What to expect from coworking spaces
Coworking spaces today are a far cry from the clinical, dimly lit office blocks of days past. While some companies might still opt for private office spaces, the effects of COVID have accelerated the use and desire for flexible workplaces overall. Pay-per-day hot seats, great locations, integrated coffee shops and gyms make them hard to resist for the small business owner.
Areaworks, a London-based coworking space provider, agrees, with Alex Witney, their Director of Sales and Marketing, sharing that she sees "wellbeing and work-life balance remaining a priority going forwards, with companies approaching us as they downsize their offices to accommodate for the flexibility their workforce have now become accustomed to.”
This means that your next workplace might just be in a coworking space (if you’re not in one already)! So, with this in mind, what can you expect from working in these locations?
You can mingle
The opportunity to chat with people beyond your company’s network is a top perk of coworking spaces. They house all walks of life from various professional backgrounds which make for interesting conversations. Also, Areaworks host (or will host - restrictions allowing) events for the whole building, making mingling that much easier!
Unfortunately for our desk neighbours, BrighterBox is the main culprit when it comes to the rise in noise levels (we take a lot of calls, sorry!). So if you get irked by the faintest suggestion of a phone ring, make sure headphones are part of your office equipment. Or, level up and book into a meeting room or sit in one of the more secluded areas available to you. Not ideal, I know, but businesses operate in different ways, so it’s best to prepare and adapt for this where possible.
When issues arise between two businesses in a coworking space, how are they resolved?
If it is a minor problem, like space-hogging, collaboration between the two parties and the coworking space team is encouraged. A straightforward talk between the three and practical solutions should be able to sort things out. If it is a serious offense, one that breaches the space’s policies and is a show of outright moral bankrupcy, then the incident should be filed with your company and offending party's, the coworking office, and potentially the police (depending on the severity). This really is worst-case scenario prep, and I’m sure that you’ll be in safe hands, but it’s good to keep it in mind!
Lunch stealers are equally as villainised
This one is a mainstay office rule. Eating someone’s lunch is one of the most downright despicable things a person can do - just don’t do it. And at a coworking space there really is no need to have sticky fingers over someone’s homemade spag bol - there’s more than likely to be freebie drinks and snacks like coffee, tea, and biscuits to sustain you daily or tons of food stalls and cafes nearby grab some lunch.
From snacking at your desk to donning jeans and a tee, coworking spaces are a laid-back, no-stress environment. There’s hardly a suit in sight and people can work more formally at their desks, or casually on sofas and armchairs throughout the day. It’s definitely a welcomed change of pace to work in this type of location.
“The very layout of co-working properties mean that in addition to their formal office space, teams are benefiting from casual break out areas, giving them the opportunity to work in an environment that suits their mood and work needs.” - Alex Witney @ Areaworks
Stay home when you're stick
An obvious one to follow while COVID is still in our midsts. If you suspect you may have the troublesome rona, but don’t take the steps to stay at home or notify your manager, you could compromise the entire workspace. Of course it’s not your fault if you catch it, but you should be proactive, look for the signs, and work from home if you start to feel unwell. Better to be safe than sorry!
You’ll have a community manager
Usually, you’ll have a person who runs the front desk and makes sure that everything is in order around the space. They’re knowledgeable and get things done, so if you have any questions make a beeline for this person.
If your company doesn’t provide its own wellbeing initiates, your coworking space might! Meditation sessions, an onsite gym, and other events may be on the cards to assist you on your wellness journey.
“We’ve long been focused on the benefits of wellbeing in the workplace, with our health and fitness concept N.O.C.H launching in Areaworks Farringdon this June. Our members will break away from their desks to workout, meditate or stretch in one of the three trainer-led studios." - Alex Witney @ Areaworks
There you have it - these are the 8 main things to expect from a coworking space. They’re a great place to work and ideal for those that repel the corporate lifestyle.