Let’s explore how you can get the absolute top value out of your shared workspace membership during COVID-19 — and beyond.
One of the major draws of shared workspace is its flexibility. You don’t have to commit to an office for the next three or five years; instead, you can get a workspace that suits your current or near-future needs, then make changes to your office footprint as your business changes.
If your team is growing or downsizing, you should be able to quickly adjust your workspace plan to fit your current structure and thus avoid paying for space you don’t need. If you need to reprioritize your budget, there could also be ways to lower your workspace costs without sacrificing square footage, because shared workspaces often price offices depending on a variety of factors — e.g. what floor you’re on, window versus interior office, the view, or other features. Shared workspace staff are there to help you, so always feel free to inquire about your options.
While flexible terms also give you the freedom to cancel your membership on relatively short notice, a coworking provider may also give you the choice to pause your membership and retain select membership features in the interim, such as your mailing address or business discounts.
In the shared workspace model, you pool resources with other individuals or companies. This isn’t just limited to physical resources within the shared workspace — it can apply to business services, too. Some share workspace providers have access to deals for their members by treating their membership base as a group, similar to how companies buy into group health insurance.
Some of this information may be listed on a shared workspace provider’s website, or it might be member-only info. In either case, your best bet is to ask the business center’s staff directly what kind of business discounts they provide to members.
These cost-cutting deals can add up to significant savings for you or your team, so leave no stone unturned!
Some shared workspaces host events in their spaces year-round. During the pandemic, of course, events have largely moved online.
The major benefit of this is that people have more access to programming than ever. The tricky part is: How do you cut through the noise and find the right events for you?
At a share workspace, many of the members may share your interests or business goals. You’ll likely find that events presented by your coworking center or fellow members address some of the exact challenges you’re facing at work or speak to your interests.
You may also find that your workspace community gives you access to events for free, at a lower ticket price, or to programming that otherwise isn’t open to the public.
These virtual events can be a great way to learn a new skill, boost your business, or make valuable connections.
While a lot of things have changed in the world due to COVID-19, the business world continues to move forward: Investors are still investing. Companies are still looking to partner with disruptive startups. People are still networking.
One of the most powerful things about shared workspaces is the associated community. Your membership is an instant ticket into a business network, so you may as well take advantage of it.
Even while respecting social distancing guidelines, a shared workspace is a great place to meet new people just by physically showing up. Additionally, workspace communities frequently have their own Slack channels, LinkedIn groups, or internal apps that allow members to connect.
Don’t be afraid to ask the support staff for introductions or suggestions on how to meet like-minded members based on your industry or interests.
For many people, returning to the office is a welcome respite after so much time at home. But there may be a variety of factors determining how much time you can or want to spend in the office — and when.
As many teams continue to navigate remote versus in-person work, think about how to use your workspace to create the best experience for you.
Are there certain times of day or days of the week that other people in your household need to use the home for work calls or potentially noisy activities? If you are splitting time between home and the office, it can be helpful to plan ahead and schedule office blocks when your home workspace is likely to be louder, distracting, or otherwise inaccessible.
Strategic scheduling can also come in handy for rotating team members through your office. Either you can break up a team into groups who are assigned certain days in the office, or you can take a more free-form approach, allowing team members to self-book time in the office.
With rotational office scheduling, you’ll have less people in the office at a time. This allows teams to simultaneously lower their COVID-19 risks and maintain a smaller (and therefore less expensive) office footprint.
Your workspace is only useful if it’s a safe enough place for you to spend time in, right?
Earlier we discussed how coworking allows companies to offload infrastructural headaches onto the shared workspace provider, a feature that’s proven to be quite relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The good news is that shared workspace providers are responsible for developing safety protocols during this time, which means member companies don’t have to do this work from scratch on their own. A lot of it is taken care of for you.
However, not all shared workspaces have the same guidelines in place. It’s then up to you or your team to evaluate what a current or potential workspace operator is doing to keep you as safe as possible and make sure it’s a good fit. Most providers will have this information on their website and will also be happy to field specific questions about their safety standards.
Make Your Workspace Work for You
Shared Workspace has surged in popularity in recent years because of its flexibility, convenience, and added value beyond the traditional workspace. During particularly challenging or lean times, these features of coworking can benefit you and your business more than ever — especially if you know what you’re looking for.
From networking opportunities to business discounts, many coworking memberships come with resources that allow you to work more smoothly and effectively. Look at a coworking provider’s website, email them with questions, or ask support staff directly for more insight onto the specifics of their offerings.
By being a smart user of your workspace, you can ensure that your workspace works for you during COVID-19.
At OFFICE EVOLUTION COLUMBUS, we understand the unique challenges of being an entrepreneur, and we have designed our services with the modern day, flexible, entrepreneur in mind. Our Virtual Office ranges from a private mailbox, to meeting space, to phone answering service providing the support you need in your entrepreneurial journey.
Contact us today to set up a tour at our Dublin, Worthington or Easton, Ohio locations.
Dublin – Dublin.email@example.com (614) 495-9274
Easton – Easton.firstname.lastname@example.org (614) 944-5191
Worthington – Worthington.email@example.com (614) 985-3605
Written by: Office Evolution Columbus
Office Evolution has more than 70 locations open, 140 units sold in markets across the country and is poised for further growth as the demand for affordable and safe, workspace close-to-home continues to rise.