Imagine having to explain the concept of work and working space to your grandparents now.
“Oh, my, how things have changed!” would probably be the answer your grandma would offer, while staring, in slight disbelief, at the way you start your working day by simply opening your laptop, still in your pajamas
Yes, things have changed dramatically in the past few decades. This change has influenced everything, with the special focus on the work environment. And now, with the raging pandemic going on, the world has had to adapt in many new and unfamiliar ways to new circumstances.
But, it seems that the main question is going to be – are the old ways going to learn how to coexist with all the new rules of the game?
Traditional Office Space – How the Pros became the Cons
Since we can remember, people have travelled to their designated place of work, usually a big corporate office space. Even though the commute was killing you, it was necessary, because you had to work, pay the bills, feed the family, etc.
The list goes on and on.
You did it because everybody did it, and there wasn’t any other alternative. If you arrived late, it would be considered irresponsible, and you were in danger of losing your job.
However, with the appearance of computers and the Internet, many people shifted to working from home. At about this time, coworking places emerged, which provided sanctuary for all of those who did not want to be committed to a single work space. The traditional office spaces started losing their appeal rapidly. However, they continued persevering for numerous reasons.
Why Did People Opt for the Traditional Office Space?
Working at a traditional office space was a symbol of success, stability and possibility for advancement. Entering a big company and making your way up the corporate ladder was the dream.
Steady, regular paycheck that provided you with a good life devoid of existential worries was everything everybody dreamed of.
Having your own designated work space is, for most, the biggest advantage of them all. A personal, private space just for you, where you can focus properly on your work.
No distractions, no noise, perfect for the ones that prefer working in peace.
No big company can persevere in these harsh, relentless, corporate times, without creating a strong brand.
This is, actually, the main reason why big office spaces were even introduced, to start with. Having your whole team working together under one roof, acting as a team, a steady machine, is invaluable for the success of the company.
The team, the offices, the design, everything that makes a company recognizable on the market is situated at one place, giving it a more distinguishable look. And that is what the whole ordeal is about. Creating a brand that many will be familiar with, allowing you to put your product on the market successfully, and with more reach.
Having a place where you can organize meetings and bring important potential clients is of the utmost importance. Having a personalized office space designed according to the needs of your company is desirable in this day and age.
The company and everybody working there come across as more dependable, trustworthy and successful.
And, appearances are, after all, everything.
The biggest advantage of working at a traditional office space is having everything you need to get your job done right at your disposal, in your office, or close by.
Many modern day offices are equipped with almost everything you can imagine: high speed Internet, state-of-the-art printers, places for rest, the gym, you name it. You don’t have to leave the space for anything. Everything is right there making your working life a lot easier.
After the two world wars, stability was everything for people trying to find their place. After a period of worldwide restlessness, there came a time of peace, a time where everybody just needed to feel secure and lead their lives without any major disturbances. That is why everybody felt themselves lucky to find a unique sanctuary at a steady job in an office.
However, times changed and those steady jobs weren’t what everybody was looking for. The new generations felt trapped by having to work at the same place their whole lives. Today, the biggest dream is being your own independent person, working under your own conditions and possibly being your own boss.
Being independent has become the new name of the game.
Setting your own standards, your own working hours, your own conditions – that is the new dream everybody aspires to – and, in order to achieve that, working at a traditional office or for a big corporation just won’t do.
The Rise of Freelancers and Small Businesses
With the spread of the Internet, people realized there was an enormous opportunity of using it for the purpose of developing different spheres of business interest. People started working from home, offering their services to a wide range of clients.
That is how freelancers came to be.
The freedom they had and the fact that they were in charge of their own business destiny is what made their job all the more desirable. They could choose the place of work, depending on how they felt at the moment. If they didn’t feel like working from home, they just needed to stop by a nearby café and finish their work just then and there.
They answered to no one.
Being self-employed has its own hazards, though. You may not have a stable income, nothing is fixed. A client you have today could easily be lost tomorrow. Be that as it may, if you are an average millennial, these things didn’t matter to you in the first place, right?
However, working conditions at home are far from perfect. All the distractions and inevitable chores that have to be done, and can sometimes drag you away from the workload. In addition, not everyone is cut out to work alone, without any social interaction. These reasons are precisely why many freelancers try to find an alternative place of work.
On the other hand, no one is immune to success. Everybody is aspiring to achieve more, earn more and develop their product on a wider scale. With the rise of your business comes an inevitable problem of expansion – you need more employees and more work space.
Small businesses alike have but one problem – they aren’t big enough to rent a big traditional office space, because the expenses are great, but working from home is not going to cut it anymore, is it?
Coworking Office Spaces to the Rescue
Soon enough, a perfect solution to everybody’s problem was found – a communal office space where all the freelancers and small businesses could find their perfect place for work. It represented a bridge between the old and the new, encompassing everything that big traditional offices have, but also offering enormous flexibility concerning rent costs, working hours and types of office space.
There are many reasons why co-shared office spaces took the world by storm.
This is what attracts many working people to become a part of the coworking community. As opposed to fixed office hours you have to comply with at a traditional office, at a communal office space, you can choose to come whenever you see fit. You do have to provide the company with some sort of schedule, but this doesn’t have to be the standard nine-to-five one.
This means that you can get up whenever you want, and go to work at any time you want. You can bypass any rush hour, and spare yourself from having to suffer hours on end in the commute.
In addition, you can choose to work from any type of surroundings you want. Any major coworking company offers different types of arrangements, so you can choose to work at a single office space, a hot desk, an ordinary work table, you name it.
One of the biggest advantages of coworking office space over the traditional one is the amount of money you need to spend on renting it. Renting a co shared office space is far cheaper and, thus, more affordable to anybody that needs an office space.
Whether you are a freelancer or a small business owner that needs to take care of the costs of running an enterprise, be sure to find a great deal that will definitely suit your demands.
Renting a big, traditional office space is usually unattainable for the small business owners and working individuals, because it is not only far more expensive than they can afford, it is also almost always necessary to pay a couple of months in advance, which is not the case with the coworking office space.
Networking and Socializing
One of the reasons why even the big companies are resorting to renting a coworking office space is, in fact, the possibility of creating new bonds with different companies, which can, in the future, help their business grow further.
Business connections are everything and there is no better place to form them than a communal office space. At a traditional office space, everybody’s working for the same company. Admittedly, you can learn a lot from your colleagues there and make progress.
However, there is nothing better than talking to a person from a completely different sphere of work. They can give you a different perspective, and maybe give you a piece of advice you wouldn’t have got if you were somewhere else.
What is also attracting big companies to give some of their employees the freedom to work from a communal office space is the fact that coworking companies are a unique talent pool. There, you could easily find a new employee, a rising star that would fit just perfectly to their teams and bring a lot to the work table.
On the other hand, people that have struggled with loneliness for so long, working from their living rooms, not having anybody to talk to or, maybe, ask for advice, can finally have a place to go to. They can talk to people at communal lounges, have a cup of coffee, enjoying the buzz.
As we have mentioned, working from home has its disadvantages, one of the main ones being that there are, simply, to many distractions. There is always going to be something that you “need” to take care of which will, ultimately distract you from finishing your work in time.
By working at a coworking office space, you can increase your productivity significantly. Co shared office spaces offer a range of different working environments, so you can choose instantly what stimulates you the most at that particular moment, and make the decision of where to work depending on your mood.
In addition, you are constantly surrounded by people having the same aim as you – to be productive and finish everything in time. As we have already mentioned, at home you may be stuck at a dead end with no one to help you. At a communal office space, you may encounter someone who will be more than willing to offer a friendly suggestion which will help you fix the problem.
Everything there is designed to increase your productivity, the ambiance, the lighting, the furniture, the background music, even the temperature.
Now, this is where coworking office spaces realized they would have to make an extra effort in order to attract new customers. That is why every major coworking company has invested a lot of money into providing its offices with everything one needs to finish their job properly – high speed Internet, different online and offline tools, and even additional amenities such as rest rooms, gyms and cinemas.
Imagine not having to leave the premises ever, because they have everything you need, and more. They can even provide you with a bed if one is asked for.
In the end, the main question remains – can coworking office spaces replace traditional ones?
The answer is – no, they cannot. As long as there is a need for big office spaces that can take in a large number of employees, or the need to have an office space that will be recognizable and the prime example of your brand, traditional offices will not lose the war.
Maybe a couple of battles, though.
However, this war is not in vain. More and more corporations are learning from coworking communities and making the necessary changes for them to fit the modern market. What will happen next, especially due to the Cov-19 pandemic, remains to be seen.