Flex space has rocked the commercial retail estate sector since the early 2000s. It's solved the workspace problem for many entrepreneurs, offering a professional step up from independent home offices or crowded cafes.

However, despite its climbing popularity, there are common misnomers about coworking and flexible working that stop people, particularly larger organisations, from considering flexible workspace.

In this article, we'll be busting myths and throwing in some interesting facts about flexible working.

Coworking Or Flex Spaces Aren't Only For Scrappy Startups Or Freelancers

Out of all the misconceptions, the biggest is that coworking is only for small businesses or individuals.

We can agree that the coworking concept was a more fitting workspace solution for small businesses or freelance workers in the early days, but the landscape has diversified over time.

Of course, it's understandable that bigger companies might have concerns associated with the suitability or sustainability of working in flex spaces. We receive common questions like "are there only short rental terms?" or "how can coworking spaces incorporate bigger teams?".

The truth is that flex space or coworking spaces cater to businesses of different sizes and stages of growth.

With their larger goals, more significant risks and expansion plans, flex spaces are, as the name implies, provide flexible and convenient work hubs to established and international companies.

Need to house an inordinate amount of new staff quickly? Scalable flex spaces are available at a moment's notice that support growing teams. Experiencing major growth on a global scale and need boots on the ground? Flex spaces, offering dynamic, productivity-enhancing environments, are found around the world.

The truth is that flex space or coworking spaces cater to businesses of different sizes and stages of growth.

Coworking Isn't Synonymous With Open-plan Offices

Those against coworking spaces might have a one-sided view about their layouts, style and modus operandi.

If you picture bustling open spaces bursting with people or boasting loud and zany styles that just don't align with your business brand, you're imagining just one side of the coin.

Not all flex spaces are the same. Some contain open working areas while others consist of multiple executive suites that offer total privacy, and others still are a hybrid of coworking spaces and private offices.

Whatever your style, there's an appropriate flex space for your company - whether that's a fun and creative hub or something more corporate and professional.

Some contain open working areas while others consist of multiple executive suites that offer total privacy, and others still are a hybrid of coworking spaces and private offices.

The Origin Of Coworking

Some confusion arises about when and where coworking initially came about, with many different sources claiming to be the first.

Librarians, for one, might argue that libraries don't receive the recognition they deserve in being original coworking spaces.

Providing unlimited resources, a vastly improved internet connection, and an inbuilt community, we have to see how valuable libraries can be, especially for financially vulnerable entrepreneurs needing a free and quiet spot from which to work.

That said, there are other contenders in the running. C-Base was launched in 1995 as the first community-operated hackerspace.

However, while hackerspaces and coworking spaces overlap, the latter is a more niche hub where professionals with common interests gather, whereas the former comprises a more diverse clientele. Therefore, it would be more correct to classify hackerspace as precursors to coworking space.

The first official coworking space and the coining of the term "coworking" date back to San Francisco, 2005. Inventor of the coworking concept, Brad Neuburg, set up the first-ever collaborative space. It's thanks to Neuburg that we have modern-day coworking in our lives.

On top of coining the term and opening the world's first official coworking space, Neuburg also established national coworking day, which falls on the 9th of August.

On top of coining the term and opening the world's first official coworking space, Neuburg also established national coworking day, which falls on the 9th of August.

Leasing Costs Are Higher And Unpredictable

Many people wrongly believe that flexible working spells for unpredictable and higher costing than in a traditional office.

However, its unfixed nature actually works to the advantage of businesses. It provides companies with more room to negotiate flexible terms that suit their needs today and tomorrow. Flexible leasing accounts for market or industry volatility and other unforeseen factors.

Research findings show that people working from shared offices save 25% more on flexible workspaces than traditional spaces. This is because all costs are factored into a coworking rental package, including overheads like electricity, WIFI, cleaning, maintenance and amenities.

In addition to real costs, there are also the hidden costs of coworking spaces that contribute to overall productivity. For example, coworking spaces are designed to unleash creativity and innovative thinking.

Many people wrongly believe that flexible working spells for unpredictable and higher costing than in a traditional office.

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