You’ve probably heard about it from a friend. Maybe you have meant to try it for a while. More and more freelancers and independent contractors are doing it, and their numbers just continue to rise. What exactly is co-working, or working in a shared workspace, and when did it become a thing?
A quick search on Google will tell you that co-working is “the use of an office or other working environment by people who are self-employed or working for different employers, typically so as to share equipment, ideas, and knowledge.” With co-working, you have your professional workspace when you need it without the many distractions and inconveniences that you will find at home or busy coffee shops. It’s perfect for temps, freelancers, and independent contractors because of its cost effectiveness and shared resources. Here are five more reasons why working in a shared workspace will help you and your business grow.
1. You work more efficiently and productively because you are surrounded by equally efficient and productive people
When you are in an environment that’s interesting, new, and inspiring, you can’t help but be creative and productive. In a shared workspace, you get to be surrounded by individuals who also enjoy working for themselves and working with other like-minded individuals. There’s a strong sense of focus among everyone. Productivity is bolstered because of the professional atmosphere, and creativity is boosted because of the relaxed and cozy feeling much like what you can find at home.
2. You can grow your personal or professional networks
You can be sitting with an editor at a publishing company while you’re busy typing away on your manuscript. You can be working next to a woman who shares the same obsession with Breaking Bad. You can even be sharing the same space with your future funder or your future client. The possibilities are endless. You only need to look across the table and say hello.
3. You can enjoy the sense of community
You work by yourself but never alone. Working in a shared workspace will eliminate feelings of isolation that arise when you work from home. You will never run out of stimulating conversations and sound advice from experts who are only too happy to help one another.
4. You can reduce your operational costs
You can have a small budget and still work in a beautiful and fully-functional office. You can have air conditioning, broadband connection, unlimited coffee, and even a receptionist. You can use function rooms and conference rooms as well as other office equipment like printers, fax machines, and telephones. To further reduce your overheads, you can pick a shared workspace that’s close enough to walk or bike to. This way, you can cut down on money for gas and parking spaces. Make sure that your monthly membership will not charge extra for miscellaneous stuff like printing, faxing documents, and the like.
5. Working in a shared workspace provides flexibility
It’s a challenge to get an entire office set up and running, especially when you’re just starting out. With a shared workspace, you only need to pay a monthly fee to be able to use the amenities, and you already have an office that you can use right away. You can start seeing clients in a nice place that you can also be proud of. No long lease contracts tie you down, either. You can easily and quickly cancel your membership anytime if the shared workspace no longer meets your requirements.