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Are co-working spaces the new norm in Kenya?

Joy Waweru | 3 months ago
CO-WORKING OFFICES IN KENYA IMAGE:COURTESY
CO-WORKING OFFICES IN KENYA IMAGE:COURTESY

Times are changing and so are companies /organizations.

Previously, running a business or a company meant hiring or buying your exclusive space to house staff, organizational assets as well as to  accomodate clients and other stakeholders.

Young professionals have previously been notorious for working from coffee houses that offer free internet as well as serene environment conducive for working.However we are now faced with the new norm that is co-working spaces that have been embraced even by the Kenyan market.

Budding entrepreneurs are now flocking co-working spaces that are relatively affordable hence lowering operational costs. Once you pay for working space, you access free internet connectivity among other amenities, in most if not all spaces. These amenities include equipments such as computers, photocopiers, scanners, shared lounges, kitchen and bathrooms, rentable boardrooms and 24/7 accessibility, various locations and regular networking forums.Another advantage of a co-working space is the fact that you are able to interact with individuals in the the same industry as you. Iron sharpens iron-just as one person sharpens another. For example some co-working spaces are meant for professionals in the tech industry.

Co-working spaces are targeting the start-ups, Small Medium Enterprises and surprisingly even multi-nationals. The concept of co-working spaces targets two class of labour force. Either the freelancer, self employed individual or an entire office consisting many members of staff. Co-working spaces enable individuals to either work collaboratively or independently.

Disadvantages of co-working spaces include:

•Lack of exclusivity-an enterprise may not be able to brand(colours and logos) a co-working space therefore presenting a challenge to investors and clients who might second guess the legitimacy of the co-working space.

•Noise and distractions from other users phones ringing, conversations from other staff and so forth.

•Lack of privacy-when strategizing and doing business meetings in a co-working space, your information is likely to fall onto prying ears which would not be the case in an exclusive private space. This is even more dangerous in spaces where you have your business competitors nearby.

•Decreased efficiency-for example where do you draw the line between between social talk and work discussions. These may be hard to qualify for the management.

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