Make the most of your spare office space by creating a co-working environment. Whether you're filling empty desks or repurposing a whole floor, turning spare room into co-working space is a fantastic opportunity to create significant additional income for your business.
Co-working spaces are rapidly increasing in popularity and are quickly becoming an alternative to the traditional corporate office, providing occupiers with flexibility and a collaborative environment which can help to boost creativity amongst employees.
How does it work?
You can let out just one, or as many desks as you like to multiple businesses on a monthly license. Your license fee will be inclusive of all rent, service charges and rates and offers both yourself and the occupier maximum flexibility when it comes to managing the space.
What do you need to consider when setting up a co-working space?
There are various functional and physical considerations that need to be made to ensure success, just as there are a number of additional services you can provide that will help attract more occupiers to your office space.
Location: The location of the co-working space is extremely important. Having a space in a town or city that is near good transport links will instantly make your space more attractive. If your space isn’t in the middle of everything then focus on what will make your space special and attract businesses for that reason.
Layout: Having the right layout for a co-working space is essential. The right set-up can not only maximize your space, but also create the desired working environment. Ensure that the layout is in line with a collaborative work space for example, with desks facing each other rather than against a wall.
Noise is also an important thing to consider - one of the most important to occupiers. Try to keep the break out areas separate from the main working area, so the space incorporates some quiet areas.
Connectivity: Ensure that your work space has fast and reliable internet connectivity. This is essential for making sure businesses can stay online, up-to-date and working as they should. Time spent disconnected often means time spent not working, so a worthy internet connection is vital.
Modern technology: Having modern, efficient and easy to use technology, such as great phones, or a meeting room app or networking app, is important in attracting start-ups and young businesses.
Light and temperature: The Savills & BCO "What Workers Want 2016" survey found that an important factor for employees was light. Maximizing the light in the room is therefore something to consider when setting up a new space. Temperature should also be easily adjustable to ensure workers' comfort..
Meeting space: Your co-working space will need to have meeting rooms of varying sizes to provide some private areas. We would suggest at least one larger meeting room, and three smaller rooms to suit groups of two to three people.
Break out area: You will need to provide a break out area with decent tea and coffee making facilities. This space should ideally have some tables along with a comfy area to sit.
Reception: Hire helpful and friendly staff to ensure the smooth running of the space.
Community atmosphere: Consider how best to create a dynamic and energetic work environment. Organizing a social calendar to bring everyone together to chat, learn and share ideas will help create a collaborative working atmosphere.
Cleanliness: Results from ‘The What Worker’s Want’ survey indicate that half of employees are not satisfied with the cleanliness of their working environment. So, while it sounds simple, ensuring that the office is clean and well maintained will go a long way in ensuring the occupiers' well-being – the happier they are the more likely they are to stay.
Secure 24-hour access: Ensure where possible that you are able to provide 24/7 access to the space. This means staff will be free to work flexible hours, having round-the-clock access to the office.
Security: Security will always be at the top of an occupiers' concerns so taking steps to ensure that your office is safe and secure is really important. With plenty of expensive equipment and important documents around the office, it's essential for companies to feel that they can leave their work equipment in a safe place. For example, provide everyone with passes to gain access to the building and lockers for people to safely store their belongings.
Make your space unique: As you'll be in competition with various other spaces all offering similar benefits, try and find something to differentiate your space and make it unique. Whether it's the furnishings, technology or little extras like a beer tap or ping pong table, it's the finishing touches that help entice people to choose your space.
Stuck on how to do it?
Workthere, as part of Savills, work with Savills Project Consultancy and Fit Out team to offer impartial advice on how best to fit your space out – they can even manage the whole project for you – just get in touch.