Boston Office Space for Lease: Benefits of Co-Working Space.
Modern workers are abandoning the “nine-to-five” structure and unchaining themselves from sitting at the same desk every day. The standard office setup is out, and flexibility is in. Thanks to innovative technology and the ubiquity of mobile devices, the concept of remote work has shifted from a rarity to an expectation.
Millennials and the upcoming “Generation Z” are in tune with technology and feel more comfortable choosing their own spaces, and this drives the demand for less rigidity and more choice in where and how to work. Entrepreneurs, freelancers, small groups and even large companies are embracing the idea of moving out of the office and utilizing co-working spaces instead.
These trendy, welcoming work areas are popping up all over the world. Flying the face of convention, co-working offices redefine what it means to “go to work,” collaborate and be productive. The Boston area boasted over 30 different co-working options as of 2015, and the growth of the trend means more are appearing all the time.
Taking advantage of a co-working model for your business brings many benefits, and you don’t have to look far to find affordable, flexible office space in Boston.
What is Co-Working?
Unlike a traditional office, co-working involves many people from different companies working together in the same space. Wikipedia defines it as “a style of work that involves a shared working environment, often an office, and independent activity.” These flexible spaces offer the freedom many young professionals desire as they seek to break away from the “daily grind.”
When you co-work, you rent desk or office space to be used at any time for whatever type of work you do. It’s a way to satisfy your desire for independence, comfort and control while building a better balance between work and leisure.
The Co-Working Trend
Brad Neuberg is credited with laying the foundation for the modern co-working model in San Francisco in 2005. Neuberg wanted to create an office structure suitable for independent work by merging freelancing with traditional office environments. Since then, the availability of co-working spaces across the globe has nearly doubled every year between 2006 and 2015.
The idea of having an office you can go to whenever you like appeals to all manner of remote workers, from freelancers and independent contractors to employees who travel a lot for their jobs. Spurred on by changes in technology and the growing connectivity of the digital world, co-working allows individuals and businesses to follow the flow of how work is changing. Projections suggest about 40 percent of the workforce will be in remote or independent positions by 2020, and about 1.2 million people worldwide are already making use of co-working spaces.
With so many more startups, solopreneurs and small companies looking for suitable workspaces and fewer large corporations shelling out for full office buildings, it’s likely co-working will continue to grow in popularity. The current average number of members in a typical co-working space is around 74, and 14,000 co-working spaces of all sizes are expected to be in operation by the end of 2017. Not being locked to a specific desk or workstation is a big draw for many people and is likely a factor in the 92 percent satisfaction rate of those utilizing the co-working model.
Benefits of Co-Working Spaces
Why has co-working become so popular in the recent past? Moving away from a rigid schedule and fixed work environment has multiple benefits for employees and companies. Co-working spaces are so flexible and diverse, they cater to a wide variety of work styles. Some are single desks with no designated occupants, known as “hot desks.” Others are dedicated desk spaces or even private offices, allowing you to choose the best setup for your needs. Regardless of the layout, co-working spaces are proving to be valuable for those who embrace the concept of remote work.
Working alone can make some people feel isolated, especially if they just made the switch to being a remote employee. Even though other members of a co-working space don’t work for the same company, you’re still likely to have goals or interests in common. Shared spaces get you out of the house and give you the chance to make friends with new people as you share a coffee break or lunch hour. You may find you enjoy being around this diverse group more than a traditional group of colleagues.
As you get to know the people in your shared office space, different creative viewpoints come to light. There are many opportunities to share ideas and get fresh perspectives. Since you’re not in competition for the attention of or a raise from the same boss, you’re free to brainstorm without worrying about someone taking your ideas and using them to climb the corporate ladder. Collaboration also serves as a form of networking, allowing you to connect with others to get and give referrals and grow your business.
One of the overlooked downsides to working at home is being among the myriad distractions found in your own space. Dishes pile up in the sink, the dog barks at every passing pedestrian, the kids come home from school and the neighbors decide to mow the lawn at odd times of day. Escaping to work in a coffee shop brings a new set of interruptions, especially if you’re not good at tuning out background noise.
In a co-working space, all you have to focus on is work. You only need to bring the tools necessary to do the job at hand, and you’re surrounded by people with a similar level of focus. There’s no office drama, no corporate tension and no internal competition. Many people find being around others in this environment makes them feel more motivated throughout the day.
Sometimes working at home can make you fall into a routine detrimental to productivity. You wind up working on the couch in your pajamas, paying more attention to social media than your job. Having a co-working desk to office forces you to get up, get dressed and structure your day around “going to work” at whatever time is best for you.
Like regular offices, co-working spaces have shared areas and common conveniences. You can enjoy high-speed internet access, professional-quality printers and comfortable rooms in which to take breaks.
You might be able to kick back with a snack and some coffee or even wander out onto a private deck. when you need to step away from your computer for a few minutes At lunch time, a communal kitchen gives you a place to warm up leftovers or prepare a quick meal. If you need a place to gather with colleagues or give a presentation to others in your industry, there are often meeting rooms available for members to use at their discretion.
Seventy percent of remote workers prefer to do their jobs outside of the normal nine-to-five timeframe. When you’re a member of a Boston co-working space, you can do your job whenever you’re most productive, even if you’re a night owl. It’s a great way to balance work and life, especially if you have kids. Instead of rushing off to work in the morning and stumbling through the door just in time for dinner, you can work when they’re at school and be there when they’re home.
Cubicles have a reputation for being restrictive and stuffy, making you feel as though you’re tethered to your desk because the boss is always watching over your shoulder. Many of the co-working options in Boston have open floor plans and big windows, and you’re free to get up and move around whenever you like. Because you can take a walk, grab a bottle of water, count your steps with a fitness tracker or do whatever makes you most comfortable throughout the day, co-working spaces make it possible to maintain a healthy lifestyle on your terms. The flexible nature of the working hours reduces stress, and some co-working spaces even have health and wellness classes or activities available for members.
What to Expect from Boston Co-Working Offices
Thanks to the popularity of co-working, a diverse range of options are available in the Boston area. From a few long tables set up in a room to posh private offices, you can pick the right setting for your particular brand of work. Look for a payment structure friendly to your budget, be it daily, monthly or yearly.
Basic work space open to all co-working members is the most common, but you can also choose to have a “hot desk” or dedicated desk. Hot desks are used by different people every day and require you to bring all your belongings home when you’re done. A dedicated desk can be arranged and decorated in the same way as a desk in a traditional office because it belongs to you as long as you’re renting. If you work best in a standard setting or need somewhere to meet with clients, many private offices are available.
Depending on the space you choose, your co-working membership may include:
- High-speed internet access
- Private booths for making calls
- Onsite staff
- Coffee makers or free coffee and tea
- Refreshments and snacks
- Kitchen space
- Break areas with couches or chairs
- Community events
- Fitness or wellness activities
- Decks or patios
- Video game consoles
Whether you prefer a formal setting or something more laid-back, you’ll find a Boston co-working space perfect for your needs.
How Much Do Boston Co-Working Spaces Cost?
Renting flexible co-working space tends to be cheaper than paying to be a tenant in a full office. Companies can save quite a bit of money by providing co-working areas for remote employees instead of maintaining a large corporate space, much of which often winds up sitting empty because of the fluid nature of the modern work environment. Some statistics show co-working areas are only half the price of regular offices, with the U.S. average being $365 per month for coworking and $733 per month for standard spaces.
Price levels and structures vary between co-working options in the Boston area. In some locations, you pay a set fee per month or prepay for a full year to get access to a flexible space and all onsite amenities. These fees run between a few hundred dollars to almost $1,500 depending on how much time you pay for up front.
If you only need a workspace some of the time, you can pay as little as $30 per day to rent a desk or a place at a table. Taking up a more permanent residence in an office can cost several thousand dollars per month. How much you pay is directly influenced by the type of work space you need, the “perks” offered and the area in which the co-working setup is located.
On average, basic co-working space in the Boston area will cost you between $200 and $500 per month and is suitable for freelance work or the modern version of telecommuting.
Co-working may once have been the wave of the future, but now it’s a solid reality for many people. Whether you’re a freelancer or an office employee, co-working offers an alternative to your standard work area. Since the trend only seems to be growing, it’s time to embrace this new paradigm and make it part of your professional life.
Need help finding just the right co-working space? Visit BostonOfficeSpace.com to browse a list of diverse spaces for lease. Choose your price range, property size and location, and sign up to see what’s available. With over 500 listings and more coming in every day, it shouldn’t be hard to find a co-working space for you or your company. Look through listings for the perfect combination of amenities to fit your needs, and start working smarter with a Boston co-working space today.