Shared Office Space and Coworking: Happiness Helps Scale Companies

Bringing happiness to your workplace is likely your top goal, as it is with most companies. Anyone who doesn’t understand that happiness is the key to better productivity and retained employees needs a new education.

No doubt you understand its importance. Yet, you’ve maybe come up empty on finding exactly what makes your employees happy.

The key is to find ways to bring better leadership and collaborations so each employee feels their worth. Using shared office space and co-working concepts are scientifically proven to help.

Using Shared Office Spaces

While you might find a few employees who like working independently, you’ve no doubt seen how collaborations lead to faster and better ideas.

If you’re new to what a shared office space is, it’s also often called a co-working space. These are designed for companies like yours needing to save money and not really wanting a giant office filled with cubicles.

These are also designed with collaborations in mind. Plus, when you rent these out from a provider, they’ll provide many services for you so you don’t have to invest on your own.

What kind of employee happiness can you create with these office spaces? Much of it comes down to bringing more flexibility in how people work.

Finding Ideas from Outside Talent

When using a co-working space, you’re essentially allowing your employees to go and work with outsiders who may not even belong to your office.

Many co-working spaces are designed akin to a bar where you meet up with different people to discuss ideas. You won’t find alcohol here as you would in a bar, yet it provides a comfortable place to find real collaboration with people in your industry.

As Inc. points out, this brings a community-oriented space to help nurture more innovation. Relying strictly on your own team to come up with innovative ideas can often come up empty. Looking to unbiased outsiders brings a refreshing way to look at things and find new solutions to old problems.

There isn’t any great sense of happiness than being able to move ideas forward in a faster way.

Bringing Happiness to Younger Workers

Statistics show Millennials now make up 30% of the workforce. With this, they’re shunning the traditional office environments of cubicles or separate rooms.

They’re a demographic naturally gravitating to shared office environments and the co-working concept. Take advantage of this since you’re likely hiring more Millennials to fill positions of those retiring.

Millennials usually have fresh ideas in mind compared to those who’ve been working with you a while. It’s time to give these younger workers a chance to collaborate in a comfortable environment to break norms.

The Emotional Benefits

When you think about it, forcing workers into enclosed work spaces often leads to depression. Some workers may prefer to work independently, but most will prefer having more engagement with at least fellow employees.

Polls show 84% of employees using the co-working concept found it helped them on an emotional level. For the ultimate happiness, there isn’t anything better than keeping them motivated to brainstorm for ideas.

Working alone can often lead to distractions that co-working spaces won’t allow. Interacting with people throughout the day will make your company much more competitive and keep ideas flowing.

Finding a Provider of Shared Office Space and CoWorking

At WorkSocial, we’ve become a leader in providing these office environments, including corporate training offices and virtual offices.

Located in Jersey City, NJ, we know how hard it is to find similar office concepts without having to pay a fortune. We offer very affordable options for the startup budget.

Contact us to learn more about how coworking environments work and how it’s going to scale your company to new heights.

The Future of Shared Office Space

Adapted from: naiop.org

Coworking centers and executive suites continue to evolve and morph into new types of workplaces that create experience and community for users.

 

Coworking centers and executive suite facilities have become one of the hottest trends among tech startups, freelancers, and creative types seeking community and collaboration with like-minded entrepreneurs. These shared office spaces operate as temporary work hubs that anyone can rent by the hour, day or month. Each is as diverse as the people who frequent it.

Executive suites are fully furnished offices and other types of workspaces that are typically leased on a pay-as-you-go basis. They enable individuals or companies to occupy office space without signing a long-term lease, paying a security deposit, leasing equipment or contracting for telephone, Internet and other services.

Coworking centers differ from executive suites in two important ways: culture and community. Coworking center members who rent plug-and-play communal space typically have similar interests, participate in educational opportunities, share ideas and socialize during events such as happy hours to reinforce a sense of belonging.

Today, the shared office movement, which has been building momentum for years, is skyrocketing. It’s also revolutionizing how, when and where people work.

 

Coworking’s spike in popularity mirrors the rise of the nation’s independent workforce, now 30 million strong, with 17.8 million clocking in full time, according to data from MBO Partners. Behind this explosive growth are new technologies that enable today’s highly mobile workforce to conduct business remotely and the freedom to collaborate anywhere, any time using tools such as Yammer, Jiveand Huddle. Corporate downsizing, employee dissatisfaction with traditional jobs, long commutes and new online marketplaces that make matching companies with freelance talent easier and more cost-effective are also fueling workers’ drive for independence.

Millennial workers between the ages of 18 and 34 are now the driving force behind the freelance economy in the U.S. According to research by Coldwell Banker Commercial Affiliates, 63 percent of these “digital natives” are as comfortable working from a mobile device as they are at a desktop computer. They value autonomy, prefer offices with an open floor plan and are more willing than earlier generations to share their workspace with someone else.

This generational shift in the use of physical space has vast implications for the real estate owners, developers and designers who are acquiring, retrofitting and outfitting the office buildings of the future. When workers can connect with colleagues as nimbly across the world as they can across a hallway, and no longer have one fixed office but rather thousands they can quickly and affordably access around the globe, what role should commercial real estate play in an increasingly virtual, hyper-connected world? The industry is discovering that the big corner office baby boomers once coveted is suddenly morphing into an entirely new product.

Shared office spaces are also converging with residential real estate aimed at meeting millennials’ combined needs for social/work hubs, affordable housing and amenities that enhance their well-being. Traditionally slow to change, the commercial real estate industry is gradually shifting from being a space provider to creating experience and community for the next generation. The future of office workspaces will belong to owners and developers who not only understand and can weather the market’s vagaries, but who also respond to their tenants’ nascent work and lifestyle needs by creating diverse, dynamic places that inspire people to perform their best and live life to the fullest.

A Few Degrees Makes All the Difference

Winter is upon us, and with it, the seasonal debate over office temperatures begins again. In fact, a staggering 80% of workers surveyed feel that their office temperature is uncomfortable. Unfortunately, indoor climate regulations are based on standards developed in the 1960’s, using the resting metabolic rate of the average male of the time.

Over the ensuing 50 years, not only has the average male body type changed (averaging an inch taller and 30 pounds heavier), but fashion has changed as well, with clothes becoming lighter-weight and less formal. And the workplace has been transformed by the increasing presence of women. It’s time to rethink the temperature standard.

Factors that affect apparent temperature

While personal comfort levels are highly individual, there are several factors that influence the thermal comfort of office workers:

  • Gender. On average, women have a warmer core temperature and colder extremities than men and hormonal birth control exaggerates this effect. A woman’s hands and feet are often several degrees cooler than her male counterpart. Also, women have a slower metabolic rate than men, contributing to an overall greater sensitivity to cold.
  • Clothing. Generally speaking, women tend to wear clothing that exposes more skin surface area than male office workers. The more formal the workplace, the more this discrepancy tends to hold true, with female employees often expected to wear dresses and skirts, and male employees often expected to wear pants and jackets.
  • Humidity. While humidity is not directly related to temperature, it impacts how temperature is perceived by the skin. High humidity makes heat feel hotter, while low humidity makes chill feel colder.

Reasons to adjust the office temperature

Recent studies have explored the consequences of increasing the average office temperature by a few degrees, and there are some compelling reasons to do so:

  • Increased productivity. A 2014 survey found that nearly a third of workers spend 10-30 minutes a day not working due to an uncomfortable temperature, and 6% spend more than a half hour a day unproductively for the same reason. At 68 degrees, Cornell researchers found that employees committed 44% more errors than at 77 degrees. Sustained uncomfortable temperatures not only have a negative effect on employee productivity and health but can also impact teamwork and collaboration.
  • Reduced energy costs. Office air-conditioning systems are often designed for the worst-case scenario of the office being fully staffed on the hottest day of the year, and some engineers add up to 20% more cooling on top of thatto be on the safe side. This results in uncomfortably cold offices in the height of summer when people are more likely to be wearing light clothing. Adjusting the thermostat can not only increase employee comfort but save 25-30% on cooling costs. The Department of Energy says that commercial buildings can save 3% on energy costs for every degree the thermostat is raised in summer and lowered in winter.
  • Adjust the placement of heat-emitting appliances. While employers can’t always adjust the temperature on demand or relocate thermostats for improved comfort, there are ways to make the readings more accurate. Avoid placing appliances with heaters or fans near thermostats, so they don’t influence the reading.

Unfortunately, office temperature will probably always be a source of dissatisfaction, not only due to the significant differences between individuals but because architects and designers tend to tuck thermostat sensors out of sight for aesthetic reasons. Putting temperature sensors above ceiling panels or inside enclosed areas gives inaccurate indicators for the actual comfort of people in the room.

We will probably always rely on office sweaters and throw blankets, desktop fans and personal humidifiers, but, with some care and attention, we can make the office more generally comfortable, increase productivity, and save energy at the same time. Contact us for more information on flexible, comfortable, workspaces.

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