Coworking spaces allow a large range of people to come together, work and collaborate. One group who has seen clear benefits from these spaces is students, particularly those in their final year, doing their Masters and doctorial students.
There are many different reasons why a student may choose to take up a membership at a coworking office, but here are some key benefits that are likely to contribute to their decision.
Allows escape from shared accommodation
For a large number of students, home is often shared accommodation which can be loud, chaotic, and not the most conducive environment for productive work.
Having a dedicated office environment to work from will give students a way to stay focused and productive.
It also means they do not have to work from their bedrooms or shared living spaces, which can make it difficult to switch off from work and relax at home.
More reliable and professional than a library or café
In the past, students wanting to get out the house to work may have turned to the university library or even a local café, however these environments come with their own challenges.
The library can often be busy with many distractions. It may be hard to find a seat and use facilities, and often will not be good for working for long periods as the chairs and desks will be fairly basic.
Cafés have similar issues with noise and distractions, and you are unlikely to have access to any extra facilities you may need throughout the day such as a fast and reliable internet connection and private spaces.
Allows students to interact with entrepreneurs and other professionals
In a coworking space you are likely to encounter a mixture of people, from remote workers, freelancers and entrepreneurs to whole companies renting a number of desks.
Interacting with people at different stages of their career and with different work habits can not only help your own professional development, but also help you build an extended network of contacts you may be able to turn to in the future for support and advice.
Easier transition into the workplace
Although this may not be the initial reason a student would seek out a coworking space, it can be key in helping them bridge the gap between student life and full time work.
As the way we work is changing, having the experience of different work environments can help young people make decisions going forward. If they do find themselves in a job where they are expected to work remotely, they will already be aware of how coworking can fit into this way of work.
In the same sense, if they find themselves working from an office they will know what to expect and will be able to adjust quickly to working around people with different work styles.
Creates a sense of structure to work
Different coworking areas will have different opening hours and will often offer flexible memberships, so you can work during times that are easiest for you. The routine of travelling to an office can create a clear sense of structure to your day and help you switch into a working mindset more easily.
Better structure can also help support mental health and is something many students often struggle to achieve when working from home.
Included facilities, refreshments, and reliable broadband
In order to work productively it helps to have everything you need ready to go, and coworking spaces tend to offer the things you would need in your working day as part of the membership.
Rather than connecting to dodgy, unreliable Wi-Fi in the library or a café, coworking spaces will have high speed broadband set up. They will often also include things like refreshments and printing in your membership price, the cost of which can all add up quickly when working from other spaces.
It’s likely you’ll also have access to meeting spaces, kitchen facilities and quiet spaces such as phone booths depending on the space you choose.
Working in a focused environment can significantly increase your productivity, and if you have deadlines to meet it can be a great way to ensure you are getting work done on time.
There will be fewer distractions in a coworking space, and working around other focused individuals can often help you keep your mind on the task at hand. It can also be beneficial to your productivity to have a reasonably sized desk and ergonomic office chair, so that you are comfortable while you work.
Collaborative and social
As well as benefiting the way you work, coworking spaces can also offer social benefits to members. Working in an open collaborative environment where you can connect with different people can help you if you have been feeling isolated.
Other coworkers may be able to offer advice or encouragement, or even just a friendly chat over a cup of coffee, which can boost your mood and mental wellbeing.
Good for student start-ups
Many students looking to make some extra money while studying or hoping to set themselves up for when they leave university may be interested in setting up a business.
Many universities encourage this and offer programmes to help students with start-ups. A coworking office may be offered at a discounted rate or even fully funded on some programmes, but even where it is not it can be a worthwhile investment to give your start up the best chance of success.
Not only are you likely to meet other small businesses that can help you on your journey, having a professional office can make all the difference when talking to clients or investors, as it shows that you are taking your start-up seriously. It also provides a positive and motivational space to collaborate and focus on the business.
Are you studying in or around Southampton? Why not book a tour at SO Fourteen or call 023 8112 5014 to discuss our membership options.