Whether you’re a small startup or a big corporate, employee retainment should be at the top of your priority list. A common way to accomplish this is by offering employees perks such as beer on tap, an on-site pool table, or a beautifully designed office space. A second way (as I recently learned from a young startup named Jolt) is to provide employees with personal growth opportunities.
But what if I told you of a solution out there that does both – that is, provide employees with both perks and personal growth, while saving you money? Would you go there?
Three to four years ago, coworking spaces were not as aplenty as they are toady. It was common and standard for companies to rent out their own space (with a 10-15 year long contract) and renovate it to their liking without thinking about their space needs down the line. Take, for example, Tel Aviv based Wix: Wix started off with one out of six floors in a building at Tel Aviv’s harbor. Today, it occupies almost all of the original building along with another 5-6 buildings near the original location. Coworking came along only later – giving companies a much more flexible and well-designed real-estate solution that bears less risk.
If you are an entrepreneur, then you are probably familiar with the 10-year lease concept. You sign it without knowing what your future holds, because you need a place. But it doesn’t end there. You need to define your company culture and get together a workforce that will feel happy coming into work every day. You’ll hire interior designers and pay for extra-cool pool tables to make a place vibe better. Then there’s the extra crazy grand opening party you just have to throw, accompanied by award-winning catering and beer on tap. It never ends.
You’ll find yourself on a constant mission to make sure everyone is happy – but it’s not that simple. People get bored quickly – it becomes humdrum and unexciting to see the same faces everyday, hear the same conversations, and eat with the same people. Employee retainment becomes difficult, and people leave because they’re bored. There is more to life, after all, than perks.
Coworking can counter this. Here’s how:
#1: Different people every month: Flexible membership, often offered on a month-by-month basis, is standard at most coworking spaces. Almost every month sees the arrival of new faces and departure of old ones. This means that there are always new people to meet, to eat lunch with, to exchange ideas with, and yes – to toast to a beer with.
#2: Collaboration Opportunities: Coworking spaces are filled with companies and professionals eager to help you with your next project or task on your to-do list. Think about it – you can find everything you need under one roof: a web designer, graphic designer, content writer, lawyer, or insurance agent, right outside your door. Isn’t that amazing?
#3: Food & Drink: A hungry employee is not a satisfied one. As an employer, you must take care of your employees’ needs – and that includes making sure they are well fed. To do that, you’d need to hire an office manager to manage all deliveries and coordinate with suppliers, approve budgets with a CFO, and make sure that suppliers are paid on time. But at a coworking space, all this is taken care of (and more). Employees have access to beer, coffee, tea, or soda at any given moment.
#4: Extra Activities: To keep up with the theme of employee happiness: Want a happy employee? Stimulate his mind. Plan extra activities and lectures and workshops that will keep him inspired and driven to work. Sounds easy enough, right? Not really – these extraneous activities cost both time and money. But at a coworking space, that’s all taken care of. Happy hours, exclusive benefits, an in-house gym (sometimes), and fascinating lectures are easily accessible to all. How fun is that?
#5: No Overhead: Who has time for bills, cleaning, and city-tax dealings? A coworking space offers a plug-and-play solution where everything is taken care of, and bills are no longer a burden. Your office will be cleaned weekly, and common area on the daily. And don’t worry about toilet paper – it never runs out.
#6: Flexibility: As a small still-growing company, the last thing you want to do is commit to a long-term lease. The future, for you, is unpredictable. And if you could live in a perfect world, it would be one in which you could live without commitment. Coworking gives you that option, with a monthly membership route that is customizable and flexible. You’ll have the freedom to give a 30-day notice pre-departure or file a request for a larger (or smaller) space to fit your growing needs.
New company culture
You’re probably thinking to yourself that this all sounds great – but are concerned about company culture, right?
As someone who has worked in a coworking space for over two years, I can tell you that company culture is not compromised when one joins a shared office space. In fact, it helps create a new culture for companies – one that exists beyond the confines of their glass walls. A community built on a culture of collaboration is formed.
Are you part of a big company? There’s a solution for that too. As coworking spaces continue to exist, their nature continues to evolve. Today, they are much more open and capable to adapt to large corporates who choose to move into their space. Special offers are often available for corporates, offering clients a specially-designed space with a personal entrance and dedicated handler. So yeah, size doesn’t matter.
Regardless of where or what you look for, coworking will prove to be the most cost effective, and most likely to keep employees happy.
Recent studies show that by 2020, 60% of companies will work of coworking spaces. Don’t you want to be an early adopter and get the chance to join the revolution when it starts?
Still not convinced? Talk to us and we’ll be happy to answer any other question you may have.