Tatjana Humphries, manager at The Guild: Why firms are recognising that coworking hubs are good for business
Neither working from home or in a homogeneous office space can be good for business which is why companies, of all sizes, are being encouraged to consider coworking hubs for their employees. Tatjana Humphries, manager at The Guild – Bath’s new city centre coworking hub – explains the advantages.
We opened Coworking Bath – The Guild this summer, and have already signed up an impressive membership who are loving our fantastic modern space and the chance to meet and work with other likeminded people.
Coworking is so often pitched as being for freelancers or startups, but that really couldn’t be further from the truth. There are so many opportunities in the coworking space for big businesses and organisations.
With increased travel costs and more companies offering flexible working, big organisations have more and more staff working from home. However, this doesn’t come without its challenges, as demonstrated by Yahoo recently when they banned all homeworking. Coworking can help companies strike a balance between the flexibility of homeworking and the structure of an office.
Having suitable work facilities can be one of the biggest challenges in allowing employees to homework. By encouraging them to use a local coworking space you can rest assured that they’ll have a light and airy work environment with superfast wifi access, and dedicated work environments suitable for the type of work they do.
The Guild has photocopiers, SLR cameras, podcast equipment, a Mac with Creative Cloud Suite and many different meeting rooms, meaning that users can carry out pretty much any business activity in a modern and suitable environment that reflects your business ethos in a good light. Best of all, this is all included in their membership fee so it is easy for companies to manage.
It’s a great way to encourage creativity. Big organisations can quickly become silo environments where creativity falls aside in favour of processes. By having staff in a coworking space, sitting alongside people working in other sectors, you’ll benefit from them seeing alternative ways of solving problems and bringing these back to the organisation. Coworking spaces are, by nature, highly dynamic hubs of activity.
Just because they live a long way from the office, it doesn’t mean your staff actually enjoy working at home. Many may miss the camaraderie of being in a team, others might struggle to ‘turn off’ at the end of the day. Coworking spaces can offer workers a clear start and end to the day, at hours that are usually far more flexible than a normal office – in Bath we have a 24 hour service. They’re also collaborative and friendly, so workers have a social side to their day which they would miss working at their kitchen table. Coworkers regularly report being happier and having better mental health from getting up to go to work in the morning, and having people to socialise with and share ideas and problems with throughout the day.
Tap into a new community. Coworking hubs often create their own communities of talented, creative people. The Guild for example holds member only events, and also hosts a number of local networks like Bath Digital and Bath SPARK.
Having employees in this space will give your organisation an opportunity to network and become part of these communities, and your employees will be able to access training and talks that contribute to their professional development.
Start new business collaborations. Coworking spaces are fantastic at developing collaboration between people who would never ordinarily meet in a typical office environment. Whether it is a new start up which could benefit your business, or a new piece of software that will streamline your processes, having your staff working alongside other talented people you can guarantee opportunities will be forthcoming.
These are just some of the benefits for bigger companies in encouraging their staff to use coworking spaces rather than working from home. There are so many others, and many that will appeal to your staff and be seen as a fantastic benefit.