The Hybrid Model: Balancing the Perks of Coworking vs Private Office
There you are, sitting in a café, looking through a window to a hectic street in New York City while you wait for a meeting with a client. It’s a good day, you have a good feeling about this lead and you will be home just in time for dinner with your family. Starting a fintech business after almost two decades working for a big banking company is not exactly easy, but it is exciting.
You’ve been working between home and this cafe for over a year, and you are finally seeing some progress. You are starting to build your dream team; next to you sits Alex, the sales representative you trained in your former company. She is an ace and knows exactly how to make you happy. In front of you is Julian, the young Millennial that knows how to crack any software and product development challenge. You know it’s time to move on from this cafe to a more fitting - and serious - place to work. The team will soon be starting to grow to reach about 15 people. But even the mere thought of the research, rental paperwork and set-up that it would take to get an office up and running annoys you a little. There is also the possibility of a cool co-working space, but something doesn’t seem right about this option.
Due to the influx of new co-working spaces you've seen sprouting up across the city, you decide it's a good a place as any to start looking, and you may even be able to negotiate a discount. But after just an hour of web research, you give up, disheartened. All of these spaces seem so far away from your sober tastes and you don’t want to put more hours to this task. Having to share a space with young tech founders drinking beer in a loud office is not exactly a good fit for your company culture. Maybe renting a place is easier. But looking into tens of pages of contracts and then having to manage the place is discouraging. You don’t want to put more work into...work.
You need a solution for this. A place that you can customize to fit the needs of your dream team and that helps you be more efficient, now that your client base is starting to grow. Let’s face it, Alex is a shy girl who won’t ever socialize at a cool ping pong table, she reads books while she’s having lunch! And Julian is such a geek. If he could only live in one of these video games he plays on this phone all day long! You need a hybrid fix: a personalized office space with the management perks of a coworking place.
The good news is this service is starting to pop up around the big city. It is neither a traditional office where you need to sign a complicated contract and tailor the office to your needs nor a coworking space ready to use -- with services and design pre-established. This hybrid solution offers space as a service where every detail of your business is taken into account and you don’t have to worry about any office management. It offers amenities such as a dedicated kitchen pantry, conference room and phone booths. Furthermore, it can be standalone in a building or adjacent to another coworking space.
The Traditional Office With the Perks of a Coworking Space
This hybrid solution you just found out about is not a standard coworking space but a unique one - with the advantages of a coworking location like the flexibility to scale a team whenever you need it, and the best of all: A full management service. With these benefits, you can focus solely on growing your startup.
This style of a space used as a service is available from short to longer terms. This allows you to change location if you want to or grow in a space without making any long term commitment. There is also a possibility of allowing the company that offers this service to rent any space in the city and convert it depending on your needs. In this case, the company acts pretty much like a real estate agency but it saves you the hassle of paperwork, furnishing the place or finding the perfect location.
What’s more, the hybrid formula offers a fully managed location with IT and security infrastructure installed. Want a PlayStation for Julian? Just ask for it. You don't even have to worry about finding or contracting the cleaning staff because every management and installation detail is covered for you. If you are in need, this hybrid space can even manage your mail, just like a community manager.
One of the best perks of this kind of space is the design, architecture and furnishing service. The office is fully furnished and designed in accordance with the business needs and your tastes. Besides, companies that offer this solution curate your business culture. Just imagine, you can put a library in the lunchroom for Alex if you feel like it.
The Origin of the Hybrid
Nowadays, the average American will spend 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime. This explains why people are today choosing their own personal work experience. From tech entrepreneurs working as fast as they drink their coffee to Millenials bending the boundaries between bosses and employees, what everyone is looking for is an office that feels like a home. The stiff workplace has morphed into a home where a family interacts.
But, home is a personal place. The concept is different for everybody. Not everyone wants to share tables or work from bean bags. Some people are like Alex: quiet and introspective. Maybe they want to work in complete silence in a cubicle. In a few words, what any leader looks for when planning an office space is to make their workforce happy so everybody can thrive and, in the same way, make the business grow.
The goal of focusing on what’s important (business and people), boosted the real estate market into the creation of a hybrid solution between a classic co-working space and a traditional private office. It allows people to have their own company’s identity and culture that comes with having a private office with the same management benefits of being in a coworking space.
Due to this challenge, the hybrid business is usually run by people who understand the U.S. real estate market but that are willing to step forward and offer entrepreneurs unique working experiences.
Today workspaces are shrinking all over the world: since people are working from home or are digital nomads, less traditional working space is required. To be competitive, the market has to adapt to these new working demands. This means that commercial property owners require managers that can offer innovative solutions to tenants.
In the quest of moving into your first office space, you must know you have different options: from a traditional private office to a coworking space, or a solution in between such as the hybrid. In all of them, you can find positive and negative points. Nevertheless, what you must always keep in mind is finding somewhere that allows your business to grow while you make your team happy.