by Rebecca Kallsen
They say that entrepreneurs wear 17 hats – from administration to HR, accounting to IT, and everything in between. What that list doesn’t include, though, is insurance provider. This is where coworking spaces are bringing something fresh to the table in the form of insurance, benefits and perks, enough to rival those offered by traditional employers.
The CoMotion Group, owners of CoMotion on King and CoMotion 302 in Hamilton, Canada, are one such organization raising the bar to provide the most benefits for their members. They’ve recently launched a benefits and perks program which provides members with the opportunity to opt in to a competitive medical and dental insurance package as well as access discounted services and products nationwide.
CoMotion Group members who opt in can receive coverage for medical necessities such as prescription drug coverage, vision care, dental care, paramedical services, and the privilege of private/semi-private hospital rooms, plus diagnostic, preventative, and restorative procedures.
“We’re deeply invested in the overall experience of our members as business owners and professionals,” says Ryan Moran, Co-Owner of CoMotion Group. “This is why we’ve put a lot of effort into creating a health and dental plan, as well as a commercial perk package for our members. Basically, we want to ensure that with CoMotion, you can have all the benefits of a big company, in a space and community where you can do your own thing.”
Similar coworking insurance packages have been developed in Canada. COHIP (Coworking Health Insurance Plan), the world’s first such plan, was created in 2013. Originally offered to members of the Coworking Ontario collective, COHIP has since expanded across Canada. “It only makes sense that we extend our commitment to work together outside of our spaces and across regional borders, to form collectives dedicated to achieving more for our members,” said Ashley Proctor, founder of COHIP. “To be a successful artist or entrepreneur, you must take care of both your personal and professional needs. If you aren’t taking care of yourself, you aren’t taking care of your business.”
Taking the benefits one step further, coworking spaces like CoMotion Group have started teaming up with services like Perkopolis, a provider of discounted products and services. CoMotion Group members receive free access to Perkopolis, giving them offers and discounts on everything from car rentals, hotels, sports and movies. Having a good work-life balance is key to happiness and success in business, and services like this better allow coworkers to afford the fun things in life. It’s the perfect excuse to take your team out for a day filled with fun activities without breaking the bank.
By offering such programs, members have the perks of working at a large corporation while still maintaining independence within the coworking framework. Small businesses that are starting out don’t always have the budget to consider benefits packages for their team. The high price of extended health benefits has typically been a very real financial barrier to entrepreneurs and small businesses. But because many individuals are coming together under a large umbrella, discounted options become possible.
These offerings help eliminate the worry of “what if” while still providing coworkers with a cost-effective solution. At the end of the day, it allows them to focus on the important stuff – the success of their business. It’s raising the bar for coworking standards, and alleviating stress for coworkers across Canada.
For Ashley of COHIP, the reason coworking spaces in Canada are racing to the top isn’t just good business or a way to stay competitive. “Most simply put, Canadian coworking operators tend to project Canadian values. Affordable and accessible health care should be a right and a priority. We take care of each other. At its core, that’s what coworking is all about.”