Top Five Reasons To Move Your Business To A Coworking Space In 2021
Now you can Work From Anywhere, where will you choose?
2020 was the year of Working From Home, something many of us once dreamed of doing but that we have now learned epitomizes the phrase “be careful what you wish for”. Now, 2021 is heralding a new era for traditional office-based businesses. But forget the social isolation, boredom and mundane distractions of WFH; armed with our new knowledge and experience of remote working technology, we can enter the age of Working From Anywhere. Step forward, Coworking, your time has come…
1. Mitigate Financial Risk
Money, so the song tells us, makes the world go round, but there isn’t a lot of it to spare in business at the moment. Spiraling costs and plummeting earnings during the pandemic has meant companies spent a large part of 2020 doing emergency restructuring, cutting costs everywhere they could (including layoffs) in order to survive. As one of a typical company’s major expenditures, the cost of office rental needs to be both minimal and reliable going forward.
Coworking’s flexible cost structure allows businesses to manage costs and reduce long-term risk. Thanks to their all-inclusive rates, there are no unpleasant surprises at the end of each month, as office necessities such as water, electricity, communications systems and pantry essentials are all included. Contracts can be personalised for your specific business requirements, including use of office supplies and printing costs with flexible and often generous quota limits. The hiring of support staff such as receptionists, cleaning staff or IT support also becomes obsolete, as these duties are often provided by Coworking spaces themselves.
2. Increase Employee Satisfaction
There’s no denying the trauma and uncertainty that office workers have felt over the past 12 months. Businesses have folded in droves, and many of those that have survived have been forced to instigate heavy job cuts and wage reductions. No surprise that a recent study found a quarter of Hong Kong office workers are concerned about their future job security, and the majority want to see greater flexibility and empowerment from their employer beyond the pandemic.
Moving your business to a Coworking space is the perfect opportunity to kick-start a restructuring of your daily routines, from flexible office hours to off-site meetings. Coworking spaces can also provide you with the ability to offer your employees a first-rate office environment that you might otherwise not be able to afford right now, from relaxing break-out spaces and spacious meeting rooms to lifestyle perks such as premium coffee, tea and snacks, members’ yoga classes or community drinks. After all, increasing employee happiness is the best way of increasing employee productivity.
3. Protect Continuity Security
If last year has taught us anything, it is that you can never predict with any certainty what might happen in the future. Post-pandemic, a good Business Continuity Plan will have to include a provision for distributing your workforce between different physical locations, so that if one team is shut down, the rest can hold the fort. The concept of the traditional centralized office is over, with the Harvard Business Review calling Coworking an “exemplary model of what a more distributed network of workspaces could look like”.
Coworking allows you to divide your employees between different locations should it be necessary, either by running multiple workspaces themselves or by negotiating reciprocal arrangements with other independent office providers. As an additional bonus, the health and hygiene protocols that traditional offices have been rushing to introduce since last spring are embedded into the very fabric of Coworking, giving them a comforting level of experience and expertise.
4. Location Location Location
Landlords of prime Hong Kong office real estate may be slashing prices at the moment, but businesses are slashing their rent budgets at an even faster rate. The most affordable way of remaining in a centrally-located, buzzing, professional office district is by sharing that space with others. For some companies, maintaining that all-important address on their business card can be an important part of their reputation.
Coworking spaces located outside the CBDs also provide another opportunity to enhance employee satisfaction by allowing them to work closer to home, reducing commute times and boosting productivity. This was one of the many reasons quoted by global banking titan Standard Chartered for their recent decision to move a whopping 90% of their 85,000-strong workforce to Coworking by 2023.
5. Highlight Your Corporate Culture
One of the common concerns business owners have when it comes to moving to a shared office is that their company’s individuality will be lost, and their culture absorbed into that of its workspace. While this may once have been justified, today there is such a vast range of shared office spaces available, it is simply a matter of looking for somewhere that shares your ideas and values. From minimalist tech hubs to warm creative lounges, you can find a workspace that reflects your company – or even different styles of space to suit your different departments.
This trend for different styles of flexible workspaces shows how Coworking has evolved over the past few years. Gone are the days of a bright, generic space within which you were encouraged to do whatever you wanted. Today, the shared desks and secure private offices of Coworking are increasingly focused on hospitality, community and values, and they target themselves towards people and businesses who are in alignment with them.
In short, Coworking spaces are no longer the refuge of the self-employed or the cash-poor start-ups. They are, in every sense, the offices of the future. The style of the workspace you choose is the only tough decision you’ll need to make. Perhaps you are drawn to the premium luxury of The Executive Centre, or perhaps the community focus of The Hive is more your style. Maybe you are motivated by WeWork’s ambitious drive or maybe you prefer Banyan Workspace’s purpose-focused principles of sustainability and giving back. Whatever feels like the right fit for your business, make 2021 the year that you discover the security and support offered by flexible Coworking.