The concept of the office is changing and has been changing almost every 10 years now. Earlier, cubicles were the hot trend. Then it was working from home. Today’s ‘IT Thing’ in the workplace— coworking.
So, before we get started – let’s do the basics right? What is a coworking space?
Coworking space is the modern-day form of a shared office. Let’s just say we have more independent workers now than the ones who are going to a single office. Don’t we hear about freelancers, start-ups, SMEs, entrepreneurs, mompreneurs, intrapreneurs who would like to rather work from a shared office, rather than working from home?
Again, we have a misconception from a lot of people that working from home is easy when in actuality, it is not and way more difficult to motivate yourself to work from home. Unless you have a secluded area where you can call it a SOHO (small office, home office) without any distractions, but well for many it doesn’t seem to work out and that is where coworking spaces play a huge role.
Coworking spaces can be leased as you go, so they can be leased for a day, week, 2 weeks, or even month all in advance. Unlike a regular working space, you wouldn’t have to pay for the rent you don’t use, especially times where you can’t visit the office. So you only lease it out when there’s a requirement. So, imagine this, a space more or less like a café or a coffee shop, however with privacy, a working internet connection, meeting room access whenever you need it, pantry services where you can bring your own food, where different industries of people gather and are working together in a shared space. In the early days it would be often that professionals of the same or similar industry would be sharing the coworking space. However, that too is changing as when various industries’ co-workers meet they tend to engage, network, and explore new opportunities.
How did coworking spaces arise as an actual workspace?
Tips to choose a coworking space:
- Location is Key: It’s not always about the first impressions as when you eventually lease out a space, your main aim is to use it for a while before you plan on having an eventual shift. A good location not only for the Dubai panoramic views or for great lunch but also a place which is constantly buzzing with new opportunities, a place which allows you to make connections. The location can be for e.g. Business Bay, Downtown, Sheikh Zayed, Al Barsha, Marina etc. Your location should give you the chance to develop friendships, gain support, gather information, and develop your business. It should be able to offer you opportunities for both your professional and personal growth, for e.g. networking events and workshops.
- Total cost per employee should be the deal-breaker: not only the rent but using flexi desks actually helps you save a lot of costs in the long run. Not only that, you could use that kind of finance to invest in getting a new employee or even invest in the current ones to keep them motivated. Flexi desks basically cater to your needs whether they are short-term or long term but they definitely help you save a lot as you only pay the lease as and when required.
- All that shines isn’t gold! Make sure that the facilities available meet your needs. You need to consider all your needs: big or small. You wouldn’t want to pay for amenities you are not using and end up having a major negative balance in your accounts. On the other hand you should be aware the prices you are paying are actually worth paying for. The coworking space should be built in such a way that it helps you to be more productive and encourage collaborations. If your business is of such an industry where you are required to have frequent client meetings, make sure that there are open places like an event space or meeting rooms which you can book if there are issues to be discussed in private. Does it have all the hardware, like printers, fax machines and strong Wi-Fi connectivity? The coworking space should have a good office management so that any technical issue can be sorted out with them without running around like a headless chicken.
- Security & Access: You and your team would definitely want to work in a secure place. You want to know that the data is secure, that when you and your employees leave work overnight, you all have a peace of mind that the hardware and your information technology including sensitive data is secure in the shared office. Access depends on your provider and also what your business really needs? Does it need a space where you would want to access 24/7 (as many entrepreneurs have different set of times they prefer to work at) or are you open to idea of having it accessible to you on 9AM-6PM basis. It’s best you get this information to plan ahead and be flexible with your schedule.
- Trial period & hidden costs: you really should ask about everything and anything because you don’t want to pay for something you had no clue about, and you don’t want to assume you’re paying for something when they actually come in the form of a hidden cost somewhere down the line. This helps you plan better as well. Furthermore, if there’s a trial period, fluidmeet definitely recommends you go for it, try it out before making your final decision. In most cases, you can book it on a daily basis, and when you’re ready for monthly packages, that is the time to upgrade.
Popularity of Coworking Spaces:
We would say it’s still on the rise in the UAE market but yes, definitely more acceptable and more adaptable to many companies. It’s a definite win-win for SMEs, and start-ups, freelancers, etc, as the average lease per day is often less than AED 49/day and plus you get all the amenities and get to network too!
Why Businesses opt for Co-working?
- A number of mid to large-sized firms have opted co-working strategies. This not only helps cut costs, in the long-run keeps the employees motivated and be more productive in nature. Some of the benefits are:
- Networking Options: SMEs, small businesses, start-ups and freelancers – this is their game for sure! It helps them meet new people, interact with them and if you see the value it’s quite a bit as it is in reference to the amount you’re paying the lease (day, weeks, months, etc.)
- Get rid of your boredom: Working from home is an old concept and not everyone has the perfect environment to work in. These coworking spaces help build a community of people where all are working together especially for remote workers. It makes one’s work interesting, lively and gives them motivation to come work every day with a reason.
- Endless Facilities: You get to handpick each and every facility as per your needs and requirement. Not only that, you get a place with super-speedy internet and get to collaborate others and you never know, you might meet your future investor, client, supplier, business partner there! Like they say, it’s all about meeting the right people at the right time.
fluidmeet makes sure it’s an easy process for you, not only that helps you to focus on your business and other important aspects. In addition, fluidmeet has various locations with/without food and beverage requirements. If you have got it figured, log onto: www.fluidmeet.com, download the app, and fill up the contact form and one of our experts will be definitely give you a call on your preferred time!