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Coworking in globally distributed teams: How it works

Published: Friday 29th January 2021

The jolt from the coronavirus pandemic has led to significant changes in the development of modern business. From small to large, businesses are looking for ways to cut costs. It happens that the transfer of most of the processes to outsourcing is not enough for the profitability to become positive again. After all, there remains an in-house team, rent for whom you have to pay, or remote employees who do not have the opportunity to work productively from home. The active development of coworking spaces opens up a window of opportunity in such situations. In this article, we will talk about the benefits of coworking in a collocated team and how to successfully transfer your team to a common work format.

Why companies are starting to add a coworking option to their remote work strategy

reasons behind hiring a virtual team infographic. Coworking concept.

Coworking spaces and flexible office spaces are displacing traditional offices from the market due to the added value of unique services, community building, and flexibility. Changes in behavioural habits due to prolonged quarantine, revaluation of values, ​​and the growing demand for additional services have generated great interest in the so-called coworking spaces.

The coworking space provides an office for an hour; an independent freelancer and a remote team of an IT company can be occupied near each other. Typically, they will intersect in shared kitchens, bathrooms, and recreational areas.

Under quarantine conditions, coworking spaces must continue to provide value to remote teams to justify further rental payments. Therefore, they invest in various services and content that can be consumed remotely, as well as in lines of business that deliver value to the customer online. This helps to bring residents and their new place of work – coworking closer together, to create a warmer community and a comfortable work environment.

Thus, it is possible to establish business contacts, as well as to exchange basic ideas and work experience on an ongoing basis. By working together on projects, people help each other. In such an office you can put together a real team of professionals.

Coworking spaces are growing fast

The first coworking space opened in 2005 in San Francisco by programmer Brad Newberg. It was funded by membership fees, and its office was located in the home of the feminist community Spiral Muse. Newburgh also offered coworking residents free Wi-Fi, meditation breaks, shared bike rides, and lunches.

The following factors contribute to the growth and transformation of coworking spaces today:

  • the development of digital and IT technologies that improve communication formats for remote work
  • targeting millennials who value mobility and flexibility and strive to maintain a balance between work and personal life
  • the development of the digital nomads’ phenomenon
  • the formation of a culture of sharing economy.

The old system where companies owned offices is a thing of the past. The focus of business is shifting to finding not only a safe and convenient place to work but also a whole ecosystem where you can get any service while working.

Correspondingly, the coworking spaces where the atmosphere for work is favourable win the most. There are different types of offices and workplaces, the availability of workshops for residents, and they include coffee, tea, and lunches, in the price.

The undisputed business benefit is that you’re surrounded by the same creative and energetic people. Don’t underestimate the networking and potential business opportunities that you can discover even during a quick coffee break. Many businesses are relocating some of their staff to coworking spaces to change routine office environments and be among other startups, remote programmers, and innovative IT companies.

Benefits of global team model.

The role of coworking for distributed and collocated teams

With the outbreak of the pandemic, some of the traditional offices have turned into ghost towns – just as desolate and lifeless. Colliers International, an international company that manages commercial real estate in 68 countries, conducted a survey of respondents from around the world to identify attitudes towards remote work during a pandemic. The main results are as follows: work productivity did not change in 51% of respondents, increased in 26%, and 12% of respondents would like to work from home more than 4 days a week and 1-2 days – 49%.

The question arises: how to transfer your co-located teams, that can be scattered around the world to a coworking space?

It is worth looking for coworking spaces with the following characteristics:

  • A ready-made office, which has lounges, meeting rooms, lecture halls, game rooms, skype rooms, kitchens, lounges.
  • All-inclusive. All services, including utilities, cleaning, coffee, Internet access, security, as well as a large number of community events and educational programs for our residents are already included in the price. The job of organising the office is entirely on the shoulders of the coworking space.
  • Flexibility. When expanding a team, it is easy to add additional space, and when decreasing, on the contrary, it can be reduced without paying for extra space and jobs.
  • No long-term commitment. Mostly, contracts with business centres last for at least a year, often for 36 months. Though it is better to select such coworking spaces where contracts are for 1 month and will renew automatically until the resident hands in notice of moving out.

Conclusion

Rent, capital cost, facility operation, maintenance, and management make real estate the largest cost category. Office maintenance costs account for 10 to 20% of total staff costs. And coworking space for teams scattered around the world will help keep the team productive and close. A business follows a leaner business model because its team members feel the importance of their work and the value of their role in the company.

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