Co-working spaces have gained a lot of traction in recent years. This growth is fueled by the surging demand for flexible workspace options among small businesses, entrepreneurs, and freelancers. A survey by Statista shows that by 2024, there’ll be over 41,000 global co-working spaces.
More organizations are looking to this mode of working because of its benefits. First, co-working spaces are cost-effective. You don't have to incur the costs of owning an office. Second, they allow your organization to network and expand easily. For example, co-working spaces often feature a variety of events and activities that facilitate conversations and collaborations. Such occasions can help employees stay updated with the latest trends. They can also help the business gain access to new contacts and resources.
Suppose you'd like to learn more about these shared workspaces; this article already defined coworking spaces and benefits. The rest of this piece will guide you in introducing them to your employees.
How Do Co-Working Spaces Work?
Coworking spaces are shared workspaces that unite people with different work styles and from different backgrounds and industries. They offer a supportive and creative environment, with amenities such as high-speed internet, private offices, meeting rooms, and various social activities. These spaces usually have different plans and memberships ranging from daily and weekly passes to monthly ones.
Introducing your employees to a coworking space is a great way to encourage collaboration, boost morale, and create a sense of community. Here’s how you can go about it:
1. Discuss And Share Your Plans With Your Employees
If you have plans to introduce your employees to a co-working space, talking to them beforehand is essential. Ensure to have this conversation tactfully to make everyone feel comfortable with the changes. Explain how a co-working space can help achieve company goals by benefiting from cost-effectiveness and networking opportunities.
Also, emphasize the social activities available and how they can help foster collaboration and creativity. Make sure to answer any questions your employees may have and provide them with the necessary information to make an informed decision.
2. Create An SOP For Your Employees
Creating a standard operating procedure (SOP) for your team is essential for a successful transition. First, an SOP ensures that work continues cohesively despite the change. It can include the expectations for using the new setup. For example, it could detail the working hours of your team, as well as the amenities and resources available, so your team would know what to provide themselves to ensure that work is executed properly.
An SOP can also list rules and regulations that your team should adhere to, such as respecting the space and other members. Having one in place will make the transition to a co-working space smoother and ensure everyone is on the same page.
3. Maintain The Company's Culture
Employees who feel that their company culture is preserved in their new workspace are more likely to feel comfortable and secure. Establishing and maintaining the same core values and principles in the new workspace will create a unified team and help foster a sense of belonging and connection.
Furthermore, having the same company culture in the new workspace will help ensure the team works together efficiently and effectively to reach their shared goals. For example, retaining the weekly virtual team meeting to discuss successes and challenges or the weekly knowledge-sharing session can help maintain the level of collaboration present in the previous work setup. This allows your organization to replicate the successes achieved by such connections and shared efforts.
Additionally, having the same core values despite the transition won’t confuse team members. This, in turn, will help to motivate the team and increase their productivity. Otherwise, they’ll have a hard time adjusting to new policies, which can affect their work performance as they’re basically treading a new landscape.
4. Do An Orientation
Orientation ensures that everyone is familiar with the new environment. You can give your team an office tour where you introduce them to all amenities, staff, and office rules to make their transition into the new space smooth. It also helps by providing them with all the information they need to maximize the co-working space's value to benefit the company.
Orienting your team could also reduce any associated anxieties and confusion. This allows your team to focus on their work and be productive.
5. Create A Welcoming Environment
A welcoming and comfortable environment is key to ensuring your team feels at home in the new workspace. One way you can achieve this is by providing refreshments. You can also provide a communal area for employees to gather and interact. Furthermore, it'll help if the space displays artwork or other decorations to make it more inviting.
Moreover, providing employees with resources such as a welcome kit or a list of frequently asked questions can help answer any queries about the transition. Having an open-door policy, allowing employees to ask questions, and providing a platform for introductions can also help create a friendly and collaborative environment.
6. Provide Support
A support system can be invaluable when introducing a coworking workspace to your employees. This includes providing the necessary tools and resources they may need for a successful transition and offering additional training to ensure they are confident in navigating the space.
Second, providing a sense of community is vital for employees to feel connected and supported in the workspace. This can include having regular team meetings, creating a buddy system, or offering mentorship and guidance for employees.
Giving employees time to adjust to the new workspace is also important. Allow them to explore the space at their own pace and learn the layout and features. Encourage them to take breaks throughout the day and to voice any questions or concerns they may have. Lastly, provide a feedback system so that employees can provide constructive critiques that can be used to improve the co-working space.
In conclusion, co-working spaces offer many benefits to companies and employees. The above tips can help your team members seamlessly transition from their initial work modes to a co-working setup.