The SMO #coworking Blog

Coworking Space Articles & Opinions

22.04.2021 Back to Blog articles

How To Retain Staff and Build Long Term Coworking Relationships

Happy employees translate to better performance and more innovative ideas. With this in mind, many companies offer a range of perks to their staff to maintain morale and reward their dedication. These incentives can take a range of forms including:

  • Private health care
  • Life insurance
  • Gym memberships (free or subsidised)
  • Free tea and coffee making facilities 
  • Additional in-office perks (free fruit, in-house bar, in-house coffee house, free or subsidised meals/canteen)
  • Financial (in the form of a bonus or raise)
  • Offering more flexible hours
  • Staff breakout and communal areas
  • Offering career prospects
  • Offering additional training 
  • Reward/activity days
  • Company car or commuting allowance

What Is The Difference Between Coworking and Remote Working?

There is often confusion around the terms remote working and coworking. However, to put it simply they are often the same. Many people will associate the idea of remote working with working from home however with the growth in hybrid, shared and coworking offices remote working simply refers to the fact an employee is not working at the same desk every day. From an employers perspective, there is very little difference in the key equipment a remote employee may need when compared to an employee working from home. The key differentiating factors are:

  1. A remote employee may require more ‘portable’ equipment (such as a laptop instead of a desktop) which makes transitioning between offices or working environments easier.
  2. Typically remote employees will benefit from the social interaction opportunities that coworking and sharing an office with others can offer.

The Benefit of Remote and Coworking Offices For Businesses

In the past, many employers have perceived the element of flexible or remote working as a reward/benefit in itself but that is not always how it is perceived by potential and existing employees. This is something that many employers and employees discovered during the chaos that was the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, many employees have reported a significant negative impact on their mental health due to not having a more structured working environment.

As we have discussed above, many of the traditional ways an employer rewards its employees is through in-office perks. However, with more and more businesses supporting remote working and coworking they must look at other ways to build and maintain a positive work environment. We know that remote and coworking relationships are mutually beneficial with employers gaining the opportunity to reduce overheads and expenses while accessing a wider talent pool. Although the initial set up for remote working can be higher, the long term benefits and savings for a company are clear. Shared offices and coworking spaces allow employers to continue to offer in-office perks such as tea/coffee and kitchen facilities as well optional extras such as in-office gyms and canteens.

What Do Remote Working Employees Need?

Employers all know the obvious needs and resources a remote employee requires, for example, laptops, software, office furniture, company phone etc. With that said, all employees also have intangible needs such as social interaction and a suitable environment to encourage this. Let's face it people are more likely to relax and speak more openly in an open informal space with sofas than sitting in a more formal meeting room. It is well known that creative teams sometimes do their best work in a more relaxed and informal environment; although, from our experience, everybody in an office can benefit from having people to speak to. As a result, it is important for employers to consider all their employee needs both tangible and intangible.


Why Coworking Is The Way Forward For Any Business

Coworking can take a range of forms however the most common are coworking offices and shared offices, not to be mistaken with serviced offices! These spaces actively encourage work-based communication, supporting collaborative work through open and relaxed meeting and communal spaces. These, alongside other in-office perks, can have a significant influence on staff morale, while fostering innovation and collaboration as well as better productivity. For example, Google offers their staff a free canteen in some of their main offices, therefore, encouraging staff to stay in the office for lunch instead of leaving the premises. By keeping their staff in the office, lunchtimes are more likely to evolve into networking opportunities or a chance to ‘spitball’ ideas with colleagues and discuss projects in a more relaxed environment. In this situation everybody involved will benefit; a company can see more proactive and productive staff with better ideas, strategies and interdisciplinary working while employees gain access to networking and collaborative opportunities. These relaxed working environments are also more likely to foster mentoring relationships, something which is essential for a company to grow and evolve.

So whether you are looking at sharing your office space with other companies and freelancers or researching coworking spaces for your employees who work remotely to use; it is important to bear in mind that all employees have tangible and intangible needs which need to be supported in order to be successful. By adequately supporting your employees and fostering a more open and collaborative work environment you open up a world of opportunities to your business.

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