In the past, individuals’ work environments typically fell into one of two camps: office in a corporate building or out of their own home. The pandemic forced millions to quickly transition to the latter, working fully at home.
This came with some challenges, including dealing with distractions, unexpected noise, technical difficulties, a lack of social interaction, and limited space. Despite the downfalls, there have also been positives, such as increased flexibility, eliminated commutes, financial savings, and customizable office spaces.
Because full-time usage of one or the other doesn’t always suit employees’ needs, businesses are now rethinking how and where we work, with many introducing hybrid models. It’s also expanded how many view coworking spaces: They’re not just for entrepreneurs or freelancers — they can also be a beneficial option for single employees or full teams.
“Even prior to the pandemic, we saw the need and desire for a more spacious and elevated shared office experience, somewhere that’s hospitable and professional,” says James O’Reilly, president of Life Time Work. “This led us to open our first Life Time Work coworking space in 2018. Not everyone thrives working solely in a cubicle or home office; we’re able to use our expertise to reimagine the workspace to be better tailored to the needs of discerning professionals.”
Life Time Work, which now has five locations across the United States and is quickly growing, offers a contemporary shared workplace design for established professionals, agile corporate employees, and solopreneurs. It’s also the first and only coworking concept to combine a premium workspace with a world-class health club, as every member gets an all-access Life Time club membership.
If a coworking space is something you’re considering as you think about what an expanded view of your workplace might look like, these six factors are worth noting.
Coworking spaces tend to have a more flexible design than traditional office settings, or that you’re able to achieve in your own home.
“Many of our Life Time Work members appreciate the ability to move through different work settings throughout the day, depending on what their work dictates,” says O’Reilly. “They may want to be head-down in a private office, collaborating in a conference room, near others in our more social open-plan settings, or getting some fresh air on the outdoor terrace.”
Outside of the physical setup, coworking environments often also include other features meant to enhance your productivity. For example, at Life Time Work you have access to fresh coffee and healthy snacks, responsive tech support, secure and fast Wi-Fi, comfortable furniture, and sit-to-stand desks.
Of course, one other benefit of a coworking space is that it’s also free from household distractions (kids, pets, chores, etc.) that may demand your attention throughout the day.
Whether you’re an early bird, nine-to-fiver, or night owl, coworking spaces can cater to your desired work hours by promoting a come-and-go environment. This allows your schedule to drive your day rather than the confines of office hours.
Once you’re in the space, there’s further flexibility with the furniture you sit on, the indoor and outdoor spaces you meet and work in, the size of meeting rooms, and technology options.
Many coworking facilities include a variety of seating options, such as open lounge, private enclosed offices, phone booths, and conference rooms, available depending on your day’s needs. Your desk space can also look different from day-to-day, or if you prefer more structure, you can rent a designated office space to call your own.
3. Positivity and Productivity
In thinking about whether to let employees choose when and where they work, some employers may be quick to assume that will result in them working less. Research actually shows the opposite: Studies have shown that more positivity and productivity come from the freedom of being able to make these decisions.
The reasons vary, ranging from employees being able to choose their work attire to the benefits of taking control of their schedule to the opportunity to squeeze in a midday work out.
“We’ve built an environment at Life Time Work that encourages our members to move throughout the day, as we know the immense impact that can have on not only their productivity and mood, but their whole health,” says O’Reilly. “We also ensure every member has access to natural light and a variety of workspaces that support a wide range of work styles to actively engage their productivity and sense of focus.”
Working solely from home can also lead to some individuals feeling isolated. In a coworking space, you have the benefit of being surrounded with other likeminded professionals, offering options for socialization and networking.
For business owners, committing to a coworking space for their employees offers an affordable alternative solution to paying a long-term lease for a large office facility. Why not spend less on a building and more on growing the success of your team?
“At Life Time Work, our members have the option of choosing to pay a rate depending on whether they prefer a designated work space or working in the lounge,” says O’Reilly. “We offer 30-day, 90-day, and annual agreements, which provide members with the flexibility that these uncertain times require.”
For Life Time Work members specifically, cost savings can also extend to other health-related perks. With a complimentary Life Time membership included, individuals gain access to health-club amenities and equipment, fitness classes, expert programming, and more, all as part of one cost.
Coworking spaces can provide a variety of technological advantages, operational cost savings, and general daily bonuses for employees.
For example, Life Time Work spaces offer high-speed Wi-Fi, tech support, printing services, digital whiteboards, and video conference cameras, as well as a stock of healthy snacks, fresh-brewed coffee, and filtered water. Plus, you’re either connected to or within a short walk from the Life Time health club where you’re also a member.
A membership at a coworking space often includes more than just the space itself; you are investing in the use of all the features and benefits as well.
Working in community setting like a coworking space allows for organic connections to be made with those working from other companies and in a variety of roles and fields.
“In addition to natural networking that can happen every day in our spaces, our Life Time Work locations also provide designated opportunities to connect, such as member-only workouts, sponsored happy hours, guest speaker events, health and wellness panels, digital forums, and professional development sessions,” says O’Reilly.
This proximity to a diverse array of people and businesses promotes connections you likely otherwise would not be able to make.
Coworking spaces serve as more than just an office — they provide opportunities to connect, engage, and succeed.