We carried out a poll, thanks to the lovely people at Doopoll to find out what would make the perfect workspace.
We’re always keen to find out how we can improve our offering to businesses in Cardiff and the surrounding areas.
We carried out a poll, thanks to the lovely people at Doopoll to find out what would make the perfect workspace. These days, business owners, employees, start-ups and entrepreneurs require a lot of things from their workspaces (and why shouldn’t they, after all, we do spend most of our lives at work!). Flexibility, collaboration opportunities, social events and 24/7 access were priorities for our participants. How do you create a fun, creative, yet professional workspace where actual work happens?
Unsurprisingly, private meeting space, quiet areas, a café or bar area and on-site parking were up there with some of the most important requirements when choosing a workspace. Although most of these seem like basic amenities, they will always be a key factor when choosing a workspace for a business. You could have a slide in the office or a bar that gives out free beer every Friday, but if you don’t have private meeting space or somewhere they can grab a bite to eat on-site, or close by – companies may not see the space as suitable for their business. It’s key to get the basics right before extending an offering.
Here’s our round-up of what we (and you!) think makes the perfect workspace!
Flexibility in business is absolutely vital in this day and age. We found that 40% of our participants currently use a co-working space, but at some stage may need to scale up or down depending on project or business requirements. This makes it crucial that both co-working and office facilities are flexible to adapt to the business or individual requirements depending on the stage of their business.
Over 80% of our participants said that flexibility was the most important thing when choosing a workspace. Companies don’t want to be tied down for a year, 2 years or 10 years – they want to be able to offer remote working, flexible working and collaboration opportunities and with long leases, this isn’t practical or appealing. The future of the workspace, as far as we can see, is being as flexible as possible to bend with a business.
One of the biggest factors (and our participants agree) was the opportunity to collaborate with other businesses under one roof and is key to creating a perfect workspace. With increasing competition, it has become extremely important to encourage creativity within the workspace. Whether it’s a start-up business collaborating with a freelancer, or a national brand collaboration with an entrepreneur – Collaboration improves productivity, promotes healthy co-working relationships, and in turn helps businesses grow.
Collaboration also has several advantages, not only to a business but to an individual. It gives individuals a chance to pick up skills from other businesses or co-workers meaning newly-learned skills can then be practiced in their own industry to look at things with a new perspective, make improvements and enhance their business.
Not only improving individual skills, collaboration encourages pooling talent and strengths of different businesses and industries to utilise their knowledge, expertise and skills. Collaboration often leads to businesses achieving more in less time but also working on bigger projects that they may not have been a part of without collaborating with others.
This may sound like a basic requirement, but getting this right can be the make or break of a workspace. Almost 60% of our participants said that State of the Art Technology and Internet was one of the main priorities when choosing their perfect workspace – Without great internet, companies simply cannot function.
Speed and connectivity is an essential element in creating a functional workspace. With improved connectivity, entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses have a much further reach when starting out. It allows companies to connect with the whole world, rather than a small geographical area. Technology has impacted the workplace in a way that it has taken down barriers and goals that were unachievable in short time scales previously, but now leaving the world as your potential reach.
Other technology that we believe is crucial include customer systems, meeting room and breakout equipment and IT operations. Any technology that can help a business work faster, smoother and give a better experience to the client creates a sense of ease as it immediately shows the client you are going above and beyond and investing in relevant technologies to service their business requirements.
For a shared workspace, office or co-working, a sense of community is key to differentiating a long-term workspace to an office block or office provider. With most of us spending more time at work than at home, having a workspace where you or your team can feel at home or as part of ‘something special’ is much more appealing to this generation of businesses.
This means not just creating a workspace that accommodates businesses, but building a community where businesses are supported, can grow and can thrive. The benefits of building a community is priceless, from increasing communication and collaboration, to promoting a sense of belonging and friendship.
High on the list of our poll participants were social events, relevant business events and listening to feedback which created a sense of community that differentiates a space from anywhere else. From listening and implementing someone’s feedback to heading out to a local restaurant one evening for a community meal – Regular get-togethers will help create bonds within the space and will help boost morale.
This goes hand in hand with building a sense of community. If you’re happy and feel like a part of a community and enjoy the people you’re working with – Fun will come naturally. Being at a workspace, our participants wanted a professional atmosphere, but fun was also high on their list. As mentioned, we spend most of our lives at work, so why wouldn’t you want to make it as enjoyable as possible with great people around you?
Allowing fun in the workplace keeps people happy – celebrating birthdays, providing cake or a social lunch provides temporary relief to work-related stress and allows people to enjoy themselves. If people aren’t stressed coming into the workplace, this means clients will keep returning and most importantly look forward to coming into where they work.
As a workspace provider, fun also means that if clients are happy, valued and supported – they are likely to stay longer! If a business is not satisfied at their current workplace, then they can easily work from somewhere else that offers a better deal and potentially a better working environment. Getting businesses involved in and out of work to let them have fun is not a way of wasting time, but building the community.