Coworking and COVID-19: A Pivotal Role in the Transition Back to Work
1 August

Coworking and COVID-19: A Pivotal Role in the Transition Back to Work

As businesses and public services begin to open their doors again, many companies have been faced with new health and safety obstacles. While our desire to return to regular business is strong, the reality is that our workplace dynamics may never be the same “regular” again. There seems to be a new norm emerging – one that involves careful consideration for our work teams and communities as we attempt to arrive at the safest and most innovative solutions between pre- and post-pandemic business operations. Coworking spaces are poised to play a pivotal role in this transition back to work.

Navigating the Transition Back to Work

While the world awaits the development of a COVID-19 vaccine, most workspaces will be utilizing at least some form of modified workforce routine. For many, this includes continued distance working and time away from the office. For others, this could mean a return to the traditional workspace but with added safety measures like facemask and continual sanitizing requirements. No matter what the transition back to work looks like to your business circumstances, navigating them is certainly a break from all of our previously familiarized work routines and will bring with it a series of unknown obstacles.

“Tough choices will come up and a leader must be empowered to drive the effort across individual functions and businesses. Permanent change will also require exceptional change-management skills and constant pivots based on how well the effort is working over time,” explains organization consulting group, the McKinsey & Company Organization in their article, ‘Reimagining the Office and Work Life after COVID-19.’

Pivotal Role of Coworking Spaces During the Transition

Over the course of the past few months, one constant has remained true: those who best navigate the continual barrage of change required of them by this pandemic have been best situated to adapt and continue on. Though there has been no one tried and true way for businesses to achieve this transitional success, flexibility and adaptability have proven to be crucial pieces of the puzzle. In other words, those who continually monitor the changes and make adjustments as needed, have shown the best rate of successful navigation.

With so many demands and changes being placed on the global workforce, a large portion of career individuals have found themselves working remotely from their offices. The health and safety risks of regular office space functionality has become too great for many entrepreneurs, leading them to utilize video conferencing and other modern technology that allowed for distance working. For some, this has been a surprisingly successful switch. For others, it has proven to be more difficult than expected. That’s where coworking spaces have come in.

Coworking Spaces Become the Hybrid Choice

Millions of workers around the world have found themselves thrust into combining their home lives with their work lives as they carved out a space at home to continue their careers at a safe distance. In many ways, it’s brought about a major enlightenment that distance working is not only possible, but highly profitable and more productive as employees are afforded greater flexibility with their work/home schedules. It’s also brought with it a realization, however, that for many families, combining work and home isn’t always optimal, let alone possible.

For many reasons – children and family dynamics, dual schedules, available technology, available space – working from home can be more of a challenge than a blessing. Yet, at the same time, returning to a traditional office still carries with it a set of immense health risks that employees simply can’t take. This is why a flexible, hybrid choice like coworking, has been gaining momentum among entrepreneurs everywhere.

Why Coworking Is the Logical Choice for Employers

Coworking spaces have been providing a much needed “happy medium” for many employers and employees by offering simple, flexible solutions to those distance working obstacles. In many cases, coworking offices can give employers a chance to provide their employees with more convenient meeting places, smaller and safer conference rooms, critical technology, as well as a space to work that is primed for optimum productivity. Essentially, coworking spaces are able to provide everything a traditional office space can provide, but in a safer and more convenient location for those who are distance working.

In addition to the more obvious employee benefits, coworking spaces are becoming the logical choice during this transitional phase (and beyond) for a plethora of reasons. Their flexibility ensures they can fill whatever need your business may have – whether it’s simply a virtual office with phone and mail services, or office space memberships or conference and meeting room rentals for needed in-person activities – but that isn’t the only reason they are so appealing. Coworking spaces can offer a longer-term compromise that allows work team members the ability to work at their own pace, as well as providing a financial savings from no longer needing to maintain a single physical brick and mortar space yourself.

Shifting the Traditional Workplace Dynamic

By shifting the workplace dynamic from the more rigid constraints of years past to the more employee-centric post-pandemic business structures we’re experiencing today, many new ideals are emerging. We are seeing the benefits and pitfalls of distance working for a slew of business ventures that would have never considered it in the past, as well as finding immediate ways to adapt and thrive in this hybrid work society that has come to be the new “norm.”

In the midst of this workplace shift, coworking spaces have gone from being trendy and new, to becoming one of the most pivotal resources available to entrepreneurs of all walks of business. Through the wake of this global health crisis, coworking spaces have been providing essential solutions that are not only allowing for a successful transitional period but are now poised to completely change the way we operate business moving forward. Coworking is the new hybrid solution for businesses to emerge from this pandemic with a continually thriving workforce well into the future.

Meeting and Event Spaces: The Most Valuable Asset That Coworking Offers Entrepreneurs
15 February

Event and Meeting Room Rental: The Most Valuable Coworking Asset

Whether you’re a coworking veteran or you’re looking into joining a coworking community in the near future, the benefits of utilizing these communal spaces for your entrepreneurial endeavors are exponential. From decreasing your overhead to increasing your networking opportunities and everything in between, coworking spaces offer a plethora of plusses for businesses and individuals looking to grow their brand. There’s one element, however, that stands out as perhaps the most valuable asset a coworking space can offer: event space and meeting room rental.

The Meeting Room Rental Advantage

If you’ve ever wanted (or needed) to host a group event – be it a business meeting, training session for employees, or even a holiday event – you’ve likely encountered an issue with space. Even if you have access to sufficient square footage for your meeting or event, what kind of image will it leave your attendants with? Does your space convey professionalism and sleek sophistication? Is it equipped with the latest technology and modern conveniences? Is it going to give your clients the best impression of you or let your guests and employees know they are important to you? Is your location convenient to your attendants? Chances are, if you have a space at all, the answers are likely “No.”

Hosting Workshops and Other Networking Opportunities

Coworking spaces are quickly becoming an entrepreneur’s most valuable asset for this very reason. Not only do they offer affordable, professional workspaces, but they also offer amazing spaces for your larger meeting needs as well. Since maintaining an organized and sleek appearance during meetings can make or break your growth potential, it’s not hard to understand how the meeting room and event space rental trend is on the rise today.

These spaces are designed specifically with your business growth in mind. It allows a low-cost way for you to access all of your tech and space needs for client or employee meetings such as interactive whiteboards, reliable Wi-Fi, impressive views and even refreshments as well as a convenient location. Hosting a workshop to invite potential clients or employees to learn new tips or techniques or expand your networking opportunities are all excellent ways to utilize these impressive workspaces to your advantage.

Making the Most of Coworking Spaces and Meeting Room Rentals

Meeting room rentals are generally free for those with memberships to the respective coworking space associated with them, or available at highly reasonable rates for non-members. As a result, they are a popular way for businesses of all walks to host their meetings and events. It’s hard to ignore the cost benefits of a space which comes fully equipped with technology and amenities as well as a conveniently central location for all of your attendees to find.

Other benefits of meeting room rentals include a higher degree of privacy and luxury versus traditional office environments. This allows you to keep potentially sensitive issues more private by discussing them away from your office environment, as well as offering a highly polished area as the backdrop for critical presentations versus dated (and usually costlier) hotel meeting areas. The benefits of these spaces are countless, but one thing is for certain: meeting room rentals and event space rentals are among the most valuable assets of coworking spaces, making it easy to understand why they are so quickly gaining popularity.

Networking 101: How to Make the Most of Your Acquaintance Resources
1 February

Networking 101: How to Make the Most of Your Acquaintance Resources

By now, you’ve likely learned that your business associates and acquaintances can be an extremely valuable commodity for any entrepreneur. No matter what line of business you’re in, having meaningful connections with others in your field and your community can help your business ventures exponentially… but how?

The Key to Successful Networking

When it comes to networking, there’s one key concept to keep in mind: it’s always better to focus on having true connections with your associates than it is to branch out and stockpile a laundry list of networking individuals. In other words, as with most relationships, focus on the quality of your relationship versus the quantity.

While you may be tempted to get out there and spread your business card all over town and collect those of others with fervor, networking is more than simply meeting an individual in the same line of work. It’s also not about the “big” names in the business either. Networking takes – wait for it – work. Yes, you need to work at developing meaningful connections with your network or it won’t get you anywhere. So, how do you do that?

Stay Relevant with Meeting Room Functions

Developing and maintaining relevant networking connections is a multi-dimensional process that involves both getting to know your associates as well as making it known what kind of worth you bring to the table as well. Networking is about a mutual growth in which we offer help to others while gaining connections and opportunities simultaneously (but without expecting anything in return).

In order to achieve this, you’ll need to find ways to stay relevant and at the front of the minds of others in your area and field of interest. You want to be the one they think of when they have a need in your area. How do you do this? Offer your time and/or your services. Try hosting a training seminar or workshop to offer valuable advice or tips to help others. Don’t have the space to do this? Check out meeting room rentals or event spaces you can utilize regularly to impress your connections with both professional presentation as well as valuable information.

Be Helpful and Be Appreciative

“As you meet new people and build your network, keep in mind the value of each relationship. Reaching out to someone you’ve met once when you need something isn’t going to build trust – you need to offer your resources to open the door for mutual benefit down the road,” explains Forbes.com.

In other words, if you want to have truly valuable networking experience, you need to remember the road goes both ways. You need to invest your time and effort into developing meaningful relationships in order to get the most out of potential future opportunities from them. Take the time to get to know your acquaintances, invite them to relevant opportunities like workshops or conferences, and be sure to show them you appreciate their time and acquaintance. Invest your time and effort into building not just an expansive network, but a quality network that’s rich with solid potential.

How to Shop for a Coworking Space
1 December

How to Shop for a Coworking Space

If your current office is the corner coffee shop and you’re thinking of ways to improve your workspace without breaking your budget, you’ve likely considered trying a coworking space. You’re not alone. Coworking spaces are on the rise, and for good reason: they are flexible and affordable without compromising the necessities and functionality of a professional workspace. Beyond the practicalities behind them, let’s face it, coworking spaces are a lot more professional to present as your home base than your local barista.

Taking the leap and moving your business into a shared office environment has a multitude of benefits. Since most spaces today offer a wide range of amenities, space availability, and membership options, it’s easy to find a great space for you without breaking the bank. Imagine having access to flexible work hours, essential technology, and impressive spaces for those all-important client meetings and business conferences – without the high cost of a traditional brick-and-mortar lease. That is the appeal of the coworking space movement today.

Shopping for the Right Coworking Space

So, you’re sold on the idea of moving out of your local café and into a more professional workspace; how do you go about shopping for the right space? The best way you can find the perfect solution for your entrepreneurial needs is by taking stock of what those needs actually are. Before you can choose a space that works for you, you should have a good understanding of what it is you need from your space.

Take a look at your daily routines and make note of what items you use most and what items seem to be lacking. This will give you a good idea of the type of amenities you will want from a coworking space as well as help you figure out any potential problem areas. Keep in mind what hours you like to work and the frequency with which you meet with clients to determine the caliber of availability you will need from a communal meeting room or private work area.

Things to Consider

Once you have a good idea of what you need from your space, it’s time to consider any additional criteria that will optimize your work environment. These are things that will determine how well-suited a potential shared workspace is for you, such as its location or how well it fits within your budget. Some of these factors will be much more critical than others, so be sure to rank them accordingly when comparing them to what’s available in your area.

Give it a Try

If you think you’ve located a coworking space that’s perfect for you, but you’re hesitant to make the plunge, explore the membership options available. Many communal workspaces today offer fantastic trial offers and other flexible options that allow members to give things a try without any form of long-term commitment. Utilizing spaces that offer trial periods or month-to-month memberships can eliminate the financial anxiety of larger annual obligations by giving you the chance to walk away from them at any time if you find they don’t work with your needs or your budget.