The way we work in the post-Covid world is still changing. Employees are showing increasing interest in flexible working hours and hybrid work models. In the transition to this new, mobile business environment, employees increasingly want the freedom to organize their own work hours and work where they are most productive.
Globally, flexible shared office spaces that offer flexible access are appealing to all employees whose lives don't fit into 9-to-5 schedules. Also, these types of spaces are increasingly emerging as an option in different parts of the city, reducing the time required to travel to and from the workplace.
What is the situation like here in Skopje? Although this concept of coworking is not as developed as in other major metropolises, Skopje also records growth in the offer of flexible shared office space or so-called coworking space.
What are the key elements that a coworking space should have?
For anyone looking for a flexible shared space, we'll talk about 5 main factors to consider when choosing a shared office or coworking space. We hope you find this helpful and avoid potential misunderstandings with potential office space providers.
Location and Access to Public Facilities
The old saying "location is everything when it comes to property" should be considered carefully when renting office or meeting space, in the same way you would consider it when positioning a shop or residence. An office in a "good" or "prestigious" location automatically creates a different perception in the eyes of potential employees, clients and investors.
Apart from the importance of perception, one of the key components to consider is access to public transport and other facilities such as shopping centers, restaurants and other legal entities. In the capital, where traffic is always a major cause of delays, access to public transport or a bike path for employees and even customers can be invaluable.
Moreover, the idea of work-life balance is gaining ground especially among office workers, and any time savings will be very important to them. Therefore, the possibility of fulfilling some of the personal needs of employees is extremely valuable.
LinkAcross Center for Development is one such place in Skopje that offers convenience precisely for companies that need additional professional space/room for meetings and events. We are located in Taftalidze, a quiet neighborhood, with access to Partizanska, one of the main boulevards in Skopje. Available parking spaces in the immediate vicinity are of great benefit to everyone who comes to work by car. On the other hand, for all those who use public transport or bicycles, the bus stop and the cycle path are only 50 meters away.
Rental Costs and Hidden Costs
Commercial real estate prices are constantly rising. Buying real estate for business or renting commercial space is becoming extremely expensive. Not just that, but there are hidden rental fees that are not presented up front. The figures you need to provide for operating costs will be beyond expectations.
When choosing a shared office or co-working space, be careful not to be misled by looking only at the lease figure (written in capital letters). Ask for an explanation of the accompanying, but not mentioned, costs. This is key for transparency in monthly or weekly billing. Some office owners add additional costs for Internet usage, electricity or catering that are often overlooked.
What you are interested in is the exact total amount you will be paying as office rent. If there are any variable costs at all, let them be clearly stated, so that you don't end up in a situation where the amount of these costs shocks you.
Flexible Lease Agreement
Is the lease agreement for office space flexible? For example, can you rent the space for 4 hours a day or a whole working day? Regarding the arrangement of the furniture, can you ask for an arrangement that suits you? How much freedom does your company have to customize the space to reflect your business needs and your unique organizational culture? Can you work after 5pm, or do you have to stick to a fixed opening and closing time?
Before finalizing the rental agreement, do some research on whether or not you have the necessary flexibility to run your business activities smoothly and seamlessly.
Quality of Space, Comfort and Usability
Don't underestimate the importance of office appearance in creating an efficient and productive organization. The quality of the workplace has a direct impact on staff morale.
Check all available facilities and their quality: tables and chairs, lighting, ventilation, air conditioning, internet connection, kitchenette, toilets, etc. A well-appointed office space should be easy to use, with all the equipment and technology you need to get the job done.
When it comes to a classic coworking space, where several people from different industries and companies work, booking the appointment for using a meeting or conference room should be systematically resolved. This will reduce frustrations among various users. The system should be easy to use and transparent.
Last but not least, evaluate the level and quality of customer care and support offered by the coworking center. This will be a good starting point for you – are they kind and welcoming?
When you have questions, do you get timely and detailed answers? Are they professional?
Also check with some other current or former customers about what level of support and service you can expect. After all, the whole idea of renting an office in a shared serviced space is that you will focus on running your business and someone else will take care of the office logistics.
Source - TEBC
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