a coworking space that meets your criteria rather than choosing the first one that comes along.

Prioritise privacy

Realistically, every business needs a private space to take a phone call, hold a private meeting, or make a confidential conference call. One of the best solutions is to go into a privacy pod.

Privacy pods, or acoustic pods for coworking spaces, are self-contained soundproof booths. You can shut out the distractions of the coworking office and focus on the task at hand. It also means that your clients and colleagues can speak freely without worrying about being overheard. They’re also perfect when you just need some alone time to concentrate without distractions.

Many major companies, from Alibaba Group to Starbucks, are utilizing acoustic meeting pods in the UK and beyond. So when considering which coworking space is right for you, be sure to check out whether they already have soundproof pods in place.

Source Acoustic Pods for Coworking Spaces

Coworking spaces can save businesses money, boost productivity, and open up new, flexible ways of working. But their effectiveness will always be limited if they don’t provide privacy.

The solution is acoustic pods for coworking spaces from Soundbox Store. Our standalone units fit seamlessly into any office environment. Some options include:

  • Meeting pod, 3-4 person: Tackle projects as a larger team or take part in conference calls with colleagues and clients in quiet and comfort.

To learn more about how our soundproof pods can benefit your coworking space, call us on +44 (0) 20 4586 3800 or contact us online today.