Work and Wellbeing · 22 June 2017

Collaboration and flexibility among greatest benefits of co-working spaces

Just a third of co-working entrepreneurs sat at their desk all day

Agile business owners operating from flexible work stations have cited collaboration with fellow entrepreneurs among the most significant benefits of co-working spaces.

Workspace provider The Office Group studied 1,156 of London’s co-working entrepreneurs to find out what advantages could be identified from shared environments.

Some 80 per cent of respondents said they were happier after setting up in a co-working space, while over a fifth said they were at the happiest they had ever been.

Meanwhile, four-fifths said their productivity was up compared to their previous environment.

Almost two-thirds said they often socialised with other members, while a third regularly shared and received advice from fellow entrepreneurs.

Creative business owners cited the diverse environment as one of the other benefits of co-working spaces. Just a third were “tethered” to their desk all day, as a majority made full use of cafes, outdoor terraces and focus booths.

Increased use of co-working spaces was considered representative of wider shifts in the way self-employed people work in Britain.

The working week has become “shorter and more intense”, according to the study – on Tuesdays, headcount was 14 per cent higher than Mondays and 21 per cent higher than Fridays.

Commenting on the findings, Olly Olsen, co-CEO at The Office Group, articulated some of the culture changes.

“Over the past few years, there has been a generational shift in the way in which we work. Millennials, which now account for around 35 per cent of the UK’s workforce, are reshaping the workplace,” he said.

“Wellness has moved up the agenda. The health and happiness of employees is now a top priority, as employers recognise the knock-on effect this has on productivity and attracting and retaining talent.”

Outlining the influence shared areas could have on traditional workplaces, Olsen said it was important for all employers to adapt their office in response to the benefits of co-working spaces.

“Providing facilities in a building that can make it easier to achieve this wellbeing is now a fundamental, whether that’s a cafe with healthy, nutritious food, an on-site gym or proper bike storage facilities with good showers. We believe we are setting a new working paradigm for tomorrow’s corporations.”

With summer hotting up, Office Genie gave readers four ways to prepare your working area for hot weather

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.

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