When you think of coworking spaces, you probably think of freelancers who pay a small fee to rent a seat at a desk shared with several other people. A quiet coworking space offers relief from the distraction of loud coffee shops and unpredictability of available electrical outlets.
While coworking spaces are utilized by freelancers and solopreneurs as a refuge from distraction, these spaces are also used by small to medium-sized businesses looking for ways to decrease their overhead and increase flexibility for their team.
Renting traditional office space is extremely expensive in major U.S. cities
In 2015, Marketwatch published calculations for the average cost per square foot for office space in 11 major U.S. cities. It shouldn’t be a surprise that New York and San Francisco turned out to be the most expensive at $74 and $65.16 per square foot respectively. Other high-priced cities include Chicago, Illinois at $35, Los Angeles, California at $33.51, and Miami, Florida at $33.15.
The average yearly cost to rent office space in those cities is shocking:
- New York: $14,800 per year per employee
- San Francisco: $13,032 per year per employee
- Chicago: $7,000 per year per employee
- Los Angeles: $ 6,702 per year per employee
- Miami: $6,630 per year per employee
If a small business in Miami has 10 employees, that business is paying about $66,300 per year for office space. That’s significant overhead that can be drastically reduced by opting for coworking space.
Coworking spaces save businesses money
A coworking space provides affordable office space to small businesses for a much lower cost than a traditional office. For example, you can get a private office in West Palm Beach accommodating up to eight team members for less than you’d pay for a traditional lease. Your monthly fee includes electricity and internet—two expenses that would normally cost you hundreds of dollars each month.
If you have remote employees in addition to your 8-person team, you can bring them into the conference room for periodic meetings when necessary. The money you save on office expenses could be used to invest in stocks, develop prototypes, hire top talent, or launch an aggressive marketing campaign. Moving to a coworking space when your business is in a large city is like getting free money.
Coworking spaces can create a greater sense of accountability
How comfortable are your employees in the office? Chances are, they’ve settled in and some may have become comfortable with being late or lounging around. While not all employees drop their sense of urgency when they get comfortable, many do.
A coworking space can have a positive effect on your team by giving people the impetus to show up on time, and stay focused on their work. Being surrounded by other working professionals, your team will be less likely to flop down in a bean bag chair while everyone else works hard.
Switching to a coworking space? Remember etiquette
If you’re considering switching your team to a coworking space, brush up on proper coworking etiquette. The environment might be a bit more casual than your old office, but that doesn’t mean anything goes. For example, make sure your team members don’t start networking to find new clients or sell your services. Encourage them to connect with other teams, but make sure they establish genuine connections first.
In your current office, your team members might be used to walking around and tapping each other on the shoulder when they need something, or just to say hello. It’s a good idea to avoid doing that with other people who share the working space. Some people, like programmers, need complete silence and zero interruptions to get their work done.
Taking phone calls is another issue that will come up. Business calls are unavoidable, but in an open workspace, you need to be aware that your call might be disruptive to people around you. When you’re renting a private office, don’t take calls out in shared areas. Encourage your team to use your private office to take all calls.
Additional perks of coworking spaces
Do you get frustrated having to hire a cleaning company to clean your office, or find a new coffee machine when yours breaks? Coworking spaces eliminate all of that. In fact, many spaces provide the coffee machine and free coffee.
While free coffee isn’t the biggest benefit to coworking, eliminating the small frustrations of running an office makes a big difference. You have better things to do than fuss over broken kitchen appliances. You have a business to run, and a coworking space might be the answer you’ve been looking for.