The digitalization of many professions means that today’s workforce is much more mobile in the way they work.

Collaborative workspaces complement and bolster this digital evolution by offering flexibility and state-of-the-art resources to all: freelancers, employees, start-ups, mid-market companies, and enterprises. 

Collaborative workspaces go by many names. You may have heard them called “coworking spaces,” “shared offices,” or “flexible workspaces.” Whatever the term is, they all mean the same thing, a location where individual workers and companies gather to work. Usually, collaborative workspaces offer amenities, accessible technology, and centralized locations that facilitate high productivity and efficient environments. They offer the same security and privacy found in traditional office buildings but with some decidedly enhanced perks.

How do collaborative workspaces work?

Flexible by nature, collaborative workspaces are designed to accommodate businesses of nearly every size and scale. . 

For start-ups and solo operations, a collaborative workspace  may be the first step to having your own office space. The company no longer needs to share a mailing address with a home. There are private meeting rooms, media facilities, and other resources at your fingertips that you would otherwise have to pay out of pocket to access when running a company out of a residence. Working in a collaborative workspace also means being able to draw a clear line between work and home life, a common challenge with the remote lifestyle.

For more established brands, collaborative spaces are a more economical path to a unique, innovative, and beautifully designed space without the headache of overhead. The company can stand up an office in a matter of days, or even hours, and start doing business. In a manner of speaking, the business can “keep the engine running” since there is no downtime required to coordinate with interior designers, IT companies, or other contractors. It’s as close to “turn-key” as it gets.

Collaborative workspaces are designed to accommodate large and small operations. Businesses that require private workspaces can take advantage of dedicated offices and conference rooms while open lounges and community workspaces are available for those who prefer flexible and unassigned seating.

Arguably some of the best perks of collaborative workspaces are the amenities. Often, there are cafes and eat-in kitchens or lunch areas. Designed as a reprieve from daily operations of work, these are spaces that are artfully crafted to be the perfect balance of relaxing and re-energizing. The perfect punctuation to anyone’s day. Of course, not all collaborative spaces are the same, so facilities, amenities, and availability depend on the location and provider.

Understanding the Benefits of Collaborative Workspace

Collaborative workspaces offer a wide range of benefits to businesses. The fact is they are a solution that provides more flexibility, options, and amenities than perhaps owning your own building does. Here are the top benefits of collaborative workspace:


Dedicated office space or owning a building comes with exorbitant costs. For startup and early-stage companies, those costs can even be prohibitive. Owners and freelancers alike turn to collaborative workspaces to offset or completely bypass costs such as utilities, security, tech infrastructure, or building maintenance. 

Well-established enterprise-level companies enjoy an all-in-one investment that covers all of their building and equipment needs. Operating out of a shared workspace simply has fewer moving parts than operating your own facility.

Technology and Equipment 

Collaborative workspaces are move-in ready and fully equipped with the latest high-performance office and computer equipment. The technology is carefully selected to provide optimal working conditions. You can expect secure, high-speed Wi-Fi, meeting rooms, video conferencing, and resources like printers and office supplies.

Membership Flexibility 

Collaborative offices offer flexible membership terms that allow businesses to scale up or down as needs evolve. Startups can take full advantage of the offices and amenities to scale quickly, accommodate a growing team, host events, and so on. Enterprises are able to side-step a sizable percentage of their real estate and equipment overhead and can quickly make adjustments to save even more as needed. 

Workspace Design 

The hallmark of a great collaborative workspace is one designed with function and purpose in mind first. Of course, hours are poured into the color schemes, decor, furniture, and footprint, but even more important is ensuring that business runs smoothly within the walls of the building.

Integrated technology, meeting rooms, phone booths for calls, private offices, and on-site kitchens are a few among many thoughtful additions. Each office is meticulously developed to accommodate a wide range of work preferences and business types. 


Membership is the key to unlocking these world-class and high-tech amenities. Spaces come fully furnished, however, businesses may be encouraged to add personalized touches. Kitchens are stocked with grab-and-go food and beverage items and offices are accessible 24/7 to facilitate those late-night pushes or early-morning calls with your partners overseas.

Community and Networking Opportunities 

While remote-only professionals must take decisive action in order to forge new connections, operating on-site in a collaborative space comes with networking baked in. Since several companies do business in the same communal areas, take their breaks at the kitchen bar together, and share the media technology, new connections organically take root. 

These are wonderful, natural introductions of one company to another and can lead to co-branding and co-marketing opportunities or other forms of partnerships. 

Performance Outcomes 

Collaborative spaces are known to have a wide range of effects on employee performance, such as increased productivity and collaboration between team members. Being on-site in one of these offices can provide needed separation from the noise and activity of busy households where it’s tricky to find a quiet nook. 

Another way to think about coworking is that the commute is a commitment. The individual dedicated extra time in their day to commute in, so forging those new connections, making the most of that meeting, and knocking out tasks come into sharp focus. Especially for the hybrid worker, days in the office are high-productivity days.

Talent Attraction & Retention 

Flexible work locations and schedules are still among the top considerations for high-performing talent in 2023. That metric is poised to become only more acute as we step into 2024 and beyond. Companies offering more work flexibility enjoy more interest from top talent and highly-qualified candidates on the hunt for their next perfect-fit company. Retention also comes easier since teams and individuals feel they have more autonomy over their workday and career.

Challenges and Considerations for Collaborative Workspaces

No workplace is free of challenges, and collaborative workspaces have their own set of considerations. Of course, sharing means that items, spaces, and resources are not dedicated to one individual or group. In that case, you may need to wait to access rooms or equipment. Additionally, sharing space has an impact on focus and attention.   

Privacy Needs 

Managing collaborative workspaces requires security and privacy teams to think differently and more broadly about their approach. While many years ago, offices were more like independent islands, now they are sharing space, even cyberspace. That means companies need to be intentional with firewalls and cybersecurity and offer complete cyber safety education for their team members. 

Of course, there are guardrails to implement, and a good IT professional will be able to help team members protect their individual and the company’s private information. 

Another consideration is one of corporate and proprietary systems, technology, and other assets. Ensure that all proprietary assets and conversations are conducted in a private meeting room or office. Secure assets out of the way in a safe, locked area of your designated space.

Individual Focus

Individuals may need to adjust to noisier conditions or get used to working from different locations day to day. This is certainly a challenge, but one that is easily overcome with a little planning and flexibility. If you don’t have dedicated office space, then you might not always have the same chair. However, many professionals find moving their workstation to be beneficial as it offers variety in their surroundings and keeps them energized throughout their workday.

Examples of Collaborative Workspaces

Successfully working in collaborative workspaces can hinge on two key items: how well change is managed and properly leveraging technology. At Microsoft, the team has fully turned over to hybrid style working and ensures there is never a lag in the workflow by utilizing their Teams software. Microsoft was an early adopter of collaborative spaces, making the upgrade as early as 2016. 

There are many companies, from startups to Fortune 500s that operate from collaborative workspaces. Familiar names such as Facebook, Salesforce, and Shell Global are current fixtures of the collaborative workspace landscape. 

There are an increasing number of locations popping up in cities near you, each with their own unique design inspired by the town in which it resides. For example, Charlotte NoDa is a renovated warehouse just north of the city center, in Charlotte, North Carolina. This once-forgotten building was given a fresh lease on life as an Industrious collaborative workspace. The interiors reflect the city’s rich culture in music and art and it is an energetic spot to park your laptop.

Located in New York, The Clearing is a stunning industrial haven with lush tropical plant installations. Tenants enjoy all the amenities and luxuries of Industrious coworking spaces along with some special offerings, unique to the location. Take a virtual tour around these and other Industrious locations here

The future of collaborative spaces is bright, estimated to make up over 30% of the commercial real estate market by 2030. Technology will also continue to play a pivotal role in the modern and future workplace. Tedious, repetitive tasks are becoming absorbed by AI, with booking, registration, access, equipment checkouts, and more becoming automated. Look at Amazon-owned no-check-out Whole Foods grocery stores for a real-world illustration of how movements and equipment usage could be tracked in the future. 

You may no longer need to sign out the equipment. The sophisticated camera and movement-tracking software will do it for you. Booking rooms are as simple as tapping a button. All this to say, human friction is being taken out of the equation, replaced by AI and gorgeous interfaces. With each passing year, technology means more self-service, independence, and less red tape for the professional using collaborative spaces. But never fear, Industrious will always embrace the human touch with our friendly Member Experience Associates and Managers. Upgrades will simply look like easier workflows and better productivity in the office.

Perhaps more near-future technology is in the realm of IoT, video conferencing, and collaborative whiteboard software. As technology continues to evolve, it comes with an increasing amount of plug-ins and integrations, allowing more of your technology to “talk” to each other, sync, and collate all your information at your fingertips. The workforce is distributed now and getting teams on the same page for program kick-offs or campaign ideation still happens. They may not all be in the same room, but as long as they’re on the same page, or should we say “screen”, the project moves forward.

Team meetings are crucial, there’s no denying that. The form they take could shift depending on the needs of the company. Asynchronous meetings allow an enormous degree of flexibility for distributed team members. Fixed calendar meetings are also doable with a strong agenda, pre-meeting communication, and a fabulous type-A person mapping out the strategy on a virtual whiteboard. 

PRO TIP: Before needle-moving meetings, iron out meeting objectives and make resources like the virtual whiteboard available to key stakeholders. That will allow them to pin and add notes and ideas well before the meeting so that productive discussions can be activated much quicker. This is a great way to skip past the awkward preliminary tentative suggestions and get an effective discussion off the ground fast.

How Industrious can help

Industrious offices are equipped with the latest technology, spaces, and resources that make everyday business a snap. From individuals seeking a professional address and central hub to meet clients, to large enterprises that want to enjoy all-inclusive member amenities without the headache of building costs and maintenance, there is a solution for you. Access all that collaborative workspaces have to offer and consider our shared workspaces, fully furnished offices, or suites.