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South West businesses move to co-working spaces as collaboration and networking prove pivotal to company culture

New research from one of the leading providers of flexible office space in the UK, Desklodge, has found a growing number of the region’s businesses are taking the decision to move into co-working spaces due to the collaboration and networking opportunities provided.

With hybrid working models and a dispersed work force now the norm for many, an increasing number of business leaders (37%) have stated that an office space which offers collaboration opportunities is proving vital to company culture.

Nearly half (46%) of business leaders from across the region cited operating from a premises that can offer flexibility for a distributed workforce as a key driver for moving into a co-working space, as well as cost-effectiveness for scaling up quickly (37%).

The current economic situation has offered businesses the opportunity to take stock and review all expenditures, including where they choose to base themselves. Most business leaders said that a direct impact on sales (79%), and the overall rising cost of running a business (78%) are their top concerns for the future.

Desklodge Founder, Tom Ball, offers his take on how organisations have needed to react to uncertainty over the past few years: “Businesses in the UK have needed to adapt quickly to new operational demands over the past three years or so. What we are seeing now is a growing number of business leaders wanting to operate out of a space which offers flexibility and the opportunity for collaboration.

“With the majority of the country’s businesses operating a hybrid model, keeping a degree of company culture that only comes from working with others is proving pivotal to many.”

Cost savings has also played a key role in many moving to shared spaces, with nearly a third (32%) of respondents stating that they were paying ‘excessively high’ rent at their previous offices.

Over half (51%) of respondents also agreed their co-working space meets their need for flexibility, both for the business and for employees in the form of flexible working patters. In addition, 40% said that it gave them the ability to adapt quickly to industry needs and meet new operational demands, a capability that will be invaluable to many businesses.

Tom continued: “During uncertain times the ability to be agile enough to respond to rapidly changing market environments is so important. This is evident in the fact that so many business leaders have chosen to work in a co-working space as it provides a much-needed flexible solution for a distributed workforce. We believe that these spaces offer businesses the opportunity to not only cut much needed costs, but also to keep that all important company culture, which is key to retain and attract employees.”

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TEAMWORK: DeskLodge research says there is a surge in demand for co-working spaces to boost collaboration.

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About ‘The Benefits of Co-Working Barometer Study’ The survey was conducted among 253 facilities decision makers based in a co-working space in the South of England (and Cardiff). The interviews were conducted online by Sapio Research in Winter 2022 using an email invitation and an online survey. Sample was selected from Online partner panels. Before moving into their current co-working space, 27% of respondents were working in a different co-working space, while 26% were based in owned premises 24% in owned premises and 21% worked from home. The majority of respondents (37%) had been in a co-working space between one and three years, 28% had been in one between six and 11 months.

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