Co-working, a self-directed, collaborative, flexible and voluntary work style that is based on mutual trust and the sharing of common core values between its participants, presently provided by Regus, aims to boost businesses, especially SMEs.
Regus, is a multinational corporation that provides serviced offices, virtual offices, meeting rooms, and videoconferencing to clients on a contract basis.
To many, co-working, which involves a shared workplace, often an office, and independent activity, can seem like a foreign concept, reserved for lone entrepreneurs and the super-creative. But as the concept of flexible working has evolved, today’s co-working spaces have become much more than just an office, attracting a diverse range of companies, in all shapes and sizes.
For Ayo Akinmade, Vice Chairman Regus, whether you are looking to run a remote team, build an enterprise, or offer greater flexibility and autonomy to employees, flexible workspaces can provide the answer.
He noted further that, “The market is growing rapidly, with some forecasts predicting that up to 30 percent of corporate real estate portfolios could be flexible workspace by 2030 but, what does this mean for SMEs looking to take advantage of this growing trend? “
Expressing the view that flexible workspace can be viewed as a cost-savvy solution for SMEs, Akinmade said, “Given the rise in real estate costs, flexible working provides an affordable solution for companies as they continue to grow and build their workforce.
“Since the financial crisis, access to funding has become a challenge for smaller businesses, creating a barrier for those looking to obtain contracted office space.
“This is one area where the rise of flexible workspace has been particularly transformative, alleviating the significant financial burdens associated with renting office space in a premium location and levelling the playing field for companies unable to invest in permanent space.
“Flexibility is also a key draw here. Flexible workspace membership agreements give SMEs the ability to scale up and down depending on activity levels. For example, for smaller businesses looking to expand rapidly in their early stages, this allows them to take on space as needed until they are ready to invest in a permanent contract. Furthermore, this agility allows businesses to be close to talent, suppliers and customers when needed”.
Fexible working offers more than just attractive and affordable office space to smaller businesses. According to Akinmade, adopting this new way of working also has tangible personal benefits for employees.
“For starters, flexible working provides companies with an invaluable culture of collaboration and creativity – something that small businesses will know is essential. Sharing office space with everyone from designers and programme developers to researchers and marketing experts means that creativity and collaboration comes naturally.
From stopping to chat over a morning coffee to networking over after-work drinks, co-working spaces have the potential to open-up new opportunities for businesses looking to build relationships and make new connections.”
He opined that during the early stages of a company, introductions to new clients or contacts, can be a vital, yet time-consuming prospect, adding that, “Flexible workspaces remove this burden, allowing businesses to network in the comfort of their own workspace, acting as a prime location for external meetings. As a networking resource – the benefits of co-working spaces are endless”.
There is a reason why more and more people are gravitating towards flexible working. This new way of working provides the space for people to come together under one roof, bringing real benefits, particularly for businesses in their early stages.