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How the Co-Working Trend Affects Your Small Business

Tue, Jul 17, 2018 at 10:06AM

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Increasing in popularity, co-working spaces (sometimes called co-sharing) allow like-minded professionals to gather in a centralized area to work, brainstorm, network, and share ideas.

In most cases, these individuals aren’t part of the same company. Instead, the aim of co-working areas is to provide space to freelancers and workers who require access to collaboration tools unavailable or inaccessible at their physical workplaces. In fact, furnishing such spaces has become a thriving business in itself.

Employers across the country have embraced this trend. However, tried-and-true safeguards are still important to guarantee continued business growth and prosperity. In this article, we’ll explore how business owners can support innovative tools and ideas while still keeping company assets safe.

Know the Benefits

Despite recent interest, co-working spaces have been used in the United States for more than a decade. Elsewhere around the world, similar setups have long-been touted as boosting productivity and employee morale. Not surprisingly, global giants such as Google and Facebook have paved the way toward U.S. popularity of this trend.

Employers benefit from co-working spaces in many ways. For instance, these areas are cost-effective, encourage increased collaboration and networking, and contribute to the improved work/life balance in high demand among today’s workforce.

Some professionals claim to have even fostered business partnerships through previously unplanned interaction facilitated at such areas.

Understand the Risks

Still, while there are many benefits to co-working spaces, it’s important for to recognize that this trend doesn’t negate the essential need for comprehensive insurance.

For example, allowing team members to work at sites of their choosing could eliminate the need to insure multiple facilities. However, certain business needs must still be addressed, including liability insurance, business interruption insurance, and more.

In addition, team members who use company equipment in these co-working spaces (such as laptop computers) must be protected by proper coverage. Since it’s unlikely workers will take such material with them wherever they go in the building (bathroom, breakroom), the potential for theft or vandalism is always present.

Another concern many business owners have about co-working spaces is the potential for compromised company secrets and information. Other workers may also accuse your employees of slander/libel, idea/concept theft, and more. This is where securing thorough business liability coverage is essential.

Weigh Your Options

While increased productivity and professional interaction are novel concepts, it’s important to realize that the co-working model may not be ideal for all employers.

As mentioned, the potential for theft (both physical and ideas), vandalism, and other concerns are heightened when control of working environment and business interaction is relinquished in full or part. Also, many business leaders cite concerns about the increased liability of dispersed teams.

In the end, only you can determine whether adopting such a concept is in the best interest of your company, including goals and future growth.

Consult a Professional

No matter what you decide, it’s wise to speak with a trusted and reputable insurance firm that can help you navigate and secure appropriate coverage to protect your business. Doing so can help prevent unpleasant circumstances.

For years, we’ve assisted countless Florida corporate leaders with all their insurance needs. From business, to fire protection insurance, restaurant insurance, personal lines, and much more, we can help protect your business from a variety of scenarios. Contact us today to learn more about the comprehensive insurance coverage we provide.


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