The popularity of co-working has risen exponentially in recent years. More and more people are opting to work from home or in a private office space, with startups, freelancers and solopreneurs choosing coworking spaces or a hot desk over other, more permanent workspace options.
You may be unfamiliar with exactly what coworking is. It might be a word that you have heard thrown around in the startup business world but never quite understood what it is or how it can benefit your startup business. Here, we attempt to make it all a little clearer for you.
What exactly is coworking?
In short, coworking develops when a number of people and companies share the same workspace. In most cases, a dedicated coworking space consists of a wide-open area with desks and seating areas, where people can all work on their own projects under the same roof. Spaces typically have a variety of shared amenities and services, such as meeting areas, kitchenettes and outdoor spaces. Some also offer private spaces that can be rented out. Business essentials, such as high-speed wifi, are usually included in the price. Often extras, such as printing and scanning and photocopies, and drinks, are also included in the bill.
What are the benefits of coworking?
Control and flexibility: Some coworking spaces are open 24/7, which gives people all the flexibility and control over their working hours that they could possibly need. If they work best late at night, they can do so without disturbing their family at home. If they want to pop in and out all day, they can. If they want to work alone, they can, but if they want to work in a shared space where collaboration and interaction are encouraged, they can.
Fosters a sense of community: Working in a coworking space will make many people feel like they are part of a community. Connections with others are a major reason why people pay to work in a shared room, as opposed to working from home for free or renting an office. Every coworking space has its own culture and dynamics, and the managers of each space spend a great deal of time developing a special environment that meets the needs of their respective members. However, it is important to note that socialising is not compulsory – people can choose how they use the space.
Increased levels of productivity: When you are working from home it can be very difficult to get motivated sometimes. The TV can be a distraction, you might just take ten minutes to pop a laundry load on, the parcel delivery man disturbs you and friends and family think that because you are at home they can pop in for a coffee. When you are working in a coworking space, it is much more like a workplace and so you are more likely to use your time wisely and maximise your productivity.
Coworking spaces are an option that will continue to increase in popularity in the future as home working and remote working also increases. These benefits show you why.