Coworking spaces, such as WeWork, have increased in popularity over the past decade. In 2021, there were a reported 3,762 coworking spaces. By 2024, that figure is expected to double. A primary reason for this is the increase in the number of freelancers, entrepreneurs, and startup companies that don’t have a traditional office space to work in.
For many people, remote work from home isn’t an option, whether it’s because their home is too small to work from or simply isn’t an environment that’s conducive to work.
However, if you’re running a coworking space, there are some common challenges that you’ll want to address to make your coworking space as appealing as possible.
1. A Lack of Privacy
Privacy is a major concern for many people when it comes to coworking spaces. Getting work done can be difficult if somebody keeps interrupting you in an attempt to network or collaborate. It’s one of the few drawbacks of not having private offices.
How To Solve Privacy Issues
There are only a few things that you can do if you have an open floor plan — but you should still do them. The following are a few tips to address privacy issues:
- Arrange your shared office space in a way so that there’s some space between members. Desks should not be side-by-side. It should feel like each person has their own “space” around their desk.
- Create areas in the space that can be used for private conversations, such as a conference room, a break room, or even a small room that’s been set aside for this purpose.
- Add privacy screens to your workstations. These screens can be used to create a sense of privacy, without having to completely close off the space.
2. Poor Security
One of the biggest challenges when it comes to coworking spaces is security. There have been cases where personal data or possessions (such as laptops) have been stolen from coworking spaces. When this happens, it’s because the space isn’t properly secured or members aren’t taking the necessary precautions to protect their information when using your wi-fi.
How To Address Security Issues
There are a few things that you can do to improve coworking space security:
- Invest in a good security system, such as surveillance cameras, alarm systems, or even a guard.
- Inform coworking members of the best security practices, both in your space (not leaving laptops at their desks overnight) and while using your wi-fi.
- Keep track of visitors. You can do this by maintaining a visitor log requiring visitors to check-in at the front desk.
- Make sure your network is password protected and change the password routinely to ensure that previous members do not continue to have access.
3. Noise Levels
Noise levels can be a major issue in coworking spaces. Hearing other people’s conversations can be distracting and make it difficult to focus. This is especially true if a member is working on a project that requires a lot of concentration.
How To Reduce Distractions And Noise
There are a few things that you can do to address noise levels in your coworking space:
- Create separate areas for collaboration and private work.
- Use dividers to create “sound walls,” and choose furniture that absorbs sound.
- Establish rules for your coworking spaces, such as avoiding loud conversations and using headphones when listening to music or watching videos.
- Provide earplugs.
- Install cork or carpet flooring to help absorb sound.
4. Insufficient Equipment
People who work from home are used to having access to all of the equipment that they need. This isn’t always the case in coworking spaces. It will be difficult to attract more members or to keep the ones you have if you don’t equip your coworking space properly.
What Equipment To Invest In
Equip your space with printers, scanners, shredders, and copiers. You should also provide office materials, including printer ink, pens, paper, staplers, paper, and the like. If a member can’t do their job in your coworking space due to a lack of equipment or office materials, they won’t stay for very long.
5. Poor Management of the Coworking Space
One of the big challenges is the lack of communication between the members of the coworking space and the coworking space itself. For instance, if you have a meeting room, then you should maintain a schedule that allows members to sign up to use it. Additionally, members who aren’t happy with their space often don’t realize that there are other spaces available to rent.
How To Improve Communication
Digital signage is a great way to improve communication between you and the members of your coworking space. You can use it to post schedules for meeting rooms, announce new members, list tips on how to use the space properly, display rules for using the space and even provide information about what spaces are available to rent.
Running a coworking space can be a lucrative business, especially with more and more people freelancing than ever before. However, it’s crucial that you address these common challenges to make your space as appealing to members as possible.