With recent reports showing that London is now leading the global market in flexible and shared workspaces, Ansel Liu, co-founder and managing director of Nomad, talks to Business Advice readers about the benefits of co-working.
Co-working itself is no longer a new concept, with recent reports estimating that there are around 1,000 shared offices in London alone. Many businesses are spoilt for choice when looking for a new work environment and as such, the search for the right office can be overwhelming.
My experience founding Nomad, a web platform and iOS app which enables anyone to easily discover their ideal workspace, has taught me the ins and outs of finding the right ecosystem for any business, that will enable you to take your company to the next level. Below are some of the unique benefits of co-working.
Location is key
Selecting the right location for your business is essential. Ideally, you should choose a place that has great transport links, good local amenities and a great community atmosphere. Also look for an area that is continuing to grow, evolving with the times and has a good digital infrastructure that enables businesses to run effectively.
However, you shouldn’t fall into the trap of only searching for an office space in the most popular locations as this can lead to higher rent costs. It’s always worth looking beyond the obvious places such as Silicon Roundabout in London, when searching for the right workplace environment.
Areas such as Ealing Broadway and Stratford in London, are growing rapidly and with next year’s opening of the new Elizabeth line, these locations are fast becoming the ideal places for entrepreneurs and new companies.
We’re living in an age where people expect everything on-demand and instant access to workspaces and facilities that suit individual needs is clearly the way forward. Businesses and entrepreneurs no longer need to wait weeks or go through lengthy admin processes to find their perfect work environment.
However, when looking for a workspace, companies need to take into consideration the speed in which they’ll grow.
This is one of the reasons why moving into a shared office is a great option for a new business, as it can give you the flexibility to scale at your own pace, without needing to commit to a long-term lease or moving to an entirely new area every year or so.
Make sure the co-working space you choose has various office sizes within one complex, which will allow you to scale-up without drastically changing your employee’s work environment, surroundings or routine.
A real community offering
As a small startup or a one-man-band, it can be extremely liberating and exciting but it also has its challenges. Even though it’s been proven that individuals are more productive working alone, many find it isolating and lacking in creative stimulation.
Furthermore, studies have revealed that whilst many people look for a conventional office structure, they are much happier in a shared workspace versus working at home or in a traditional workplace, as they are surrounded by likeminded people who share a similar sense of drive and passion.
This can also have a huge impact on their business and lead to more opportunities, ideas, potential partnerships and hires.
A space that works around your needs
The fact that co-working is growing so rapidly is encouraging, as it’s giving businesses and entrepreneurs more choice and opportunities to find their ideal workspace.
However, with numerous co-working spaces available many offices are now catering towards the specific and varied needs of businesses by creating bespoke communities and environments.
An example of this is how women-only co-working spaces are becoming popular in the US and Australian markets, with the launch of spaces like The Wing in New York and One Roof in Melbourne.
These shared offices specialise in providing support, networking and guidance specifically for female entrepreneurs and although the trend hasn’t made it over to the UK yet, it’s certainly something to look out for in the future.
Additionally, workspaces such as Huckletree and Third Door are offering working parents childcare facilities so that they can easily manage all responsibilities both personal and professional, which is another great example of how co-working spaces are now adapting to people’s needs.
Ansel Liu is the co-founder and managing director of Nomad, a platform and app designed to help people find a suitable co-working space
Now you’re aware of the unique benefits of co-working, find out the alternative spaces you can take your business to
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