The fight between traditional office spaces and coworking spaces has been raging on for quite some time now.
And even though it might look like Work From Home is the third party who has run away with the winner’s trophy, the reality is far from it.
The Work From Home model of work has drawn in mixed responses from employees and employers alike.
Most organisations are sticking to the WFH model out of concern for their employees or simply because they have no other choice.
But what happens once the pandemic comes to a close? What happens in a post-COVID world?
This is when you’ll get to see where companies’ true allegiance lies.
Traditional office spaces and coworking spaces offer benefits that people and organisations working from home can never enjoy.
Now that we have this out of way, let’s focus on the fight between traditional offices and coworking spaces once again.
Let’s be honest.
It all comes down to money.
Ultimately, organisations will choose the option that saves them more money.
If you were never convinced about how coworking spaces save financial resources as compared to traditional office spaces, the next few paragraphs are for you.
Let’s suppose you own an organisation that has 20 working employees at present.
You need a new space for your organisation.
You have heard about the existence of coworking spaces but you think it’s just a fad.
Let’s say you go for a traditional office space.
You have to lease the space for a minimum of 3-4 years. You cannot stop paying for the traditional office space at any time before this 3-4 years.
You need to plan for expansion too. Let’s suppose you hire 10 more employees.
Where will you seat these 10 employees?
And even if you have planned it perfectly from before, if you do not need to hire 10 employees or even cut some employees from your payroll, the extra space will be a needless expense for the organisation.
An expense that could have been used elsewhere.
Now, if we are assuming a 50 employee organisation, the office carpet area required would be 3000 sq.ft.
So, an average area of 60 sq.ft per employee, assuming every employee gets equal space and there are provisions for only 50 employees.
A carpet area of 3000 sq.ft means that the super built-up area will be approximately 3500 st.ft.
If you assume the per sq.ft rate to be Rs.100, then the total rent per month will be (100×3500) = 3,50,000 i.e. one lakh, fifty thousand rupees.
But it doesn’t stop here.
This is just the cost of renting office space.
Apart from this, you have to bear the expense of maintenance and other miscellaneous expenses.
If we assume the maintenance rate to be Rs.6 per sq.ft, then the total cost of maintenance will amount to (3500×6) = Rs.21,000.
Next, we come to manpower.
Hiring a janitor is a necessity in any office and a responsible janitor will cost you at least Rs.10,000.
No organisation can function without a receptionist. An experienced receptionist can be hired at Rs.15,000 per month.
After manpower, we come to the most important requirement of any office.
If the electricity rate is Rs.11 per sq.ft, then the total expense of electricity on carpet area comes to (11×3000) = Rs.33,000.
Your employees will need refreshments such as tea/coffee to keep them charged throughout the day. If you assume that 50 employees consume 1000 cups of coffee in a month and that each cup of coffee costs around Rs.20, the total cost comes to (1000×20) = Rs.20,000.
Last but not least, you must never exclude account for miscellaneous expenses.
These include cleaning items, repairing costs, sanitary items etc.
Assigning Rs.25,000 for miscellaneous expenses is reasonable.
If you add all this up, you come to a number.
Rs.4,74,000 is what it takes to take up 50 seats in a traditional office space.
If you average it over 50 employees, the per-employee comes to Rs. 9480.
It must also be noted that traditional office spaces take a deposit for 3-4 months.
So, in our example, it comes to around Rs.19,00,000.
So, this is what it can cost a 50 employee organisation to lease traditional office space.
The figures are stated approximately and the actual figures can vary.
Now, let us look at how much it costs to choose a coworking space.
Coworking spaces offer not one fixed type of seat, but a variety of seating options.
Dedicated seats for 50 employees will cost you anything between Rs.5000 to Rs.20,000, depending on the location and amenities offered by the coworking space.
Let’s assume a dedicated seat costs you Rs.10,000 per month.
But, a coworking space seat costs you Rs.520 more than a traditional office space!
This is where things start to get interesting.
At a coworking space, the money you pay for each coworking space includes all the benefits and amenities stated for traditional office spaces: Janitor, receptionist, electricity, refreshments, maintenance and other miscellaneous expenses.
But the benefits do not stop here.
At a coworking space, you do not have to spend resources to hire janitors and receptionists nor do you have to spend valuable time to supervise their activities.
At a coworking space, you do not have to worry out any problems with electricity nor do you have to arrange for refreshments yourself.
Maintenance at a coworking space is taken care of by the coworking space itself.
Miscellaneous expenses such as repair, cleaning items and everything else is taken care of by the coworking space.
Long story short, at a coworking space, all you take care of is your business and nothing else.
A coworking space lets you allocate your resources only in your business without having to worry about the space where your employees are working.
Another easily overlooked benefit that coworking spaces offer but traditional spaces do not is the lease duration.
Traditional office spaces have a lease duration of 3-4 months as opposed to 1-2 months in coworking spaces.
Also, traditional office spaces do not offer you any flexibility when it comes to the number of employees.
You have to decide on the number of seats you want even before you enter a traditional office space. If you have rent space for 50 employees and in the future, you decide to expand or contract, there is no way out.
However, in coworking spaces, you get the number of seats you want. If your organisation has 50 employees, you book 50 seats. If in the future, you decide to expand or contract by 10 employees, you can book increase or decrease the number of seats. At. Any. Time.
This is a big ADVANTAGE that coworking spaces have over traditional office spaces.
No, the list of benefits does not stop here.
Let’s have a look at 7 more reasons why coworking spaces win an easy victory over traditional office spaces.
Flexible Office Spaces
Coworking spaces offer much more flexibility than a regular office space. Coworking spaces offer you 24×7 access facility.
The biggest benefit of working from home is that you can work at any given point of time. A Coworking space aspires to combine the benefits of work from home and traditional office space.
At coworking spaces, you can enter at any time and leave at any time. It is completely according to your personal work hours. This sort of flexibility is not provided by the traditional office.
No Capital Expenditure
Furniture, maintenance costs and technical infrastructure costs are some of the major expenses that companies have to bear when they’re buying a new office space. But when you choose coworking space options, you do not have to buy these.
You simply rent them for some time and pay on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
Coworking spaces increase profit by reducing costs. This is one of the most important reasons why organisations are letting go of their traditional offices and embracing the concept of coworking. And given the cost-cutting strategies of companies due to the coronavirus pandemic, this is a great benefit.
Networking with the Community
There is nothing more important for businesses today than networking.
Coworking offices include professionals and organisations working in different spheres. The person sitting opposite you may work for an organisation that supplies products or services similar to what you need.
This is how coworking offices provide scope for networking.
Networking has become even more necessary due to the pandemic. Owing to the lack of employment opportunities, it has become very hard to connect with people for networking. Networking in such a time can prove to be a huge benefit!
Wide Range of Amenities
On average, employees work for 9-10 hours a day. In such a situation, it is necessary to provide them with an environment that looks after their leisure needs. This helps increase employee satisfaction and retention.
Nowadays, more and more organisations are including perks in their offices like fitness centres, cafes, high-speed wireless internet access, conference rooms and many more.
It is not always possible to buy office spaces with such amenities as they cost a lot of money.
The coronavirus has messed with everyone’s mental health. It is difficult to shift from the work from home mode to the office mode. In such a scenario, it becomes necessary to make the transition smoother by increasing exposure to leisurely facilities.
No Long Term Commitments
More and more freelancers and organisations are choosing coworking spaces because they do not come with any long term commitments. Coworking spaces can be rented for a day, a week or a month depending on the organisation’s choice and needs.
Organisations do not need to commit to one single office for a long period. This results in optimal cost management.
Engaging with Prospective Clients and Referrals of Members
Coworking offers excellent opportunities to be introduced to clients. Here’s an example that will be easy to follow.
Company ABC, an analytics firm and Company XYZ, an e-commerce giant share a coworking space. Company XYZ wants to avail a solution to one of its problems that involves analytics.
If both these companies were located at separate locations, XYZ would have to choose a firm that would be best suited to its needs.
This would lead to a loss of resources. Instead, because ABC can provide the solution to XYZ’s problem, the latter does not have to look anywhere else. There’s also the added advantage that both companies will know what the other needs and will be able to communicate properly, thanks to the coworking space that they both share.
Great Designing for Better Productivity
The whole point of opting for coworking spaces is to ditch the traditional office cubicle.
The goal is to build an ambience where people want to work. Designing a workplace to bring out the best in people is what coworking spaces aim for.
So, these are the reasons why more and more organisations and even freelancers are choosing coworking spaces over traditional office spaces.
Coworking spaces might look more expensive at face value, but when you look deeper and in the long run, it ends up saving a lot of your time, energy and money.
If you want to estimate your space costs, Workstreet has the most accurate space cost calculator for you! Click here.