Report Suggests Shared Workspace Encourages Productivity

Whilst many small and medium-sized businesses value the privacy that comes with a serviced office, there’s a lot to be said for shared workspaces, too.

Shared offices, known as coworking spaces, were born out of a need for an entrepreneurial environment that’s collaborative, cost-efficient, supportive and community-led. They’re often populated by startups, home-based freelancers and travelling employees who are keen to escape the loneliness of working from home but aren’t yet ready for a full-time serviced office.

As such, the flexibility and low-cost appeal of shared spaces means their popularity has rocketed over the past few years. Research from Deskmag in 2017 reveals that the number of people working from coworking spaces worldwide now stands at over 1.1million, up from just 21,000 in 2010.

This surge in popularity is also linked with higher levels of productivity, according to a new report by Staples called ‘Collaboration Generation: The Rise of Millennials in the Workplace’.

The study claims that shared workspaces help to boost productivity thanks to their ability to encourage positive interactions with others.

“A collaborative working environment will go far in bringing employees together. Millennials are drawn to collaborative workspaces because they easily satisfy their desire for learning and direction. Working in a group atmosphere facilitates the sharing of ideas and makes it easier to receive regular feedback” - ‘Collaboration Generation: The Rise of Millennials in the Workplace’

According to the survey, 88% of respondents feel their shared workspace allows them to interact better with others and as a result, 86% feel more motivated and productive.

What’s more, workspaces that facilitate greater collaboration - be it a coworking space or a large open plan office - tend to encourage better teamwork. 57% of those who use shared spaces say they work more frequently in teams as a result.

To support their research, Staples referred to a TedX talk by Professor Ulrich Weinberg, director of the School of Design Thinking at the Hasso-Plattner-Institute, in which he discussed the value of collaborative workplace environments and teamwork.

In the professor’s opinion, companies would benefit greatly if students left academia with knowledge of “networking, of bringing people together” as opposed to competitive thinking.

Delving deeper into this theory, Weinberg suggests that an individual embarking on a single path to solve a problem, it could be argued, is not as efficient or productive as a group collectively discovering several paths and solutions.

This is facilitated in part by the provision of an appropriate workplace, which is where coworking comes in. Even those who don’t work in the same company - such as consultants or freelancers using the same shared office but working independently - can benefit from this way of thinking.

Knowledge sharing, networking and problem-solving are part and parcel of coworking communities, and they play a huge part in providing the type of helpful, likeminded support that helps small business owners thrive.

With that in mind and given the UK’s record-breaking level of new startups, it’s little surprise that coworking is rocketing in popularity.

There are many different ways to tap into the coworking trend. At UBC, we have shared workspaces at each of our 8 business centres across the UK known as ‘Venture’. In addition to a private desk in a shared office, Venture clients benefit from a professional business address, receptionist support, mailing services, and on-demand access to fully equipped meeting rooms.

In short, it’s nearly everything you get with a regular serviced office but at a much lower price, and with the added benefit of working alongside likeminded professionals from different companies or industries. What’s more, Venture clients also gain instant access to business mentorship via UBC’s live chat scheme, which is provided free of charge to all business centre clients.

Interested in ramping up your business productivity? Learn more about UBC’s flexible shared workspaces here.