- 13th June, 2018
Coworking – just a buzzword?
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A coworking space, also known as a shared work space or proworking, is home to a style of work that involves sharing everything office space related with other people and the costs. When you walk in to one of these spaces you will find people working together on the same desk space but not from the same company. They work side by side on hot desks, reserved desks, or in private offices. Everyone shares the same facilities and has the opportunity to tap in to reception and hosting services, break-out spaces, and coffee areas. Many of these spaces organise networking events, social events, and support.
So why doesn’t everyone join a coworking space? Although it does have many benefits, coworking is for the many but not for the few. If it is the type of work place for you, it could truly be a lifeline. Coworking is for those who enjoy action, creativity, and an overall lively work venue. Another advantage of coworking — it has adapted to suit solo-preneurs, freelancers, SMEs, and even large corporates! The types of people you may meet are varied and that is one of the many things that entice people to a coworking space.
Many companies in their very early stages benefit from working in a coworking space. They have a community of great resources surrounding them. Not to mention that other co-workers are likely on a similar journey. Corporates with smaller teams spread through the country or the world like coworking spaces for the shared amenities and additional activities that promote well-being. Additionally, most coworking spaces come with a host, someone who runs the space and facilitates introductions with other co-workers. In a nutshell, coworking is great for those eager to immerse themselves in a vibrant community to expand both their personal and professional networks.
WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU?
One of the main reasons people choose coworking rather than working from home or a coffee shop is the interaction with other human beings it provides. Within a communal workspace, there are many opportunities to reach out and network with the great minds surrounding you. Working on your own or remotely can be lonely and coworking is certainly a cure for loneliness.
If there’s someone you’d like to meet or do business with, you can find them here and plan to make an introduction. If you need a developer, a content writer, or a graphic designer, they may be sitting just a couple desks down from you, and, often, they are more than willing to help! And opposite to this they may also need your services and provide and income stream for you. Take advantage of these opportunities sat right next to you.
In addition to this the hosts and owners and people around you are a great resource for help. Be it how to use a programme on your computer, where to eat or how to sort out your VAT bill. Another huge benefit of coworking is the different events that are offered to members. The frequency of events will vary from space to space. Having easy access to these support events is perfect for expanding your experience and network!
Although coworking does offer members a community, socialising isn’t compulsory. People are not forced into social situations. Rather, co-workers can choose when and how they would like to network with other people. If someone is in the mood to have a chat, for instance, they can easily do so in the kitchen or lounge area. On the other hand, if someone needs quiet, head-down time, they can work from a quiet space, away from other people. It’s all about what YOU want from the space.
Coworking offers users flexibility. Coworking, as a concept, was set up to understand that businesses may look very different every six months, particularly in their very early stages. That’s why most coworking spaces offer more flexible terms with short notice periods to allow you to move with the times. For coworking it is often even more flexible with the option for month only terms or simple day use.
Many coworking spaces allow you to grow within the space. This means they will be there when your team grows larger or reduces by offering you space to fit your needs at this time.
Another way coworking offers users flexibility is through its various office types: hotdesking, reserved desks, and private offices. Private offices within coworking spaces vary in terms of how many people they can hold. From single use offices upwards are often available if you need to be able to lock your own front door. These still have all the added benefits of coworking spaces and come with one bill for everything.
Each coworking space you visit will come with its own individual personality. There are spaces out there for everyone, if you are just out of university and want to carry on the common room feeling or if you are at the other end of the spectrum and are looking for something more established and executive. There is something out there for everyone, it is just about finding the venue that sits well with your own personality.
Starting up on your own and contracting to your own offices comes with a whole list of jobs. Sorting out rates, telecoms, Wi-Fi, photocopier, toilet rolls, coffee and tea can be a huge task when you want to simply run your business. Using shared spaces means that all of this is taken care of and at a fraction of the costs as it is split between many users. Tapping in to this shared economy is beneficial not just on your pocket but on your head space as well.
The cost of renting coworking spaces varies depending on the space and the product you’re looking for. Hot desks are the entry point and the least cost for unreserved space. Once you start to need permanent space the costs can rise for reserved desks and then offices. Also, costs vary depending on the style and level of service that you are looking for and often the location.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Although coworking is considered a flexible workspace, joining one can still be a big commitment. You should be sure to take the proper precautions when deciding which space is right for you. The biggest advice is to try before you buy, work from your first choice for a day or a few days to feel what it is like to work there. Here are the five general things to look out for when joining a coworking space: (1) Separation of spaces for quiet work, collaborative brainstorming, and meetings, (2) Coworking personality, (3) Workplace design, (4) Location, and (5) Flexibility to scale up/scale down.
Coworking (and not co-working) is a term that most people have now heard of… and for good reason. Gone are the days of dull offices and grey cubicles where the office was a place you wanted to get away from rather than go to. Coworking and flexible workspaces are here to stay. They have encouraged most businesses both large and small to view the work place as giving an enjoyable experience and not just as a place to do your job.
Yes, it is definitely more than just a buzzword!
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