Coworking offers flexibility to employers, employees

Employers trying to figure out how office impacts engagement, productivity, culture, says expert

Coworking offers flexibility to employers, employees

When it comes to today’s office space, flexibility is important for many employees.

And it’s a big part of the rise of employer demand for coworking spaces, according to one expert.

“It's not only the ability to do a short-term transaction; it's also the ability to get into the space quickly. Our transaction cycles are weeks, not months. So companies will come in to look at the space and within a week, within 24 hours, they can move into the space,” says Kane Willmott, co-founder and CEO, iQ Offices, in talking with HRD Canada.

“It is entirely ready to go. So they can make decisions, they can act quickly, they can be very agile with how they use their workspace.”

Coworking proved popular when the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic subsided, according to a previous report.

Post-COVID, “what we're seeing is that companies don't have confidence in how the workspace is going to perform for them as an investment,” says Willmott.

He explains that while employers can do surveys to know whether workers are interested in reporting back to the offices on a more regular basis, “that doesn't necessarily translate into utilization”.

Big office spaces now become an unnecessary expense for employers. To solve this problem, some companies are now renting out those offices as coworking spaces, says Willmott.

Now, HR leaders are becoming part of the decision on what type of office space a company should utilize, he says.

“If we're going to spend an X amount per month on this workspace, are people actually going to use it? Is it going to drive engagement? Is it going to drive productivity? Is it going to enhance our culture? There are things that they have to try and figure out.”

Some workers say they want to spend their work week in a coworking space, and many say their productivity improves when they are there, according to a previous report.

Workspace of the future

It really comes down to understanding what it is that you're looking to achieve with the space, he says.

The workspace of the future is going to look a lot more like a hotel than an office building, from the perspective of the hospitality side. You're going to see that people start utilizing spaces, and they start judging the experience that they have in those spaces.

“The idea of going back to that ‘box in the sky’ and just signing a 10-year lease and getting it out, or building out [an office] yourself and taking on all that risk – I think in a lot of ways that's going to go away for small space requirements. I just don't think that's going to exist.”

Here are the pros and cons of coworking spaces when compared to traditional office spaces, according to a previous report.

Recent articles & video

3 unions team up to intervene in appeal of province’s pronoun law

Province seeks public feedback on accessible employment standard regulation

Privilege in workplace Investigations

Ottawa invests $370 million for over 200 youth employment projects

Most Read Articles

SHRM removes ‘equity’ from DEI program ‘to address flaws’

$500-million severance lawsuit against Musk dismissed: reports

Federal government consultant charged for $250,000 timesheet fraud