Working from home has become more common than ever over the last year and a half, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. And if you've been following us for long, you know we've been offering lots of helpful tips to avoid WFH overwhelm and burnout. In our last post, we even offered some tips on negotiating with your employer to continue distance working once offices businesses start reopening and going back to some semblance of what normal was before the country shut down. One of the things we've been asked the most lately is how to get an employer to pay for the benefits of the coworking membership if you do get the opportunity to stay home. In this post, we're going to give you some ideas on how to approach your supervisor, HR department, and anyone else in the decision-making process and get your membership paid for!
Call a meeting with the right people - it may not be your boss
Employees must keep in mind that negotiating with an employer to pay for coworking is going to take some planning with the right people. You can't just walk into your boss' office and throw out a list of demands without thinking about how you're going to get what you want. When it comes to getting your remote workspace membership paid for, start by asking around to find out who can approve it. You may be able to work directly with your supervisor, but you may also need to speak with your office manager or human resources department. HR departments are fairly notorious for avoiding change, so be prepared for a long meeting, and go in ready to overcome all kinds of objections.
The next step is to call a meeting with the people you need to speak with in order to get your membership paid for and present them with a persuasive argument and proposal for how important this coworking space will be for your work. Your proposal should include items such as:
List the benefits of a satellite office space for the company
Before jumping into how working from a coworking space will be an advantage for you, consider the company as a whole.
A great way to get your boss on board is by framing it as an investment for the company. You can point out that a coworking community like Paradigm Workhub provides access to other professionals in your field who you might be able to collaborate with and share valuable information with. These people may also become leads, offer referrals, or assist in income generation in other ways.
Additionally, membership at a coworking community is generally more cost effective than reimbursing multiple office workers for decent quality items they may expense for working at home, like internet service, a desk and chair, a computer and/or monitor, and Wi-Fi routers, to name a few.
Lastly, provide statistics about how many companies are opening offices around coworking spaces because they're realizing its value (and there's so much research backing this!).
THEN list the personal benefits of the situation
You can start by talking to your manager about how coworking will help you be more productive in both work and life. After all, a happy employee is generally a better one!
Consider the commonly referenced benefits like increased focus and productivity, better mental health, work life balance, decreased distractions, increased collaboration and networking, and new skills acquired to name a few. For more details about these kinds of benefits, check out our last post! It will give you lots of ideas for your conversation with your employer.
If you're currently working from a home office, there are more obvious advantages to a real workspace, like a professional location to take conference calls and video calls, offer workshops, meet with clients and leads, and use a conference room. Coworking communities beat coffee shops for professionalism any day!
Coworking spaces also offer a way for colleagues who may all be working from home to collaborate and brainstorm in person, which is much more effective than trying to do this over the phone or online with less immediacy.
At Paradigm Workhub, we offer all of these amenities, and we include services like higher speed internet access than what you may have at home, professional grade printers and copiers, an answering service during business hours, mailboxes with addresses that protect your home address and privacy, and so much more.
It's also worth noting that there are many different types of memberships available in coworking spaces so it may not cost as much as you or your boss think to get access. For example, at Paradigm Workhub, we offer memberships for as little as $60 a month for part-time members and $180 for full-time members. Residencies (like devoted desk space or a private office) begin at just $275 a month! These memberships include amenities we've already discussed, plus access to our kitchen space, complete with stocked snacks and drinks.
If your company isn't quite ready for full-on memberships, let them know you're interested in giving the opportunity a trial run. Start small by proposing one of our smaller membership packages at first, if the budget or workplace atmosphere doesn't allow more than that. Once you've got a good track record of productivity and valuable experiences in your pocket, you can offer evidence for an increased membership. You might also offer to split the cost in the beginning, with a plan in place for your employer to take on the entire cost after a certain time frame.
Our Final Thoughts
You know that coworking is a great way to get things done but convincing your boss to pay for your membership can be tough. We hope the information we've offered here will help you approach the right people to negotiate with, as well as how you might overcome their objections to paying for an incredible opportunity.