About 20-25 percent of the workforce works remotely regularly, according to Global Workplace Analysis. As that portion grows, so has requests from telecommuting workers for coworking stipends. Navigating the new remote-work status quo can be difficult for employers: Should you offer employees a coworking stipend?
Just like every business is unique, all remote-working situations are, too. Before you start fielding requests from remote workers – or workers looking to move out of the office – develop a policy that guides your request for a coworking stipend.
Your policy should consider:
- Practicality: Offering coworking stipends to employees with traditional workplace arrangements is often unnecessary. Telecommuting employees, those hired in a remote city or when traditional office space is unavailable, are best suited to put a coworking stipend to best use.
- Budget: A major advantage to coworking space is that it’s more cost-effective than setting up a traditional branch office. Shared office equipment, from printers to coffee makers, eliminates office set-up for a “plug-and-play” approach to having an office, and coworking facilities are much more scalable to individual employee needs.
- Curtailing Future Expenses: A telecommuting workforce may be agile and fluid, but it can start to become expensive when employees start making requests for office equipment for their home. Sidestep many capital expenditure issues by providing access to a coworking space.
- Employee Retention: America’s “loneliness epidemic” is heightened by telecommuting workers’ lack of contact with others, according to research presented by the Harvard Business Review. Coworking spaces have been shown to help combat this complaint, helping companies retain remote workers.
A coworking stipend can help many remote workers feel more connected to their job and company, and it’s becoming an increasingly regular part of remote workers’ compensation and employment packages. Although you’ll need to develop a policy, offering remote workers a coworking stipend is often seen by many managers as a worthwhile investment.