You’ve discovered that coworking or a private office is an option that may work better for you, but you don’t know how to cover the cost.
You need this space to complete work for your company, so why not ask the company to foot the bill?
Check out these options for asking your employer to cover the office rental price for coworking or a private office—but be sure you’ve established yourself as a reliable, productive employee before you think about making the request!
If you’re someone who works remotely for a company where most of the employees work from an office, it might be as easy as pointing out that paying for a coworking or private space for you is essentially what the company is already doing for everyone else by paying for an office space.
If everyone works remotely and finds their own solutions, you might have to do some more research. Make sure you already have a track record of completing tasks on time, cooperating with your coworkers and being a productive employee first. Then follow the next steps in order to make a great pitch.
Before approaching your employer about paying for coworking or a private office, it is important to back up your request with research and results.
If you are one of the only members of your team to work remotely, it might be as easy as explaining the benefits of coworking or a private office and comparing those savings to what your company spends on its office lease.
If everyone on your team works remotely, it might be a bit more difficult, but you can still highlight the production benefits of coworking or a private office and make the case that the added expense is greatly outweighed by these benefits.
It may help if you pointed out how much would be saved by paying the month-to-month office rental price or membership to a coworking space compared to leasing a full office. It’s harder for a boss to argue with the numbers if they can see the savings laid out before them.
A coworking space saves:
- Time and money spent with brokers, attorneys and other professionals while searching for space and negotiating leases.
- The salary of a dedicated office manager (or taking an existing employee from their core responsibilities to handle managerial tasks).
- Costs associated with scheduling conference room time or offsite visits that a smaller office space cannot accommodate.
- Security and maintenance costs.
- Other office costs, such as internet access, printer costs and other amenities.
These cost-saving statistics may appeal to an employer who already pays for an office lease or has paid for other workers to transition to coworking or private offices. However, you may need to follow up with the production benefits for an employer whose entire team works remotely.
Convincing them that the “free” cost of having employees work from home or the local coffee shop is actually hurting productivity will help in your request for a better, less distracting space.
If you have historically worked from home, it may be time to discuss mental health and productivity benefits—both of which can be negatively affected by the loneliness that can accompany working from home.
Your boss may be tempted to point out that a nearby coffee shop or cafe can serve a similar purpose, but you can counter with the point that those spaces come with their own distractions, especially the noises of other customers. Do your due diligence and present your employer with data-backed reasons why coworking is a better solution for your company.
Coworking benefits include:
- Increased productivity (23% more than office workers).
- More income generation (32% more than office workers).
- A larger professional network (82% increased their network because of coworking).
Coworking also includes other benefits that cannot necessarily be quantified:
- Fewer distractions—No family or coworkers to distract from your work time; people in a coworking space should respect your privacy but provide support if you need it.
- Fewer temptations—No TVs, refrigerators or cozy beds to tempt you away from your work.
- Better work-life balance—Your work life will be physically separate from your home life, allowing you to establish a routine and prevent you from working excessively.
- Increased creativity—People of all different industries work in coworking spaces, which means you’re more likely to tap into your creative side.
- More motivation—Loneliness can make self-motivation hard, but working among others who are in a coworking space to get stuff done can inspire you to do the same.
Once you’ve determined why your company should pay for your coworking space, it is time to figure out how to present the request. If you can afford to front the initial few months of the office rental price, it might be effective to start working in a coworking space and prove how much it improves your work productivity. This could provide a path of least resistance if the company is able to see the drastic improvement in your work that coworking has provided.
If you can’t afford to try coworking on your own first, however, be sure to have a plan for your presentation. First, ask your boss to schedule a meeting with you. It is important that this conversation not be seen as a casual chat, so make sure it gets on both of your calendars and is taken seriously.
Then present a full proposal of how you will work remotely. From how you will communicate and be accessible to how you’ll manage your tasks and team, thoroughly explain to your boss how you will handle these concerns. It may also be helpful to have a few coworking options to present so your boss can immediately consider the cost and benefits. Doing more research and providing more information can only help your cause.
Don’t be afraid to ease into the full request either. Perhaps start by asking for a trial period. Similar to fronting the cost yourself and showing the results of coworking, a trial period means your company is not committed to a long-term lease and has the opportunity to see coworking in action. This is a great idea if your employer is on the fence.
If you are able to convince your company to cover the office rental price for your coworking space, show them the cost is worth it by checking in regularly and continuing to provide high-quality work. The more you can prove that a coworking space has improved your ability to work productively, the more likely the company is to continue paying for it.