In the earliest days of the pandemic, the demise of coworking was predicted by many doomsayers. Despite these misconceptions, things are now on a strong path for growth as employers embrace more hybrid work strategies and some employees are showing signs of growing weary of working only from home. As more organizations and employees embrace coworking space, whether from the circumstances mentioned above or as a temporary solution, experts are anticipating that the industry will reach more than $13 billion by the year 2025.
The positive outlook is fueled by a variety of factors. As Account Executive Celeste Mclane explains, “People have different reasons for why they’re choosing shared office spaces. Whether it’s a startup that wants someone to take care of the other ancillary services like reception and IT or an organization that’s in need of flexible space to put growing teams, the job function for the teams in the space really tells you what is or isn’t going to work.”
At the end of the day, there are many reasons to choose a coworking space, but the benefits and advantages of doing so are meaningless unless your employees are happy in that space. That’s exactly what one of CORT’s valued customers discovered. With their office-centric culture, the client has been encouraging their teams to return to the office since April and May of 2021.
When the space of their existing real estate in San Diego was no longer enough, the client decided to leverage a WeWork located in its office building to use for spillover. A portion of its sales team moved into the coworking space and quickly ran into a challenge.
With a vibrant, bustling team making calls all day every day, the lack of soundproofing in the modern space quickly became a barrier to success. That’s where furniture rental came into play. The client rented rugs, partitions, upholstered barriers – anything to add soundproofing.
That real-world scenario underscores the importance of understanding the potential pitfalls that an organization can face when creating a temporary or satellite office within a coworking space. It also clearly demonstrates the power the right furniture items can have in transforming a sleek, concrete, space into a functional, comfortable and productive office.
Creating Separate Workspaces
When you first think of coworking, you might not immediately think about privacy. But an open floor plan isn’t always conducive to optimal productivity. While you may want to include some open areas for teamwork and collaboration, creating separate workspaces can enhance efficiency.
How can you best do this in a coworking space? Using dividers is an ideal solution since this provides a sense of privacy to workers and it allows for physical distancing as needed. Even better, dividers are visually appealing but not permanent. You can quickly scale or change the layout according to your changing needs while also providing your employees with the comfort of having their own spaces. It also gives your employees using the coworking space a little more control over the design of their workspaces, which could boost productivity by up to 32% according to research from Exeter University.
Using Furniture for Soundproofing
Imagine even a small group of 10 workers in a coworking space with concrete floors and hard surfaces. Now imagine if all 10 of those employees had to be on the phone at the same time.
Although that scenario wouldn’t necessarily be a regular occurrence, noisiness creates a distraction. And distraction is the enemy of productivity and efficiency. Research shows that background noise can reduce productivity by as much as 66 %, with roughly 30% of employees regularly losing their concentration because of the normal background noises that accompany most office environments.
To mitigate the issue in a coworking space, you need to absorb, and block sounds as much as possible using impermanent solutions. Upholstered furnishings and rugs help absorb sounds and improve acoustics. Upholstered barriers help block sound while creating increased privacy, while acrylic dividers and toppers help block sound while maintaining a more open look in the space.
Embracing a Flexible Space with Flexible Furnishing from CORT
There are many different reasons to choose coworking spaces as the needs of an organization evolve and change. Things aren’t always black and white or streamlined, which is just one of the many reasons CORT embraces the benefits of flexibility.
“CORT’s access vs. ownership approach to furniture provides ultimate flexibility as organizational needs change for our customers,” said Mclane. “In the current environment rather than planning for 5 or 10 years into the future, organizations are in a much shorter planning cycle of what is happening the next few months. Embracing Furniture-as-a-service gives organizations the ability to try different approaches to workplace furnishings. When utilizing shared offices spaces CORT’s offerings can help supplement what furniture may already be provided for better customization to each organization’s needs.”
By renting furniture to outfit your coworking space, not only do you get access to all the furniture you need to create coworking spaces that work for you, but you get that access without the burdens of ownership. This is what we believe is the true freedom of being “Permanently Flexible.” If your organization expands, contracts, or needs to switch things as your needs and wants to evolve, CORT’s here to deliver. The furniture is owned and serviced by CORT and with our experts on hand to help you with space planning, office design, and installation, we aim to set your workplace up for success.
Ready to experiment, measure, modify, and repeat with CORT? Visit cort.com to explore all the ways you can create coworking spaces that work smarter, not harder.