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Is co-working a suitable option for your business?

By Jack Campbell | |5 minute read

Co-working office spaces have become increasingly common in recent years, with many businesses seeing the benefits this method of work can bring. However, it may not be suitable for all types of organisations.

The phenomenon was propelled in the offset of COVID-19 as many businesses were forced to offer remote and hybrid working. With less demand for office space, businesses realised they could save on rent by sharing spaces with other companies.

A great idea for sure, this option can be suitable for businesses with minimal face-to-face time, especially as the cost of living increases and money becomes tighter.


This approach isn’t for everyone, however. While the benefits can be great for flexibility and cost savings, there are many who simply can’t operate effectively in a shared space.

Larger organisations, for example, will likely have more employees to consider and, therefore, will require more space than co-working can provide.

Similarly, those who are ramping up back-to-office mandates may need to reconsider whether it’s a viable option, as this could create issues with the distribution of working areas.

The businesses that will most benefit from co-working scenarios are SMEs that offer hybrid working. Those who are able to receive benefits from this approach can see tangible results, not just for cost savings but also for employee retention, attraction, and productivity.

GetApp revealed the top three reasons that companies opt for co-working:

  1. Cost reduction (31 per cent)
  2. Access to shared amenities (29 per cent)
  3. Networking opportunities (24 per cent)

The survey on remote work further revealed that 65 per cent of remote and hybrid employees would only apply for a non-remote job if it is hybrid. Meanwhile, the study revealed that in-person connections attract 51 per cent of surveyed employees to the office, and a third said working three days a week in the office would be ideal.

As with many things in life, there are clear advantages and disadvantages to co-working. According to GetApp, four advantages, as voted by respondents, are:

  1. Collaborative atmosphere and networking opportunities (43 per cent)
  2. Access to shared amenities (37 per cent)
  3. Possibility of meeting co-workers (37 per cent)
  4. Convenience of location (35 per cent)

On the other hand, there are definite disadvantages to this approach, which must first be weighed up:

  1. Distractions and noise levels (48 per cent)
  2. Limited privacy and confidentiality concerns (38 per cent)
  3. Dependence on shared amenities (25 per cent)
  4. Limited control over the workplace environment (23 per cent)

Leaders looking to take advantage of co-working spaces must first determine whether it is a good fit for their specific organisation. While the benefits can be fantastic, there can be detriments depending on the business.


Hybrid working

In a hybrid work environment, individuals are allowed to work from a different location occasionally but are still required to come into the office at least once a week. With the phrase "hybrid workplace," which denotes an office that may accommodate interactions between in-person and remote workers, "hybrid work" can also refer to a physical location.

Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell

Jack is the editor at HR Leader.