THE benefits of co-working spaces for small businesses and entrepreneurs are many, and there are some good examples of these spaces in other countries that Namibia can also learn from.
During an economic recession, especially, corporates should be making the best use of co-working spaces.
Inter-departmental collaboration within an organisation is also deemed to be co-working, and does not necessarily only apply to cross-business co-working.
Co-working is a style of work that involves a shared working environment, often an office, and independent activity. Unlike in a typical office environment, those co-working are usually not employed by the same organisation.
With the high costs associated with renting space or having to acquire more office space, due to business expansion, corporates can save by rather using the spaces they have more effectively. If, for example, one needs to expand current departments that require growth internally, it is better to opt to create a smaller, more cost-effective co-working space offsite, for functions that don’t necessarily need to be office-bound.
These co-working spaces can be located strategically, in relation to the head office, and close to high volume traffic areas, which take into account where staff live and travel from.
What this does is empower employees to choose where they can work, and empowered employees are productive employees.
Also, considering the time lost travelling in traffic, and the need for high levels of productivity, these spaces can bridge the gap between remote and office-based working.
It’s also important to properly consider the pros and cons of different office set-ups, when trying to reduce space and spending. To date, open plan spaces are by far the most common way that office spaces are set up.
We were sold and convinced that by having open plan offices, we will move toward a more progressive approach to workplace effectiveness. This isn’t necessarily the case.
The negative aspect with open plans is that, as an element of effective office design, it is the most disruptive and unproductive workplace setting, as a standalone element. What you really want to achieve is a place that facilitates employees and not contains them. Collaborative spaces address this issue very successfully.
Just as co-working spaces need to make sense for the type of business and business culture internally, so do collaborative spaces.
In conclusion, it is easy to create beautiful spaces with large budgets, but good design thinking creates effective, productive spaces. With everyone feeling the pinch of the recession, now is a good time to start rethinking office design, and finding ways to optimise space. This does not need to be to the detriment of productivity and office morale, and if done correctly, could in fact improve both.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015