Are you an entrepreneur or small to medium sized business owner? Then there is a good chance that you are running your business from your home or a nearby coffee shop. A survey conducted by onecom, a Business Telecoms provider, found that four out of five SMEs are being run from home. As much as the working from home trend has taken off since the Covid-19 pandemic, it is not always the preferred and most efficient choice.
There can be many challenges of remote working. Many find it hard to concentrate, whether that’s down to other family members, household pets or the TV. On the other hand, those with no family at home can find remote working extremely lonely. A study, conducted by GoCo, an HR software platform, found that 37% of remote workers do not feel connected to their peers. This can have a negative effect on the mental health and happiness of employees.
However, if all remote workers were told they would be expected back in the office full time, they would not be happy either. According to The Guardian, more than a third of UK remote workers would consider quitting if they were forced to return to the office full time.
So, what is the solution? We believe it is shared workspaces!
According to Workspace Group, a commercial landlord, occupancy rates at shared workspaces are at pre-pandemic levels and are continuing to rise. This can be accredited to the fact that working from co-working spaces can mitigate challenges that many SMEs face.
With that in mind, we thought we would take a look at the top benefits of shared workspaces for SMEs.
1. Shared workspaces increase flexibility
Flexibility is essential for SMEs as your business is often evolving and growing resulting in minimal consistency. Shared workspaces allow you to rent by the desk meaning that you can easily re-evaluate and adapt when your business changes.
Using a shared workspace will also give your employees the opportunity to conduct hybrid working. The Covid-19 pandemic proved to a lot of companies that their staff could effectively work from home. However, Karl Breeze, CEO at Matrix Booking, has reported that ‘88% of workers genuinely crave a hybrid dynamic’. By proving a workspace and hybrid work model, you will keep your employees happy.
2. Shared workspaces allow for networking
Running a business can be lonely at times, especially depending on the number of staff you have. Shared workspaces allow you to work alongside other people, giving you the opportunity to connect and learn from other businesses. Devon County Council surveyed people who regularly use co-working spaces. Their research found that 82% said that co-working spaces helped them to expand their professional networks.
3. Shared workspaces can help work-life balance
Some people like to keep their work lives and home lives separate. Working from home can confuse these boundaries and therefore some workers often find it hard to switch off. Research conducted by Business in the Community, The Prince’s Responsible Business Network, found that 55% of remote workers struggle to get away from work at the end of the day and feel pressured to answer calls and respond to emails. By providing a hybrid work model and shared office space, it allows workers to break up their week and commute to the office as regularly as they please. They may not feel as trapped and will therefore increase their happiness.
4. Shared workspaces can increase productivity
This post-pandemic, hybrid way of working certainly seems here to stay. In fact, according to the BBC, fifty of the biggest employers in the UK have no intentions of returning their staff to the office full time.
A study, conducted by People Management, the UK’s leading HR media brand, has found that 51% of remote workers feel more productive when working from home, leaving the other 49% feeling less productive. By providing employees with an office space and hybrid working situation, it allows them to decide the best way for them to work, therefore increasing productivity.
5. Shared workspaces have great amenities
Shared workspaces do not only offer desk space. Gone are the days of boring, dingey offices.
In today’s hybrid working day and age, most shared workspaces are well-equipped and designed with comfort in mind. With 70% of the population preferring to work from home, a nice furnished office is essential for motivating your staff to commute in and keeping a calm and more productive atmosphere.
The majority of shared workspaces will now offer amenities including hot desking, standing desks, free refreshments and many more. By using shared workspaces, you will not need to provide this for your employees as it is all organised for you.
6. Shared workspaces are quick and easy to move into
Setting up an office requires a lot of time and effort. As the owner of a business, you are unlikely to have a lot of time to do this. Working from a shared workspace means that you will not need to think about creating a nice office environment or related admin such as bills and cleaning services. This will give you more time to focus on your business and staff.
7. Shared workspaces are cost-effective
The cost of shared workspaces are always going to be cheaper than renting a private office. This is because you are sharing the cost of rent, furnishings, internet and many other utilities with other businesses.
As an SME, you are unlikely to have a high budget, especially for things that do not directly help your business. Shared workspaces allow you to rent office spaces, often in prime locations, for less than it would cost to lease and furnish a private office.
As you can see, there are many benefits of shared workspaces for SMEs. However, we understand that converting from working from home to a shared workspace requires time, effort and money. This is where Newable can help.
How we can help
With 25 years of experience, NewFlex have helped landlords fill and manage their buildings giving SMEs quality shared workspaces to run their business from.
With a range of branded shared workspaces located around the UK, there is an office suitable for every type of occupier.
If you are interested in learning more about shared workspaces and how they can benefit your business, visit our website.
We can also help you in other areas of your business. Whether it be Money, Advice or Workspace, Newable provides the essential resources businesses need to take the next step.
Find out more about how Newable can help you and your business.
Read our other blogs in this series:
Top 4 Challenges Facing SMEs
Top tips for SMEs on Expanding Globally
5 top tips to help make your business reach net zero
What does the rise in interest rate mean for SMEs?
Top 7 Benefits of Shared Workspaces for SMEs