- 7th February, 2018
Coworking misconceptions – explained!
87 blog posts
Whatever vision you have in your head about coworking, there is a good chance that there is more to offer than you think.
Even though the amount of coworking spaces in Manchester has quadrupled in the last 2 years, it remains mostly misunderstood. At Workplace Manchester, we are often explaining to people exactly what we do. Here we have tried to clear a few of these misconceptions.
Misconception #1 Coworking is only suitable for millennials.
If you look at most of the images of coworking on-line you will see places full of 20 something hipsters with laptops. These pictures don’t show the true diversity of many coworking venues. There is a survey carried out by Deskmag that says the average age of a member in a coworking space is 36 …. not a millennial!
We are not surprised by this age given the amount of large companies, start-ups and scale ups who are adopting coworking. At Workplace solopreneurs and freelancers sit shoulder to shoulder with employees of large multinationals. With spaces like this adding more and more services the early days of hotdesking in makeshift empty offices spaces with exposed ceilings and trestle tables are long gone. If you are over 40 and concerned that you won’t fit – don’t be. You will fit right in.
Misconception #2 You don’t get any privacy.
Many people think of coworking as a hive of activity with constant chatter and member get togethers. It is true that coworking creates a vibe and an atmosphere. This is however only part of the story. In reality most members of coworking spaces are there to work, they have to pay their bills and the only way to do this is to get a return on their working hours.
It is especially true in venues like Workplace. If you are going to be here and not working on your business, the extracurricular activities must be worth it. Many have families and lives to get home to at night so attending a pizza and beer get together won’t do it. The occasional informative seminar like a business leader discussing funding or a personality talking about creativity is much more beneficial. This is a better way for members to form an unforced relationship with their fellow members while developing their minds.
So, what if you need some privacy in a coworking space? Most coworking spaces are addressing the needs of their members, adding in quiet phone and skype booths, meeting rooms and designated quiet zones.
Misconception #3 You will only find tech start ups and creatives.
Many coworking space have aimed themselves very much at the tech and creative market but the landscape has changed a lot over the last few years. The vast array of business types in Workplace for instance makes it a very diverse environment. This synergy of different types of business means that there is always someone to help with a legal, IT , creative or accounts issue for one member or another. It also means that if there is business to be shared, there is less competition than there would be in a coworking space designed for one market.
Misconception #4 Big Companies aren’t welcome.
It is common to think that if you work for a big corporate you will not be welcome in a coworking space as it is full of freelancers and solo workers. This could not be further from the truth. CBRE recently carried out a survey which showed 44% of corporations already use some type of flexible working solutions in addition to their main offices.
One big reason for this it that large companies see the benefit in having the best of both worlds. The kudos of a well-designed office along with access to entrepreneurs, freelancers, and remote workers. This provides many opportunities to collaborate, network and find new talent. It also allows them to lose their image of corporate stuffiness and recruit from a wider pool of talent. For a very small investment large companies can have it all. It is predicted that more big companies will join this movement over the coming years.
Misconception#5 Coworking, hot desking, it is all the same
As many of us in the coworking industry refer to our transient desks as hot desking, it is very hard to ensure that people looking for space understand the term coworking. Coworking and hot desking are very different. In the industry we confuse this so how we expect anyone else to understand I am not sure.
Coworking spaces provide so much more than a “hot desk” it is about having the choice of how to work. At Workplace this can be sat in the comfortable lounge, at a shared desk, dedicated desk or in your own office. Coworking is about freedom, freedom to work in the way that engages you the most. Workplace is also very flexible in terms of how often you can “pay and play”. Workplace has packages where you can just work with us once when you are in Manchester, 5 days a month, 12 days a month, full-time, 10 times over three months. There are price points to work around your needs, so you are not paying when you are in other destinations doing your thing.
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