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Office Space Blog: A Few Things They Dont Talk About When It Comes To Shared Work Space

You’ve probably heard about “shared workspace” or “office hoteling” as the next big thing for commercial renters and developers. The concept is built on a central office with communal office space (desks and offices are first-come, first-served on a daily basis) for telecommuters to plug in anywhere they like, at any time. In such cases, much or all of the team spends more time than not working from home. There is little ownership of the office space, but rather, much generic and common space. To be sure, the cost benefits are attractive. But before you jump headfirst into this wave of the future, consider a few things.

Is a shared space environment right for your business?

  • Does it fit your office culture? We tend to underestimate the value of in-office socialization (birthday parties, team lunches, happy hours or even water cooler conversations) on morale and productivity. These types of team-building interaction can be a key ingredient to a team atmosphere, but can be lost in a shared office or where a large percentage of the staff works off premises most of the time.

  • How well do your employees communicate when they’re not face-to-face? How many times have you taken an e-mail in a way it wasn’t intended, leading to drama and conflict? Don’t discount the importance of eye contact and body language when it comes to inter-office communications. When an employee works from home, he or she is reduced—for purposes of most conversations—to the written e-mail or the cell phone. This too can have an impact on your team cohesion.

  • How important is ownership to your staff? Whether we admit it or not, many people like to “own” their office space with photos, mementos, and other items personalizing the space. For them, a shared office is much like a hotel bed, and about as comfortable. Don’t rule this out when considering the effect of your office environment on employee comfort and morale.

Shared workspace is definitely an idea taking root quickly in new development. For some businesses, it will be an improvement. But don’t latch on simply because it’s the latest thing. Be sure it’s a fit for your office and the needs of your employees, first.

The Stone Group

12912 Hill Country Blvd,

Building F, Ste. 201,

Austin, TX 78738

Phone. 512-732-8700

 

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