Shared workspaces and coworking spaces have developed a reputation for increasing productivity, improving employee wellness, and cultivating creativity. But people tend to use the two terms interchangeably, usually as the preferred alternatives to the flat and uninspired corporate environment.
While both setups create similar benefits for small businesses, satellite offices, entrepreneurs, and remote workers, the two concepts differ in a few key areas.
What are shared workspaces?
Think of shared workspaces as a common office, physical or virtual, where employees of the same company can work closely together.
Physical shared workspaces usually come with traditional amenities, such as fax machines, printers, furniture, and computer equipment. Virtual shared workspaces are online tools (conference technology, communication apps like Gmail and Slack), that allow users to collaborate through the Internet. Both physical and virtual shared workspaces are actively used as a group, or in turns (similar to a timeshare).
Shared office spaces tend to be larger, more private options for brands that want a space exclusively for their business.
What is a coworking space?
- In comparison, coworking spaces are more open layouts for startups, small businesses, and freelancers.
- Coworking spaces can take up entire floors, allowing businesses and individuals to share tables and common lounge areas, as well as amenities like espresso bars.
- Coworking spaces are ideal for startups and entrepreneurs seeking a more cost-effective, community-centric alternative to a traditional or home office.
What’s the difference between coworking and shared office space?
Coworking spaces are for entrepreneurs, freelancers, and businesses looking for more affordable office solutions, or just want an environment that encourages creativity and collaboration.
Shared office spaces are for large businesses, enterprises, or established corporations that need all the traditional perks of an office (such as printing and copying services, meeting rooms, large spaces), but with greater flexibility in setup and costs compared to corporate office suites.
Benefits of shared office space
Flexible Schedules, Higher Employee Engagement
Shared office spaces are flexible. Instead of following the traditional 9-5 schedule, you are free to enter your office space at any time. In a survey, researchers found that “64 percent of respondents said that remote working flexibility has had a positive or extremely positive impact on employee engagement, while 30 percent were neutral and only 6 percent said that it has a negative effect.” At the same time, 77 percent of the ‘positive or extremely positive’ respondents fall into the very low category of employee turnover (0-5 percent).
Happier, More Productive Teams
Home life or other circumstances can make it difficult to operate on a traditional work schedule. This can lead to feelings of stress, which in turn leads to negative physical and emotional effects. Productivity decreases with increased fatigue, and increased fatigue leads to less happy and healthy employees. In shared office spaces, 70 percent of employees reported that they felt healthier than they did in a traditional office setting.
More Opportunities For Creativity, Collaboration
Shared office spaces encourage greater creativity and collaboration. Employees are able to share their thoughts, speak their minds, and collaborate with people they may not have had access to in a corporate office. Employees are exposed to coworkers with different skill sets, pushing them to think outside the box. And with more color and artwork built into the architecture and design, shared workspaces tend to bring out our inner creativity and personality.
Shared workspaces near you
As the shared spaces gain more traction, coworking and shared workspaces are no longer limited to major metro areas. Businesses and entrepreneurs from any industry can find their next shared office space in a nearby city.
While Level Office has multiple locations in Chicago and Houston, they also have a presence in cities not known for coworking, such as Indianapolis and the newly opened Minneapolis location. To see a full list of Level locations, check out our full map here.
If you find yourself tired and distracted during your work hours—or are feeling less creative than you’d like to be—check out shared workspaces like Level Office for yourself and your employees.