Coworking has become immensely popular over the last few years, with huge appeal for the likes of start-ups, small businesses, freelancers and remote workers – particularly when compared to a more traditional office set-up.
From flexibility and cost-savings to productivity, it’s little wonder the number of people and businesses using coworking spaces around the world is increasing.
Here, we break down what you can expect if you join a coworking office and how so many people are benefiting from it so you can decide if it is the right option for you.
What is coworking?
Coworking spaces bring a variety of businesses and professionals together in a single shared workspace.
These workspaces can vary greatly, with some resembling a traditional office and others including facilities such as communal areas, kitchens and formal meeting space.
They allow for collaborative working, both within your organisation but also with other parties. With most coworking spaces, there is an added sense of community with activities, events, and networking often organised by the space or by different members.
What are the benefits of coworking?
Coworking spaces generally offer different membership options to suit a wide range of requirements – and don’t come with long tenancy periods. This can be so important for businesses, who may not want to be tied into a long contract or may need to scale their usage up or down as they evolve.
It’s also great news for freelancers and those who usually work from home, who may benefit from access for a few days a month to work in a more formal setting and meet new people.
When considering different workplace options, it is important to consider what facilities you might need. Certain facilities can be expensive to set up if you’re moving into new, rented office space, and you will also be responsible for maintaining them and fixing any issues.
When working from home or from a coffee shop, it may be more expensive or difficult to access facilities such as printers, high speed Wi-Fi and professional meeting space.
Coworking spaces come fully equipped with all the facilities you will need, meaning less disruption to your working day, and you won’t be responsible for unexpected repair or maintenance costs.
Coworking spaces try and encourage an open, collaborative environment, whether that is with members of your own team or other members using the space.
It could be advice from a fellow entrepreneur, a new partnership, opportunity or even potential clients that you meet through your coworking space. For small businesses and start ups, you can have the balance of keeping your team together and able to collaborate, while still offering employees the chance to socialise with others.
In many cases, coworking can save you costs compared to other options, such as renting private office space. It can also work out cheaper than many commutes, which can be a huge bonus to your employees, and with facilities included you will not have to worry about any unexpected costs either.
Coworking offices also tend to be a lot more flexible than traditional office rentals, meaning you will not be tied into a long term contract if your situation or needs change.
Work life balance
Not only can coworking help define your work and personal life, but it can also help create a more suitable balance between the two for you or your employees, which in turn can contribute to higher levels of productivity
Flexible working hours means work can be done on your schedule, and you will be able to choose a coworking space that’s in a convenient location for yourself and your team.
If you or your employees currently have a long commute to the office, coworking can offer a great way to work remotely but maintain a professional environment.
A reduced commute will save time and money, and will likely make you feel more productive and less resentful towards work. Coworking allows you and your employees a way to access those benefits without sacrificing the benefits of a professional working environment.
Reduce isolation and loneliness
Different people require different amounts of socialisation, and for many working from home full time can be a little too isolating, particularly if you live alone.
When working from a private office is inconvenient or impossible, coworking offers a flexible solution that allows you and your team to work from a shared office as many days as you need and means you will have the opportunity to interact with different people whenever you’re there.
Structure to your day
When working from home, it is easy to fall into bad habits, such as working from your bedroom or continuing to work late in the evening. These habits blur the lines between work and your personal life which can be damaging for your mental health.
A coworking office can give your day more structure in the same way a more traditional office would, while still allowing you the flexibility you need.
Working from a professional office setting can help to put you in the right frame of mind to work, and some people find that they get more done away from the distractions of their homes.
A coworking space also offers this distraction-free environment and the ability to bounce ideas off other people should you wish. Coworking spaces are collaborative, innovative spaces filled with entrepreneurs, creating an environment which can also help boost the productivity of all members.
Events and networking
A particularly important part of freelancing, starting and growing your own business or just growing a customer base is having the right connections, and with a coworking membership often comes access to events that allow you to meet like-minded professionals.
As well as events, you and your employees will also have the opportunity to network with other members of the space during your working hours, which can lead to countless new opportunities.
Do you think you could benefit from coworking? Book a tour now to take a look around SO Fourteen and learn more about the facilities we offer our members.