Oct 28th 2022
The Impact of Coworking Spaces on Employee Engagement
Coworking spaces reached their peak in popularity a few years back. The pandemic made it hard for people to work in coworking spaces but now that we are slowly getting back on our feet, these spaces are getting more filled with remote workers than ever.
Statista numbers show that, in the US, the number of people working in coworking spaces grew from 542,000 in 2017 to 1.08 million in 2022. This goes to show that the interest in working in a dedicated space surrounded by other professionals is far from going away.
Estimates put this market value at $26 billion at the moment, a number that grows as remote workers and companies realise the value of this approach.
If you are a business owner or manager, this is a great opportunity for you. On one hand, you’ll be saving a fortune on office space and expenses. On the other hand, you’ll boost the team’s engagement by offering them this opportunity.
What are coworking spaces?
Coworking spaces are the modern version of traditional offices where people from different branches and companies go to work. Many of these spaces offer amenities and perks to engage and motivate the people that work there.
If you want to know what a standard coworking space looks like, envision a big object filled with people who are working for different organisations and businesses. Most coworking spaces have at least a few rooms where people can meet, use the computer, or even exercise and enjoy their break by using different amenities.
Before coworking spaces, remote workers who wanted to leave their homes used cafes and worked outdoors. Coworking spaces revolutionised remote work and offered people a collaborative, flexible ambiance combined with the opportunity to socialise.
Everyone can benefit from coworking spaces, including employees. It’s not just the remote worker or startup team that gathers in these spaces to work on their projects. Companies can cut down on expenses, too. As a matter of fact, renting a coworking space can save a business up to 70% on costs compared to using a traditional office space!
By giving your employees the opportunity to work in a space dedicated to their productivity, you’re boosting their engagement. In this article, you’ll learn exactly why it is beneficial to offer coworking spaces to your employees.
But first, let’s get through some actionable tips for offering this benefit.
Tips for offering coworking spaces to engage your employees
Doing a short search on Google to find coworking spaces and telling your team ‘you can go here’ is not very productive. You can’t expect them to be excited about it or invest in it just because you told them it’s an option.
If you want to use coworking spaces to engage your employees, you need to do it right. Here are some tips for this:
1. Keep the employee performance on track with reviews
Many businesses decide to switch to coworking spaces to save money. This is a smart move, but only if you handle it well. You can’t just send people to coworking spaces and expect them to do marvellous work without your management or performance tracking.
Before you add coworking to your benefits package, plan for how you’ll track and review your remote team’s performance. They won’t be in the office, so you’ll need to send them reviews to motivate and guide them. You can use the employee performance review template by Leapsome for this. It’s easily customisable and will give your team the motivational push and guidance they need.
2. Add the coworking spaces to your benefits package
Coworking space research shows that 68% of people that use such spaces to work can better concentrate in these spaces than they can at home. While adding the payment for these spaces in your benefits plan can seem like an investment, this makes it more than worth it.
Perkbox, a top-ranked tool for creating benefits packages ranks practical ways to work to the list of activities for employee engagement. Coworking is surely a practical way to work, especially since it’s shown such great results in the past – and it still does.
After a bit of research online, you’ll learn that the top talent is highly attracted to coworking places. If you add this to your perks program, remote workers will be able to get out of their homes, meet new people, and work in an environment that is specially tailored to help them be more productive.
If you want your business to compete with others and get the best talent, your perks program needs to be perfect. Offering supplemental perks like stipends for coworking is ideal if you have a hybrid or remote team.
3. Cover their travel expenses
There are over 6200 coworking spaces in the US at the moment and this is the country with the most such spaces. By 2024, it’s projected that the number of coworking spaces in the world will grow to around 41,975.
While the number of coworking spaces is growing, chances are many of your remote employees won’t be based near a coworking space. They’d have to commute there, which costs money.
If you want to encourage your remote workers to use a coworking space that will boost their engagement and productivity, you need to consider adding this to your list of benefits, too. Make sure to create a travel policy that will cover such expenses for your team.
TravelPerk, a business travel management platform used by thousands of businesses has a customizable travel policy template to get you started. Managing travel and expenses is very simple with this tool in your arsenal.
How coworking spaces can impact the performance of your employees
The shortlist above should tell you how to introduce coworking spaces and entice your team to try out this way of work. Now that you know that, it’s time to get to the benefits of coworking spaces and how they boost employee engagement.
Coworking spaces remove the distractions
People working at home are surrounded by distractions. When they go to a space dedicated to work, there’s no TV in the background. There are no kids running around or family members chatting the person up when they’re trying to work.
Statistics show that nearly 56% of professionals find it very hard to avoid distractions when they work from home. Distractions are a motivation-killer, and removing them from the equation will make your employees more engaged.
Coworking spaces offer a great deal of flexibility
On one hand, a coworking space will remove distractions and allow the employee to get out of their home and work surrounded by other professionals. On the other hand, it still maintains that level of flexibility that the employee enjoys by not having to work in-office.
Coworking spaces are very flexible and relaxing because they remove the stress from office work. There’s no pressure on the employee knowing that the boss is around. There are no colleagues that will distract the employee.
The person that works in a coworking space can complete tasks according to their own schedule, just like they would do at home. They won’t have to leave work at the same time or rush to get to work on schedule.
As a matter of fact, there’s no reason why an employee couldn’t choose where to work on any given day. They can go to a coworking space if they are tired from working at home or vice versa. This is a form of hybrid work, only they’ll be going to a coworking space instead of a traditional office – and they’ll have more freedom to decide where to work.
According to research by Gallup, workers with flexible arrangements are 43% less likely to experience burnout. These employees are more engaged.
Coworking spaces accommodate the needs of the employee
Let’s face it – a home office is not exactly the ideal work environment, no matter how hard one tries to equip it with a desk, a chair, etc. Coworking spaces, on the other hand, are designed to function as offices and accommodate workers.
If you enter a coworking space, you can see multiple workstation types, all sorts of equipment, dedicated desks, designated quiet areas, collaborative working areas, conference rooms, and more.
The employee will have everything they need at their disposal in such spaces. When they need to work in a team, the meeting room is right there. When they want to rest a bit, they can go to a quiet area. That will make them more engaged to do their work.
Socialisation at coworking spaces sparks engagement
One of the reasons why people aren’t engaged when working from home is a lack of socialisation. Coworking spaces have quiet sections where the employee can focus on the work they have. But, they also have areas designed to promote socialisation. When a person gets tired of working, they can take a much-needed break in the company of others.
Now that the quarantine is over, there’s no reason for your remote team to limit themselves to socialising with peers visually. If they work in coworking spaces, they can get the flexibility they need plus the perks of having people around.
Employees enjoy coworking spaces because these serve as a benefit for fighting isolation and loneliness, the two things that trouble many remote workers worldwide.
Don’t miss out on this incredible employee perk!
This is not the thing to be saving money on. Don’t even hesitate to give your team the opportunity and means to work in coworking spaces. Their increase in engagement means success for your business, not to mention that this type of perk can make your company more desirable to the top talent in the field.
Nadica Metuleva is a freelance writer who’s passionate about creating quality, original content. She holds a Master’s degree in English teaching and a Bachelor’s degree in translation. With 8 years of experience in the freelance writing industry, Nadica has become proficient in creating content that captivates the audience, drives growth, and educates. You can find her on LinkedIn.