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Has Coworking Changed the Way We Book Meeting Rooms?

How many times have you sat in a meeting and wished you were somewhere else–or maybe anywhere else?

Meetings are often regarded as a necessary evil by many workers. They take too long, are often unnecessary, and they fail to stick to the agenda, if there is an agenda in the first place.

Such complaints are backed up by recent research, which reveals meetings have increased both in frequency and length in the last 50 years. In fact, executives now spend nearly 23 hours every week in various types of meetings, compared to just 10 hours a week in the 1960s.

Further research from the Harvard Business Review reveals two-thirds of senior managers believe meetings interfere with them completing their own work. Some 71% of respondents also find meetings inefficient and unproductive.

Addressing the negative perceptions of meetings

Offsite meetings are one possible solution to boost the creativity and productivity of a company’s workforce. If you work from home, holding a meeting in a coworking space will provide a more professional backdrop for your business.

Research also reveals 63% of workers find offsite meetings more productive than onsite meet-ups. Furthermore, more than half of workers said they weren’t engaged with their office space, and 17% said they were actively disengaged, according to Forbes.

However, when it comes to finding the perfect location for an offsite meeting, you may not know where to start.

The good news is that, with the rise of coworking, many such shared spaces let members and non-members book meeting rooms on an ad-hoc basis.

These rentable meeting rooms provide the perfect space for you and your colleagues to escape the office and run a constructive meeting.

It’s also getting easier to book meeting rooms in a range of spaces. For example, services such as CommercialCafe allow you to search for available coworking and shared spaces in your region.

How to book meeting rooms at a coworking space

1. Check out the coworking space

Some coworking spaces will only rent out meeting rooms to their members. Other spaces are happy to let non-members book meeting rooms. If you intend to host regular offsite meetings, it may be beneficial to become a member of a space because you may pay less in the long run and get access to a wider range of facilities.

Also, when you’re looking for a coworking space to host a meeting, ask about the facilities outside of the meeting room. Most spaces offer free coffee and wifi as standard, but will you need access to the photocopier or the kitchen?

2. Check out the room facilities

Larger coworking spaces will have a range of rooms for you to choose from. These will differ not just in size but also in terms of the facilities on offer. You may just want a quiet room with a whiteboard, or a space with the latest tech to help you reach your meeting objectives.

Meeting rooms also differ in terms of their approach and aesthetics. For example, you may want an informal meeting room or space where you and your colleagues can hang out. Such “rooms”–although some spaces also offer nap pods, yurts and other interesting variations on a plain meeting room–are usually designed for short meetings.

Alternatively, you may need a formal meeting room or a boardroom to meet with potential clients, business partners, investors or your board. Some spaces also offer event spaces and training rooms, if you’re looking for an unconventional space.

Make sure you chat to the community manager to ensure you find the right meeting room for your needs.

3. Think beyond the meeting

Coworking spaces aren’t just a great place to hold offsite meetings, they’re also networking goldmines. Some spaces target a specific industry, others may have permanent members, including corporates, established businesses and startups.

Thanks to coworking, it’s now easier than ever to book meeting rooms in a range of diverse spaces. So, do your homework and maybe when you book meeting rooms at a coworking space, you could unleash a wealth of additional opportunities for your business. 

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