Top 6 Challenges of Coworking Spaces


1. Distraction and noise

More than half of high-performing employees say they need quiet workspaces to be successful. Coworking spaces, however, are not always conducive to a quiet environment. Nearly half of co-workers (48%) say that distraction and noise are a challenge in their co-working spaces. 48% of employees say distractions and noise are challenges in their coworking spaces.

In open space working environments, for example, conversations, phone calls or even loud keyboard typing are likely to cause continuous noise. In these cases, employees who are most productive in quiet environments may find it difficult to focus, experience lower productivity, or produce lower quality work.

Co-working spaces are also event spaces – so if your team reserves a meeting room for your weekly updates, you might be faced with a seminar for entrepreneurs a few square feet away.

Restricting noise in open co-working spaces is challenging, but businesses can minimize disruptions by investing in noise-cancelling headphones or finding co-working offices that provide quiet spaces.

2. Lack of privacy

Employees value privacy in the workplace, even if they work for a company that requires collaboration. Nearly half of co-workers (48%) see privacy as a challenge in their co-working space. 48% of employees say lack of privacy is a major challenge of co-working spaces

According to a 2019 Fast Company article, there are four reasons why workplace privacy is important: Helps attract ideas: People discuss ideas with one or two colleagues before presenting them to a larger group. They need privacy for this discussion.

Boosts creativity: Creativity requires private moments to reflect or brainstorm in small groups.

Encourages concentration: People can think, reflect and concentrate better with some privacy.

Increases employee engagement: Employees are more engaged when their office provides a balance between private workspaces and loud, more collaborative workspaces.

3. Limited space

Employees value their personal space more than any other space in their office: An office with limited space can hinder employee satisfaction and productivity. Thirty-nine percent (39%) of coworking workers say limited space means working in a shared office is a challenge. For example, an employee who makes frequent calls as part of his job may not do so at his desk if others in his space are socializing or making calls.

He may try to find a private office or phone booth area in a co-working space to make a call but may struggle if the space is too small or doesn’t have enough natural light. Not only is it frustrating for employees, but it also looks unprofessional to the person on the other end of the call if there is too much background noise. Businesses working in coworking spaces need to find an office that has enough space for employees to do their work successfully.

4. Inadequate equipment

Coworking spaces can follow the latest office trends — free coffee, game rooms, snacks, etc. — but if it doesn’t have the right equipment for workers (like dedicated desks), it may struggle to keep tenants. Nearly a third of co-workers (31%) say the equipment in their co-working space is inadequate.

An employee who uses a coworking space to work remotely relies on fast, high-speed Internet to communicate with his colleagues. If he gets slow Wi-Fi every day at work, he can choose a different type of workspace. A person using multiple monitors, a lamp, and a phone will need more than one outlet nearby. If she can’t plug in her electronics as needed, she can’t do her job to the best of her ability.

A worker with back problems may need a comfortable chair to work in, while others may benefit from a sit-stand desk. Businesses need to invest in the right equipment for their business — even if their co-workers don’t. Solutions can be as simple as buying extension cords or giving employee’s unlimited access to devices other than coworking spaces. Vice that increases productivity and meets the needs of employees

5. Inability to personalize workspace

Almost all employees (98%) in a traditional office have a designated place of work. Co-working spaces, like traditional office spaces, need to give employees a designated space to make it their own. The fifth biggest challenge of collaboration spaces is the lack of ability to personalize workspaces (31%).

For example, an employee who works in the same place every day can add personal touches to his desk, such as pictures, cards and memorabilia. He won’t be able to personalize his workspace if he’s at a different or hot desk every day, or if the coworking space doesn’t allow tenants to personalize their desks. Giving employees the ability to personalize their own space can help them feel more “at home” while at work.

6. Safety and security issues

In a traditional office space, equipment and ideas stay safe: Employees can openly discuss projects without fear of another company stealing ideas. People can feel safe using company-only Wi-Fi, where other workers and companies can’t easily hack into their systems. Employees can leave their devices overnight in a locked office space.

Security issues at coworking spaces aren’t just about technology. Many co-working spaces are open 24/7, which can affect the physical safety of workers during work hours. Some coworking spaces have alarm systems and video surveillance to increase security, but many employees still worry about their personal and professional safety at coworking spaces.

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