The coworking space trend has hit the world of startups and small businesses. With all the perks that come attached with lower overheads and professional working spaces that accommodate office equipment such as high-speed internet and printers, coworking spaces are easily one of the best investments a growing business can make.
However, there are several legal and non legal issues to engaging in a coworking space. Here are some of the most common issues faced by businesses when working in a coworking space.
Placing a diverse group of strangers in a confined space often leads to a situation where sparks start flying. With many deadlines and stresses still apparent in the nature of the work, coworking professionals are still under a lot of pressure which may give rise to higher levels of friction with others in close proximity.
Interruption may lead to feelings of space violation and defensiveness. Fingers may be pointed and accusations may come aplenty, which is why it’s critical to resolve any group friction as soon as possible to avoid further unproductivity which affects business operations.
Lack of privacy
When it comes to operating a successful business, there are many trade secrets that reveal why your business is so successful and how it all comes into place.
Coworking spaces pose the biggest challenge of a lack of privacy. Fears of other individuals from different entities crossing paths with your confidential work and property is a pressing concern. Leaving a laptop or phone unattended on a coworking desk is an oversight that happens to many busy workers – which gives raise to a business risk.
Given that certain facilities and equipment are shared, this also bears the risk of confidential documents getting into the wrong hands. For example, having a central printer for a coworking space means that everyone has access to it. If an employee prints a trade secret or confidential business strategy, anyone can potentially see what is being printed before the employee is able to grab the documents.
With countless individuals walking in, out and around the coworking space, there is a naturally higher concern for security of data and belongings. From leaving items on desks to having the need to conduct private and confidential conference calls, coworking spaces can give rise to legal complications which should be resolved soonest and as amicably as possible.
How to mediate coworking space issues
Given that many coworking spaces require businesses to engage in a term contract, it is unlikely that your business can just up and leave whenever there is a conflict with others at the coworking space. It also means that you don’t want there to be any bad blood between your employees and other individuals in the coworking space as they will be working in close proximity with them on a daily basis.
Due to reasons above, it is strongly advised that businesses avoid legal action through traditional litigation as the confrontational and adversarial nature of litigation will create tension in the coworking space.
Instead, seeking an alternative dispute resolution solution such as mediation would be a wise move to resolving any coworking space issues. Mediation is naturally cooperative with the focus of helping parties work together to resolve a dispute amicably and without feeling displaced.
With the rising trend of online mediation claiming to cut costs as much as 98%, many small businesses are turning to it as a way to resolve their coworking space disputes. Fast resolution times as quick as 30 days increase the attraction of online mediation along with the ease and flexibility of the process. Further, expert mediator panels ensure the highest quality service at the convenience of a business.