The entry of the digital age drastically changed our lifestyles. It transformed the way we communicate, the way we consume things, how we pace ourselves, and how we work.
Enter coworking spaces. According to ChargeSpot’s definition, “Coworking spaces are essentially shared workspaces. They offer affordable office space for those looking to escape the isolation of a home office or coffee shop.”
Coworking spaces generally offer several bite-sized office layouts. Spaces, a coworking space in Makati, offer a range of working areas, from a singular desk for people who prefer working alone, to big meeting rooms where a number of people can freely brainstorm.
The best thing about coworking spaces is how mindful they are of their audiences. Borne from the need to offer alternative office experiences, they take the time to know their market, most of whom are young start-ups or freelance workers. Because of this, coworking spaces are generally cheaper than the typical office set-up. All expenses are shared between the tenants of these spaces, from utility and cleaning costs to the wifi bill.
But just because coworking spaces were meant to appeal to freelancers and start-ups, doesn’t mean that larger corporations aren’t hopping in on the trend. What big companies have realized is that not everyone has similar ideal working environments, especially creatives. More and more companies are making use of coworking spaces in order to inspire more creativity from their employees.
International giants like Netflix and Google are known to adjust their office spaces to their employees needs. Locally, we have companies like Globe Telecom and Sprout Solutions, who go through great lengths to make sure that work is more than just work. The idea for this, quoting Sprout Solutions founder & CEO, Patrick Gentry, is because, “We want people bringing their whole selves to work, and people bringing their whole selves home.”
The integration of coworking spaces into bigger companies is more than just added kicks of color and design in the different corners of the office. It’s recognizing that the basic needs of your people are far more than basic necessities, and ensuring that while these people are within your walls, you don’t only ensure that they’re making a living, you’re making sure they’re living.
Haven’t hopped on the trend yet?
Consider the following steps on getting started:
- Invest in Workplace Wellness
Ultimately, the philosophy behind coworking spaces is rooted in workplace wellness. While there are already quite a number of companies that hold Workplace Wellness Programs, you don’t have to copy these, since wellness programs are personal to the people of your company.
Start small. You can start by filling the corners of your office with a little bit of greenery, and occasionally providing healthy snacks. You can also set a regular reminder to walk around for around ten to fifteen minutes in a day.
- Conduct a Needs and Wants Survey
Health is a personal matter, and its improvement even more so. Conduct a survey within your company. What are your people’s pains? What do they want? What do they need?
From here, you can start designing your very own workplace wellness program. You can’t very well have a weekly basketball program if your employees are completely uninterested in the sport.
Don’t worry too much about it. The word “program” is intimidating, but what it really means is that your company cares enough to launch a specific project dedicated to the wellbeing of your employees
- Integrate Coworking Spaces into Your Business Model
Lastly, apply the results of your earlier survey to your employees’ working spaces too. Format your office so that there are areas with narrower or wider spacing, with brighter or darker wallpapers, etc. You can even leave a space where your workers can stretch for a while during task breaks.
For companies that don’t want to change the layout of your main office, consider letting your creatives work in coworking spaces in order to better ideate. You can call for a once to twice-a-week meeting instead. You can let your employees freely choose the space they want to avail, or contract a deal with different coworking spaces in order to ensure the quality of the space your employees will be getting.
Patricia Li is a frequent contributor at WorkWise Asia and Familywise Asia. She loves to read and write, and tries to incorporate this in her career.