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Can Co-Working Spaces Help Your Business Become More Productive? Co-working culture is establishing itself as a key component of modern business models.

By Steve Mayne

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Major companies such as HSBC embrace the concept. Both Instagram and Uber started life using the concept. So what could co-working spaces do for your company?

Save you money on office costs and attract talent

Co-working is increasingly becoming the new normal– something fuelled by the fact that for many businesses, it makes economic sense. It is no surprise that the Global Co-working Unconference Conference predicts that the current 14,411 co-working spaces across the globe will increase to over 30,000 in 2022.

New businesses across the UAE are embracing co-working spaces, for several key reasons:

  • Lower startup costs
  • Inclusive office rates
  • Flexibility when it comes to growth and contracts

Furthermore, there's the potential of attracting and retaining talent with co-working spaces being a significant perk for prospective employees. You are also likely to save money, or generate more money, thanks to happier and more productive team members.

Create flexibility without the distractions of home

Research from the UK suggests that as many as 92% of young workers aged 18-24 feel they work best outside of the home. In a world where companies are trying to cut costs via flexible working, this data suggests that co-working spaces have a real edge versus home working.

There are many reasons why working from home can negatively affect performance. Fundamentally, remaining in the home makes it difficult to separate your private life from work. It also takes a lot of self-discipline since there are many distractions.

Basing yourself at a co-working space allows you the flexibility of being out of the office, without giving you any of the usual distractions encountered when working from home.

On another level, there are also sociological and psychological benefits to co-working such as avoiding feelings of isolation at home, which can lead to lack of motivation. By offering your team members a co-working culture, you can enhance the level of employer-employee trust.

This can have a surprisingly powerful impact on the success of your company. After all, by offering a co-working environment to your staff, you're telling them that you trust them to know what they need in order to work with maximum efficiency and creativity.

Help small teams network and grow

Co-working has the power to help you create valuable relationships with other SME owners or freelancers, supporting a diverse range of collaborative opportunities. Every day delivers the chance to meet new contacts, creating relationships that simply wouldn't exist if you were working in a private office.

Similarly, many co-working spaces organise networking events or meet-ups, which can help small teams feel part of something bigger. The unique energy of a well-designed co-working space can be a priceless way to inspire creativity, come up with innovative ideas, and create pathways that can boost your company's growth.

One of my key beliefs is the positive influence that we can all have on each other – something leveraged by a good co-working culture. This ethos is shared by Kevin Systrom, one of Instagram's co-founders,Systrom says that, 'It's wonderful when you pair entrepreneurs together because they can share experiences and in some ways push each other to build better products going forward.'

This is a great quote that explains the power of co-working – but it's applicable to everyone, including freelancers, startup founders, and global business leaders.

Meet the work culture expectations of Generation Z

Younger workers are growing-up expecting increasingly flexible working environments. Generation Z, with workers aged 16-24 is intuitively aligned with co-working.

Research in 2018 by workplace analysts Peldon Rose reported that 65% of workers in the UK aged 18-24 feel that a fun working environment is vital for a successful company culture. That's compared to only 22% of those aged over 55.

What you need to know about Generation Z and co-working culture:

  • 65% of Gen Z feel a fun work environment is important to company culture
  • 81% feel social and communal zones are important at work
  • 60% think that listening to music at work is helpful
  • Gen Z embraces a diverse working environment

Follow up research also found that that 95% of UK workers across all ages feel that their working environment is important for wellbeing and mental health. This is something likely to be positively affected by co-working spaces.

Working together

Companies with creative notions of what office culture should look like, such as Google and Facebook, have created a new world. And it's wise to evolve if you're planning on attracting a new wave of talent.

Co-working culture is establishing itself as a key component of modern business models. There is a strong possibility that your startup or SME may benefit from using the strategy to save money, boost growth, increase creativity, and cultivate success in a rapidly evolving world.

Related: A New Wave To Catch: Workplace Arrangements In The MENA In 2018

Steve Mayne

Founder and Managing Partner of Creative Zone

Steve Mayne is the founder and Managing Partner of Creative Zone, a Dubai-based company formation firm established in 2010. With expertise in company formation and workspace solutions, he has provided advice and support to numerous startups and incubation centres. He also brings more than 26 years of experience in sales, management, business consultancy, corporate leadership and entrepreneurship. Steve holds an MBA from Charles Sturt University, Australia.

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