Not many people understand the processes and unique obstacles of entrepreneurship. An entrepreneur’s journey is often lonely. Cloud-based workflows may have made workers more mobile than ever, but some people find being cooped-up alone all day in a home or private office can have negative effects. That’s why many have turned to an innovative alternative to traditional office spaces. It’s called “coworking” and is the perfect breeding ground for startups.
Coworking spaces, a relatively new concept, have been creating startup ecosystems of happy professionals all over the world. Each coworking space is full of unique people positively influencing each other and benefiting from the multitude of services and businesses operating out of the space. Working in these spaces, you’ll be surrounded by like-minded, talented individuals and teams who can benefit you and who can benefit from you.
Coworking spaces are a creative use of commercial real estate as an economic resource, allowing community members to reduce their office occupancy costs and enabling landlord partners to increase their rental income. Some coworking communities have expanded to multiple locations allowing members geographic flexibility. This has opened up new possibilities including remote hiring, working from nearby locations while traveling, and having multiple small offices to address sales and customer delivery needs.
Benefits of coworking:
- Coworking inherently facilitates introductions to other professionals, resulting in natural networking interactions with prospective new clients and talented potential collaborators. You’ll be surrounded by passionate, goal-driven professionals who you can bounce ideas off of, share insights into each other’s businesses, maybe even meet your next business partner or investor. Coworking professionals often develop deep and lasting connections with their coworking community members.
- Coworking spaces save money. Rent is usually very affordable, especially in comparison to traditional corporate offices. Some coworking spaces even offer daily rates and monthly contracts. Access to the necessary amenities are usually included, so community members save money on office expenses such as Internet access, printers, fax machines, etc. Don’t forget the reduction in utility expenses and not having to deal with service providers or repairs.
- Coworking spaces are inspirational because they attract a wide variety of people from all sorts of industries and fields. Being surrounded by hardworking, like-minded professionals can be very motivating.
- Coworking spaces have built-in soundboards where professionals share ideas, help improve each other’s projects and inspire creativity. If you’re having trouble with some part of your business and need help, the person next to you might have the solution.
- Coworking makes you more productive. It eliminates many distractions of a home office like family members, the TV, and fridge.
Not all coworking spaces are created equal. The people in the community are exceptionally important to coworking spaces. Every space has a different culture and support system; check them out carefully before making a commitment. Tour the place first, some will even let you work a day for free to get a feel for the space and community. Often, coworking spaces will host events like seminars and networking sessions that anyone can attend. There are even “incubators” that offer high-level support and mentorship in exchange for equity. Incubators tend to be pickier about which teams they adopt when compared to shared office spaces that rent to anyone and where everyone literally minds their own business. So pay attention to how you feel when you visit the space, ask about the types of events regularly run by the space, how they support their existing startups, and don’t forget to make sure they have good facilities.
DeskHub is one example of a popular coworking space with a boutique look and feel in trendy neighborhoods. According to their website, “ Coworking is an ingenious way to increase the positive effects of a workplace while diminishing the negative effects of working in an office space, home office or public place. There is a constant feeling of community in a shared working space, with the possibility of expansion of business, clients, and networking. The non-binding, affordable shared space is a no-brainer when looking to cut costs while maintaining quality.”
Coworking may be a new workplace trend and a novel concept, but it’s proving to maximize success, productivity, and creativity.