Finding the right space to work
It’s a global business world out there and more of us are traveling for work than ever before. But anyone who’s actually taken a business trip knows how difficult it can be to find a comfortable and productive work environment for the interludes between meetings or travel. Let’s focus on one of the solution: co-working!
So how can we make our business travellers feel more at home on the road?
If you are visiting a city where your company does not have an office, finding a good place to be productive can be a bit of a challenge. Until recently your choices have been limited to a hotel or coffee shop with the hope that WIFI is readily available and that its’ not too noisy or crowded.
Over recent years a new option for remote working has emerged from the sharing economy, the concept of co-working, fuelled by a more flexible workforce, a desire for greater workspace efficiency and huge advances in mobile technology. The concept of co-working allows businesses and individuals to rent a desk, an office or a conference room on a short-term basis, a place where you can work outside of the traditional office environment.
This new way of working has created a great opportunity for real estate entrepreneurs who want to share their available spaces with people who need a quiet place to work a few hours. Co-working or shared workspaces are usually thought of as places that remote employees might use rather than sitting in their home offices, but in certain instances, these spaces could be helpful to the business traveller, offering the flexibility to drop in and out of an office environment as they please.
There are several different types of collaborative workspaces now available, from open layout designs, natural light and views of the city, to green spaces where people can congregate, collaborate and connect with the local community. These spaces also offer a variety of layouts and room or desk options, from a seat in a shared open office to a chair at a shared table or your own private area.
What about co-working offers on the market?
As well as different locations and facilities, co-working spaces also have different payment terms. Some spaces require paid memberships, which allow you to reserve and access the space on a monthly basis, others allow you to reserve and check in by the hour, the latter being more conducive to business travel.
Traditional office rental companies such as Regus are adapting their business model and product offering to cater for this new flexible way of working. Accommodation provider Airbnb has partnered with WeWork to tap into this lucrative market and together, they have created a dashboard for companies to streamline and manage the process of booking travel reservations, paying invoices and reporting employee travel.
Other companies such as Mindspace, Urban Place, Rocketspace and an on-demand co-working app called Croissant are all growing at pace. The Croissant app for example, targets the remote and traveling employee, helping the travelling consultant on days when they are not working onsite, to replace the lacklustre coffee shop experience with flexible, creative workspaces, travellers can easily hop into private meetings with clients and book a conference room through the app at over 400 spaces.
In response to the co-working organisations, the major hotel brands are also investing in their own environments to meet the new lifestyle demands of the modern business travellers with shared working spaces and a less formal environment than might be found in more traditional corporate travel hotels.
GBTA recently reported that by 2020 “50% of the Global workforce will consist of Millennials,” with this shift in the demographics of the business traveller there is no doubt that co-working is here to stay and will continue to thrive.