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Can Coworking Spaces Really Help Employers Attract and Retain Talent?

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I spoke about the ‘war for talent’ at the recent GCUC Conference held in Seattle, particularly how it has become increasingly more difficult to not only recruit but to retain top employees.

With work becoming unshackled from the office in the shift towards hybrid work, the role of the office has transformed from being a place to get tasks done, to providing a workspace experience. The office now exists to foster collaboration, promote productivity, and offer features that contribute to the health and wellbeing of employees. 

Expectations around what employers can offer in terms of a workspace have evolved as employees transition from remote work-from-home to a post-pandemic future of hybrid work. Because of this, many employers are struggling to attract and retain top talent in their industries.

Employers from companies of all sizes and industries are now actively searching for office spaces that make healthier, happier, and more productive employees. They’re also looking for spaces that address the evolving needs of their employees and provide perks that matter to them. 

Here are a few ways coworking spaces can help businesses and employers attract and retain talent.

Hospitality-Led Services and Amenities

Hospitality-led services and amenities elevate the workspace. They exist to create a bespoke experience, and involve dedicated teams with leading skills in hospitality providing services and facilitating amenities. 

Employee expectations for office amenities and services have shifted. Their reasons for coming into the office center around flexibility and experiences that contribute to their wellbeing, productivity, and collaboration at work. 

This could involve a range of factors depending on each individual, but usually include things they can’t always experience when working from home or in a traditional office setting. Think an in-house café they can meet clients in, a relaxation room for a lunchtime meditation, bike storage, gym and shower facilities, and serviced meeting and event spaces.

A view of a Hub Australia coworking space.

Sustainable Spaces

Considering commercial buildings are responsible for around 25% of overall electricity use and 10% of total carbon emissions in Australia, it’s no surprise that where people choose to work from has a significant effect on the planet. 

Sustainability is at the forefront of the mind of many workers, especially as Gen Z enters the workforce and makes deliberate, informed decisions about where they work, and whether their employer is considering their social and environmental impact as part of their operations. 

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Many—if not all—coworking providers recognize the importance of sustainability-led design, engaging with globally recognized certifications like B Corp and carbon neutral by Climate Active to indicate their space is doing its bit for the planet, people, and communities. 

Employers looking to attract and retain employees are now moving to flexible spaces that are sustainability-led, run by coworking providers that consider their social and environmental impact across all aspects of their operations.

Workplace Health and Wellness

The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the importance of buildings and spaces in taking responsibility for supporting people’s health and wellbeing, given that a large proportion of transmission occurs within indoor settings.

Office design also has a significant influence on general employee wellness, with outdoor terraces, an abundance of natural light and greenery, constant monitoring of air quality, and spaces that foster connection and leisure all contributing to how ‘well’ a space is for occupants.

Much like in the realm of sustainability, coworking providers understand the importance of providing spaces that support wellbeing. Many incorporate certain features into the design of their spaces as well as certifications to give employers peace of mind knowing that employee health and wellbeing has been considered.  

As an example, earlier this year Hub became the first coworking provider in Australia to achieve the WELL Health-Safety Rating for six of our locations, helping us form strategies to keep our spaces clean, provide essential health services, and communicate our health and safety efforts to our customers.

A view of a Hub Australia coworking space.

Community and Collaboration

In a hybrid world of work, the office now exists to foster collaboration and connection. While remote work has its benefits of contributing to productivity and a greater work-life balance, there will always be a need for teams to come together and solve a problem, brainstorm ideas, or simply socialize. 

Many coworking providers have created their spaces with this in mind, offering a range of ‘break out’ areas as well as cafês, member lounges, and kitchens to promote a sense of community and foster connection. 

Another common element of coworking spaces is the multitude of networking and social events they hold, encouraging B2B connection and networking opportunities between members in a way that is both personally and professionally valuable.  

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About Author

Brad Krauskopf is the founder and CEO of Hub Australia, Australia’s largest privately held coworking space provider, providing premium spaces to growing businesses across the country. Hub Australia has seven locations across Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide, supporting over 3000 members and businesses.

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