Julie Tucker
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Coworking: Cutting costs in challenging times

With economists predicting the UK is on the precipice of a recession, struggling businesses are under increased pressure to keep afloat. Having survived the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns, they are now facing another major hurdle in the shape of the deteriorating economic climate.

Analysts believe the UK is in the throes of a recession that began during the second quarter of 2022. Inflation is currently hovering at around 10% but it’s expected to rise further over the next few months. It is anticipated that the Bank of England will raise interest rates from the current 2.25% to 3.25% by February 2023.

© vinnstock / Shutterstock.com

The aim is to reduce inflation, in the medium term, to its 2% target. However, this is no consolation for beleaguered businesses. More than ever before, it’s crucial to recognise what adds real value before committing to spending any hard-earned cash.

Benefits of flexible working

Unlike previous recessions, this one is a little different because the way we work in the UK has changed. The pandemic led to workers experiencing unprecedented new flexibility. People worked from home during the lockdowns, developing new practices that have continued long afterwards.

Today, many are embracing coworking spaces as a means of enjoying a flexible workspace, with the added bonus of having a sense of community and the latest technology. One of the most important benefits of coworking is keeping costs down, compared with traditional corporate offices.

Coworking is taking the place of full office rentals and their associated overheads. As a way of moving with the times, it helps businesses to address the challenges of the current economic climate.

Top coworking locations

The majority of the UK’s coworking spaces are in London, where they cover a total of 11.5 million sq. ft of office space. This is an increase of 9% in the past year. There is also a strong demand for coworking space in Manchester, where it will cover an estimated 200,800 sq. ft by the end of 2022, up from 132,900 sq. ft in 2019.

Another increasingly popular location for coworking is Birmingham, as it’s a hub for business, retail and places to dine out. This makes it an attractive option, particularly as it also has excellent transport links.

The workplace has changed since the pandemic, from the point of view of business owners and employees. People have gotten used to the productive and dedicated workspace offered by coworking spaces. Working from home was all well and good, but the impractical set-up and lack of human contact made this only a short-term option.

Coworking is the natural progression, offering a perfect blend of modern technology with the chance to socialise with other people, creating a productive and more cost-effective workplace, in comparison with returning to a corporate office environment.

Reducing rental costs

Leasing long-term offices was the norm for so long before the pandemic that it was treated as a necessary expense. Now, covering office rentals, wages, bills and insurance isn’t an attractive option because of the current economic crisis. Research shows office rent is the second biggest cost for businesses after staff wages, so the chance to downsize and cut office costs is being welcomed by many companies.

The flexibility of coworking spaces also means that once the current crisis is over and companies are ready to take on more staff again, they can do so quickly and easily, without having to sign up for a long-term contract for traditional office space.

Working with flexibility, in a cost-effective way, has become a priority for many businesses. Coworking can significantly reduce the pressure on company owners when it comes to keeping their costs down. They can use the flexibility in these uncertain times to change course quickly, if necessary, without the constraints of long-term office contracts.

With the number of coworking spaces increasing and many locations available, staff can reduce their travelling costs and commute time by working nearer to home.

Coworking: convenience, comfort, community

You can get everything you need under one roof, ridding yourself of the hefty burden of renting and paying rocketing bills alone. This means you can spend your budget where you really need it. We’re extremely lucky to live in such a technologically advanced time, particularly in light of the economic challenges, when every penny counts.

If you’re wondering whether coworking is for you, book a tour of your chosen space. It could be the perfect solution for you and your business!


© vinnstock / Shutterstock.com

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