As work models change and many trade in their traditional jobs for hybrid positions, the workplace has to evolve, too. 

Gone are the days when employees needed to be in office spaces every Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Whether you’re a solopreneur or an innovative company looking to meet changing workforce demands, finding flexible accommodations can support your productivity and competitiveness. 

Enter the on-demand workspace, which you can use on a pay-as-you-go basis. Often, they’re available for you to access whenever your schedule demands it — no matter how irregular your hours may be. 

These uber-flexible workspaces give both individuals and teams the freedom to come and go as needed. They also eliminate the often overwhelming overhead costs of maintaining an office space and provide an excellent environment for productivity, collaboration, and creativity to thrive. Plenty of professionals, from independent freelancers to small businesses to Fortune 500 companies, have taken advantage of these office setups. Let’s explore why — and how this could apply to you.

What Is an On-Demand Workspace?

On-demand workspaces, which include coworking spaces, collaborative workspaces, and dedicated offices, are professional environments that you can rent out on a short- or long-term basis. These bookable workspaces can be stocked with any and everything you might need for the workday — think high-speed internet access, phone systems, fully furnished offices, conference rooms for client and team meetings, and common areas for networking or having a cup of coffee. They are available in different sizes and can accommodate both multi-employee organizations and solo workers. 

Typically, businesses and individuals use online booking systems to reserve time in an on-demand workspace. Available hours vary; while some workplaces only allow bookings during traditional business hours, others allow you to use them 24/7. 

What Are the Benefits of On-Demand Office Spaces? 

On-demand office spaces have risen in popularity in recent years, especially as more companies adopt hybrid or remote work routines. In 2023, nearly 4 million people used coworking spaces, many of them being young professionals, startup employees, and remote workers. Considering how many people take advantage of on-demand office spaces, you may be wondering what some of their benefits are. We’ll go through some of the main ones below. 

Provides Convenient and Flexible Workspaces

Convenient and flexible space usage is perhaps the biggest benefit of a shared workplace. Businesses and individuals aren’t chained to the costs or stipulations that come with a traditional office lease. Instead, they can book a workspace for however long they need, from a couple of hours to a few months or more. 

Renting an on-demand office space also means there’s no need to pay for office areas that you won’t use. For example, a business that rarely holds team meetings won’t have to cover the upkeep of a conference room, and companies that exclusively operate collaboratively won’t need to pay for private office spaces. 

Supports Hybrid Working and Collaboration

We have the COVID-19 pandemic to thank for the rise of remote and hybrid workplaces. Now, nearly 13% of full-time employees work from home, and an estimated 28% work within a hybrid model, which entails reporting to a physical location for just a certain number of days per month. 

Bookable workspaces are popular picks for hybrid companies. Why? For one, on days when employees must report to a physical location, companies can easily book these flex office spaces to use as a meeting place. Not only do they accommodate hybrid schedules, but they also provide tools for collaboration and a cohesive work experience so you don’t miss out on necessities such as office supplies and printers. Depending on the type of on-demand workspace you choose, you can get access to private office spaces, common areas, conference rooms, meeting areas, and more.

Helps Hybrid Companies Operate in a Cost-Efficient Manner

Another big selling point of using a workspace on-demand is that it allows companies to keep overhead costs low. 

If a hybrid company operates out of an owned building or long-term rental, it’s responsible for covering overhead costs (rent, utilities, internet, etc.) even on the days when all of its employees are working elsewhere. An on-demand workplace solves this problem, especially for new and small businesses for whom saving on these expenses can make the difference between going under or staying afloat. 

When your hybrid company operates out of an on-demand workspace, you have zero workspace-related overhead costs when employees work from home. You only have to pay for the time your team uses the space.

Increases Productivity With Private Spaces for Focus

Different on-demand workspaces allow employees to work in the type of environment that best suits them. Take an employee who prefers to work independently in a private space, for instance. A long-term office space with an open floor plan probably wouldn’t do much for their productivity levels. But if you put the same employee in a facility that has both communal and private office spaces, they’ll get more done faster — and they’ll likely be much happier at the end of the day, too. 

Most on-demand workspaces are designed to accommodate a variety of work styles and preferences, so an individual or business can rent sections of the space that will help them and their employees perform at their best. 

What Are the Challenges of This Type of Workspace? 

Unfortunately, nothing is perfect, and that includes on-demand working spaces. Despite the many pluses of renting day offices, there are a few challenges to consider. 

Internet Security and Data Privacy

Working in an on-demand office space can threaten internet security and data privacy. For one, unsecured Wi-Fi networks create the potential for hackers to attack systems with malware or steal information. Luckily, some on-demand workspaces, such as Industrious, offer a strong and secure internet connection. 

There’s also the human element to consider. When multiple businesses share the same space at the same time, workers must avoid leaving sensitive materials such as clients’ personal information unattended. So, for instance, staff shouldn’t leave any documents sitting out on a shared printer and should avoid keeping laptops open in common areas, especially when working with private information. 

Industrious helps keep companies’ spaces secure via a partnership with SALTO Systems. SALTO’s advanced wireless electronic locking and access control solutions keep out anyone who isn’t supposed to be in your space. Team members have individualized keycodes that show when they come and go — anyone without one can’t get in.

Here are some additional precautions you can take to guard against security and data breaches when using an on-demand workspace:

  • Limit the use of shared devices like printers and copiers.
  • Use privacy screens on laptops and desktops.
  • Get a virtual private network (VPN) to access company systems and guard against data theft.
  • Choose a dedicated workspace for your company, such as a private office or suite.

Technical Support for Available Equipment

Another issue that may arise during your time in an on-demand workplace is a device malfunctioning or failing. Many of these facilities don’t employ in-house IT support professionals. So, it may be a few hours — or days, in some cases — before anyone can come to correct the issue. 

Fortunately, there are workspace providers that ensure someone is on location to help keep your business running smoothly. At Industrious, for example, a member experience team is in the building during regular business hours, ready to help you and your employees solve any equipment or amenity issues that may arise. 

What Should You Look for in Workspace Providers? 

Whether you’re a small business, large corporation, or individual on the hunt for a coworking space to occupy, there are a few important factors to keep in mind before making a choice. Consider the following as you peruse your options for on-demand workspaces. 

Find a Place That Matches Your Style and Work Culture

First, find a place that meshes with your company’s style and culture. A more relaxed, easygoing business might find its employees work best in an atmosphere that feels more comfortable than professional — imagine couches instead of desk chairs for team meetings. You may also want an on-demand space with an open floor plan to encourage collaboration and group work.

But maybe your operations fare better in a traditional office setup. Workplaces like this usually have a more segmented layout, with fewer areas for collaboration and more private office space for employees to work individually. Decor in these spaces also tends to be more neutral, keeping chances of distraction to a minimum. 

Consider Its Location and the Safety of the Surrounding Area

Location, location, location! It’s another key factor to keep in mind as you pick an on-demand workspace. Examine your location priorities: Are you most concerned with booking a place based on where your employees live, or are you searching for a spot close to the clients you’ll be meeting with? 

You should also take inventory of the shared workspace’s neighborhood. Decide whether or not clients and employees would feel safe reporting here and make sure there is enough nearby parking to accommodate your team’s needs. Otherwise, you might end up wasting your money on a space that you, your employees, and your clients won’t actually want to come to. 

Check Out the Amenities and Equipment

The next thing on your on-demand workspace selection checklist is to scope out the facility’s amenities. These flexible office spaces commonly include amenities such as:

  • Coffee and beverage stations
  • Functional kitchens
  • Printers and scanners
  • Conference or meeting rooms
  • 24/7 security and CCTV systems
  • Call areas or phone booths in offices
  • Mail service
  • High-speed internet

More upscale facilities might boast additional offerings — things that aren’t exactly office essentials, but can make the workday an awful lot more enjoyable and maybe a little easier too. These extras vary depending on the both the office space and the provider, but they might include things like:

  • Wellness rooms, gyms, and showers
  • Daycare rooms 
  • Staffed front desks
  • Events and workshops open to both renters and community members
  • Recreational areas

Consider these items carefully, as you would with any other major expense. Don’t let yourself get so charmed that you end up paying more than you planned for a monthly, weekly, or daily office space rental. Start by making a list of every amenity you absolutely can’t go without. Then, use that as a guide for narrowing down your options. If you decide later on you or your team need more, many providers (like Industrious) offer flexible memberships that allow you scale up or down as needs change.

In addition to fulfilling your amenities list, you’ll also need to see what equipment your team is allowed to use during the rental period. Some load their coworking spaces with monitors, podcasting equipment, projectors, and more, while others — especially small coworking spaces — do not. Before committing, make sure you have access to the tools you’ll need to get the job done. 

Inclusivity is another important consideration. If you have employees with disabilities, prioritize accessible workspaces that accommodate the specific needs of your staff with provisions like ramps, elevators, assistive technologies, and flexible seating arrangements. It’s also a good idea to opt for spaces with gender-neutral restrooms so employees of all identities are comfortable.

Make Sure It Offers Reduced Noise Levels or Private Offices

While there are likely to be many opportunities for collaboration, socialization, and networking in coworking spaces — that’s what often makes these facilities so appealing for hybrid and remote workers — don’t overlook your need for privacy. 

Make sure that you and your employees can focus and work independently when it’s necessary. Check whether the on-demand workspace you’re considering offers the use of private offices or, at least, a designated quiet space you can duck off to when you need to work without too much noise. 

Evaluate Pricing Plans and Affordability

You or your company probably have a budget in place that details just how much you can afford to spend on an office space rental. If not, it’s time to set one — and make sure to do this before you start searching. Fewer things are more disappointing than falling in love with a facility and its amenities, only to realize it’s out of your price range. 

Once your budget is set, use it to narrow down your options. Note that some amenities may affect an on-demand workspace’s price point. While basic amenities might be included in the set rate, the non-essentials might cost you a few extra dollars. 

Be sure to weigh each of the workspace’s pricing options, too. Renting for a longer period may give you a discounted rate, but the savings might not be worth it if you don’t plan on using the space for very long or expect your schedule to change. Shorter-term rentals can be more expensive per day, but they may offer you more flexibility. Compare each plan to your budget and decide what makes the most sense financially and according to your schedule. 

How to Choose the Right On-Demand Workspace for Your Company

The reality is that there are plenty of on-demand workspaces available, especially in areas filled with corporate enterprises, like the South Florida region, Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, Los Angeles, and New York City. With so many on-demand workspaces popping up, you might come up with several facilities that seem like a good fit for you and your company. Use the following suggestions to make an informed decision on which space is the ideal solution for your company and employees. 

Define What Kind of Office Space Will Be Most Effective 

As you enter the comparison stage, start by figuring out what constitutes a perfect space for you, your business, and your employees. You’ve already found places that match your company’s working style and culture, but now it’s time to think about the details. Take the time to imagine how your day-to-day will go in each of your top picks. 

Some questions you might want to ask: 

  • Of your options, which size is most amenable to your needs? 
  • Will workers prefer the hot desk model, or will everyone on the team expect a personalized area they don’t have to share? 
  • Are there any aesthetic choices that might make a difference (for instance, you might place value on a space that has biophilic office designs, which are linked to improved cognitive well-being)?

Compare Types of Workspaces in Terms of Costs and Benefits

If you’re juggling multiple contenders, examine the cost of each one side-by-side while taking a look at what each rental fee includes. It’s not just about affordable rates in general. Two workspaces might charge the same daily fee, but one might only include basic amenities while the other grants full access to everything on the property. 

If you’re a startup or small business, you might also want to think long-term: 

  • How flexible are the lease terms? 
  • Which options will allow you to scale without having to start this decision process all over again? 
  • If you need more employees, will it be possible to get a bigger space and vice versa? 

If scalability is important to you, it might be a good idea to speak with the on-demand workspace provider about potential options for growth and adaptability. 

Test Your Top Workspaces Before Any Long-Term Commitment

One of the beautiful aspects of on-demand workspaces is that many of them offer extremely short-term rental options. While some places let you rent by the day, others break it down to even smaller periods and allow you to rent by the hour. When you find a few workspaces that seem to tick every box on your checklist, take advantage of these short-term plans and test one out. 

Test-driving an on-demand workspace is an almost foolproof way to see if it’s the right fit for your needs. Even a short visit can help you determine if you like the space enough to make a longer commitment to it. Plus, you can see firsthand whether or not the amenities it boasts are as worthwhile as they’re advertised to be. You might even surprise yourself and discover that one of those extra amenities you were willing to pay extra for wasn’t as important as you thought. 

Involve Your Employees in the Decision-Making Process

If you’re the owner or manager of a small or large business, don’t skip over your employees’ feedback on how to integrate flexible space usage into your operations. After all, they’re the heart of your operations, so it’s important that they feel safe, comfortable, focused, and productive there. 

So, as you conduct your on-demand workspace search, survey your employees to get insights into their needs, preferences, and ideas. Ask them what kinds of equipment they can’t work without and which amenities would make them more productive. Find out how far your employees are willing to travel to a workspace and how often they’re able to commute. 

Then, take their feedback seriously. Depending on how large your employee pool is, you may not be able to fully accommodate everyone, but try to do right by the majority. This not only shows them that you care about their needs and interests, but also helps you foster a healthy working environment. 

Discover the Best Move-In Ready and Secure On-Demand Workspace

Now, armed with insights into what on-demand workspaces are, who they’re geared toward, and how to find one that suits your business, there’s but one thing left to do: Start hunting for a place to work!

Begin your search with Industrious. We’re a flexible workplace provider that offers places for both individuals and teams to settle in and work. With 160+ locations in 10 countries globally (and counting), Industrious offers multiple workspace and membership options for you to choose from — and the best part is, they’re flexible. By partnering with us, you can take inventory of your needs and find the perfect on-demand workspace for you.