Start-ups are often associated with the sharing economy, but the principle can also be applied to the work space. With more and more start-ups and small businesses looking to make their mark in competitive industries, they are teaming up with like-minded companies to find office space that can accommodate the needs of multiples businesses.
And it makes sense. A functional work space can play an important role in the success of any business. Sharing work spaces allows small businesses to find an attractive and functional working space without taking on the responsibility and cost of an entire office while reaping the benefits of a collaborative environment.
Financially, splitting operational costs in half, or sometimes even thirds or fourths, can allow for money that would otherwise be allocated to bills and extraneous expenses to instead be funneled back into the business or saved to increase working capital. And it’s not just the cost of renting the space that can be shared. Splitting the cost of recurring office bills like energy, internet and routine maintenance could have a bigger impact than imagined. In the early growth stages of many new companies, this is important as they develop their long-term financial strategies.
Collaboration and office culture can also benefit from aligning with other small businesses. Having several businesses co-inhabiting a work space can foster a friendlier work environment and encourage the exchange of ideas, which in turn leads to greater productivity through open interaction with colleagues throughout the day. Many businesses are prioritizing casual staff cultures and relationship-building for employees, so inviting another company into the work space can lead to a friendlier, more welcoming atmosphere that could then prove to have positive results on the business end. Group gatherings, inter-company activities and seasonal celebrations are great ways to take full advantage of a shared work space and develop an inviting atmosphere for your business and staff members.
Co-working with another business can also organically expands personal and professional networks, and in the early days of a start-up these can be invaluable. From introductions to potential new clients to mentor opportunities, sharing an office space allows the business to grow industry contacts not just with people based in the office, but via their own extended network.
But perhaps most importantly, sharing an office space can also allow for flexibility in an age where start-ups and small businesses regularly need to adapt and pivot.