How Co-Working Spaces Are Transforming The Workplace

By Ben Hamill - June 03 2021
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How Co-Working Spaces Are Transforming The Workplace

Canada is slowly emerging from the global health crisis and seeing vaccinations roll out across the country. With this, businesses and their employees are coming to terms with the fact that they will soon need to leave their work-from-home setups behind and return to their offices. In an interesting turn of events, a number of major North American companies have made their intentions clear: some will see their full staff return to their offices, while others are opting for a remote-only workforce.

As the latter has proven to be effective for many businesses in recent months, some companies are opting to merge the concepts of remote working with a flexible office concept taking the form of co-working spaces.

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The Concept Of Co-Working Spaces

Shared- or co-working spaces can come in various forms, but the one thing that they all have in common is their concept. Large spaces are occupied by a number of different companies, but the space is managed by a single provider. These spaces often have shared facilities such as bathrooms, kitchens, printers and coffee nooks. Some of them offer private offices, semi-private ones or even open plan ones.

While most co-working space providers target remote workers, freelancers and fledgling start-ups, the health crisis, which saw many ditch the office and instead work remotely, has highlighted the fact that anyone can actually make use of the facilities. The terms of co-working agreements are also far more flexible than those of traditional leases, making these spaces revolving doors that see both individuals and teams come and go.

Employees Prefer Flexibility

If the global health crisis has taught us anything, it is the fact that employees prefer flexibility when it comes to the workplace. In fact, if anything, they are more productive when given more options. A survey conducted of over 2,000 Canadian workers by KPMG LLP in May of this year confirmed this preference. At least 77% of workers opted to have a mix of remote and in-office working models – making co-working spaces the perfect solution.

While not all companies want to move in this direction and let their real estate or rental portfolios go, many will jump at the idea of being able to opt for working models that grant workers and employers the flexibility of hybrid working models. As we all slowly start making our way out of the haze of the past year and a half, we will more than likely see in rise in co-working spaces.

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