The serviced office is less relevant than ever for businesses. We've seen the expansion of coworking across the country, and within our own business we now have workspace in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.
So why is it that coworking is fast becoming the workspace of choice for a small business? Why are so many of our members shunning serviced offices for our open plan, collaborative style of workspace?
When the word ‘coworking’ was coined way back in 1999, little did people know how popular this style of working would become. Really, its popularity has grown due to the truly unique experience it offers workers. Couple this with the fact you can’t reproduce the energy that a successful coworking space has and you have a strong case against why traditional serviced offices are a thing of the past.
Serendipity is not just a fancy word.
The first coworking spaces were opened with a vision for a new workspace structured around serendipitous encounters between “unlikely allies for a radically better world”. The model aimed to meld together the best of a business incubator, think tank, learning lab and a professional membership community. Many of the great ideas that propel business, individuals and teams forward are the ones that come from the discovery of something completely unrelated.
Gravity member Pedze Mawande Director of The Community Co, attests to the importance of serendipity, and how Gravity’s community have facilitated this for his business: “The first thing we noticed was how much more we could get done in a day. Being surrounded by entrepreneurs and companies who are focused forces you to focus. The great atmosphere adds to this….Our company has gone from managing $140 million to over $350 million dollars in property assets and we have only been here just over a month.”
The design of a coworking space is paramount to serendipity having the chance to occur. Centrally located, attractive breakout zones, community events within the space and the cross pollination of businesses through an open plan environment are all unique to coworking spaces. It’s something that a serviced office or heavily built up space find hard to achieve.
Another member summed up the serendipity of Gravity in this way:
“The Gravity community opens up the doors for business cooperation bringing together a broad base of driven individuals, creating a pool of expertise from which entrepreneurs can leverage from. We can all identify synergies for strategic business alliances which undoubtedly could spark fresh ideas and innovation.”
Well, you can’t argue with hard facts. To prove that there is a growing preference towards coworking over the serviced office, 15% of our members have left their serviced offices after discovering Gravity. The community, amenity, price certainty and vibe of our coworking spaces are all factors in the defection of our members.
With our open plan working environment, you can be assured of flexibility. Flexibility for your business if you grow, contract, change your focus or overall concept. This is one thing that a serviced office workplace model can’t deliver.
Gravity member Carlos Mauleon from Biznex commented, I consider that the solutions and plans Gravity offer can serve as great stepping stones and aid entrepreneurs to make their way into the market as they ignite their businesses… I also consider that Gravity has the capacity, willingness and initiative to evolve and offer solutions to aid entrepreneurs succeed in today’s ever changing environment.
Coworking is here to stay.
Coworking spaces seem unfamiliar to those accustomed to conventional closed in workplaces and serviced office cubicles. What about the noise? Won’t I be distracted. But here’s the thing: coworking isn’t just about open plan working. By striking the right balance of open desk space, closed meeting rooms, quiet focus areas and breakout spaces, we can create a workplace that offers diverse ways for you to work. Want to spend 2 hours going over a document in silence? No problem, grab a quiet booth. Want to immerse youself in a think tank with your colleague? That’s great, book one of our brainstorm meeting rooms.
The beauty of a true coworking environment is that it can offer a range of alternate working zones to the desk you rent, thanks to space we save through our open plan layout.
The other thing about coworking is that when we look at workers – you, your employees, your clients - as humans, socially we are attracted to connections, community, neighbourhoods. We all love to belong to something that is bigger than us. In a coworking space, this becomes the promise of professional connections, a supportive community, a place that we ‘belong’ too.
Alongside this, at Gravity we have seen larger organisations send in teams to be part of our coworking space to leverage the innovative potential of being part of such a community. Some of these organisations see it as a truly unique way to attract the best talent to their organisation.
If this narrative gains popularity it is likely that larger organisations will shift towards coworking models. We’ve already seen evidence of it with some of our members being these types of organisations. And when these guys make the shift, we might just see the decline of the serviced office altogether.