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The workplace has changed in recent years, transitioning from cubicles and private rooms to larger, more collaborative office spaces. In 2017, there were 4,043 coworking spaces in the United States alone.

Shared office spaces have become more prevalent as traditional office plans have become more expensive, but also as the nature of business itself changes. Technology has evolved to allow for greater flexibility in location, communication, and capability.

Even human behavior has changed, and we now live in a post-Uber world, where sharing real estate and services has become a way to maximize benefits and minimize expenses. In a way, shared office spaces are like an Airbnb for office spaces, allowing business owners to pay as they go and modify their plan as necessary.

Office rent in Chicago alone rose 20% in 2016, making it the second-highest increase in the world for that year. Meanwhile, shared office spaces in Chicago have remained competitive in their offering and affordability.

Here are a few reasons each business should consider renting a shared office space:

1. Greater Productivity

While most businesses can continue to operate remotely, shared office spaces create a common destination for work, establishing a place for routine and a mindset for getting things done. Instead of laying at home or getting distracted in a coffee shop, a shared office space motivates people to go outside, network with others, and focus on their work priorities. The environment can range from a busy background to completely silent, depending on the kind of office and work setup you need.

Check out this infographic from Ooma on how to get more work done in shared workspaces:

2. Flexible Routines and Schedules

Everyone has a unique work routine. Some like to come in before anyone else and leave early afternoon, others are night owls and prefer to work late through the evening. You’ll notice both full-time and part-time workers within the space. Regardless of your role or routine, coworking spaces are open as long as you have an ID card, allowing you to set your own schedules. You can even choose to sign a long lease (such as a 12-month agreement) or a monthly agreement.

3. Clearer Team Communication

The problem with remote teams has always been communication. When should a meeting be held? What times are people most productive? With a single shared office space, team members can ask each other questions across the table or room, eliminating downtime from unopened emails and missed calls. Whiteboards, on walls and tables, also offer a visual way to collaborate with teams. But in case you’re looking for more traditional set up, meeting rooms are also available just down the hall.

4. Snacks, Drinks, and Office Equipment

Some people need a light snack, such as a bag of chips or a cup of yogurt, to help them get through the day. Others may want to offer coffee or a beer to their visitors after a long meeting. At home or in other locations, these may cost extra, but at our shared office spaces, these are included in the cost of membership. At each Novel Coworking location, there’s a kitchen stocked with a modern coffee machine, microwave, and a fridge full of snacks and drinks.

All the standard equipment and amenities you expect to see in offices are all there: fax machines, printers, projectors, storage lockers, conference rooms, telephone booths, even a mailbox. Business owners can worry less about office supply expenses and focus on delivering their product or service.

5. More Networking and Business Opportunities

Perhaps the biggest benefit of the shared office space? The professional community. Each tenant gets to be part of a larger network of lawyers, marketers, accountants, entrepreneurs, creatives, artists, and students. You can meet other tenants at networking events, happy hours, and lunch and learns. Your next intern, business partner, or customer could be just across the hallway from your  private office.

Shared office spaces represent a new way to do business in the 21st century. They’re more flexible, customizable, and affordable than even the largest available traditional offices. Shared office spaces allow businesses to focus on business, instead of maintaining an old and cramped office.

Shared office spaces breed activity-based working. Learn more about the concept in our blog post here.

Learn more about what a shared office space can offer your brand in our various pricing plans.

Ready to book a tour? Visit Novel Coworking for more information on how to rent a shared office space.