The World's Most Unique Coworking Spaces
1 September

The World’s Most Unique Coworking Spaces

When it comes to work spaces, most people think of the same basic essentials: desks, connectivity, technology, and room for meetings. While these things are certainly the core of any working space, many creators are taking inventiveness to a whole new level with some of the most unique coworking spaces around the world.

In case you’re unfamiliar with the term, coworking is one of the latest trends in the entrepreneurial world. By allowing individuals and small businesses of all kinds to co-work in a single space, these community work areas are gaining momentum all over the globe. The reason? They allow for an affordable and professional work space and an invaluable set of coworking mentors and essential networking.

That said, here are some of the world’s most unique coworking spaces that take this experience to a whole new level:

The Hub – Chiang Mai, Thailand

While you think of the basic essentials for a work space, there is nothing basic about The Hub coworking space in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Made entirely of repurposed shipping containers, The Hub has one of the most unique designs of any space around the world.

With out-of-the-box thinking and architectural design, The Hub is truly a unique working space atmosphere that is said to inspire creativity and productivity. The shipping containers allow for a resourceful use of existing elements, giving a green element to the coworking experience.

Village Underground – Lisbon, Portugal

Similar to The Hub, Village Underground in Lisbon, Portugal makes use of recycled shipping containers for coworking spaces. The repurposed containers give ample office spaces that are shared by creative entrepreneurs of all walks of life, but they aren’t the most unique aspect of this space.

In addition to the unusual office space design, Village Underground boasts even more architectural creativity. The space includes attached double-decker buses that have been transformed into an on-site café and restaurant as well as a recording studio for its audio artists.

Naplab – Bangkok, Thailand

If you’re the type who just needs a quiet space to work, then Naplab coworking spaces in Bangkok, Thailand may be perfect for you. Known for its quiet spaces, Naplab caters to entrepreneurs who need some serious focus time.

As the name suggests, this coworking spot includes a second level designated solely for – you guessed it – nap time. Yes, this space has individual bunks and pods where its members can retreat for a nap to recharge their minds on-site.

Dojo – Bali, Indonesia

If it’s a retreat you’re looking for, then you can’t go wrong with Dojo – the tropical coworking experience in Bangkok, Thailand. It’s most unique feature? Take your pick between the open-air conference areas, private poolside nooks or the mere one-minute walk to world famous Echo Beach.

In addition to the resort-like atmosphere for working spaces, Dojo also offers extended stay options. Yes, they have rooms you can rent for an overnight stay, making it a great place to plan a company retreat.

Coboat – Providence Mahe, Seychelles

Want to shuck the whole concept of an office in general? Coboat in Providence Mahe, Seychelles will definitely get you there! The concept? Coworkers can book their stay on the Coboat, sharing working space on an enormous catamaran as it sails around the globe.

All of the essential working space necessities are included (high-speed internet, tech gadgets, etc.), as well as ever-changing high-seas views. The concept allows coworkers to stay connected while simultaneously embarking on coastal adventures and truly fresh air thinking as they detach themselves from the mainland for weeks at a time.

Coworking Spaces: So Much More Than a Rental (and Other Myths Debunked)
15 August

Coworking Spaces: So Much More Than a Rental (and Other Myths Debunked)

If you’ve ever considered trying out a coworking space for your business, you’ve likely heard several “myths” surrounding them. There seems to be a lot of misconceptions and confusion out there in regard to shared spaces, but the truth is, most offer invaluable benefits when compared to traditional spaces. To better understand what coworking spaces are (and if they’re right for you), it helps to know what they aren’t. Here is a look at some of the most common coworking myths and why they are debunked:

Myth #1: Coworking Spaces Are Only for Millennials and Freelancers

Since coworking spaces are a relatively new (but rapidly expanding) concept, it’s easy to understand how some may be confused as to what they are and who they are for. Somewhere along the way, coworking spaces have gained a reputation for catering only to those who are freshly entering the working world or only in specific areas of interest.

The truth is, coworking spaces are offered across the globe in record numbers and cater to all individuals and businesses. In fact, most spaces pride themselves on incorporating a highly diverse group of professionals in their spaces. Keeping a workplace community with individuals in all stages and areas of business offers members an unparalleled set of resources in the same space.

Myth #2: You Must be a Social Butterfly to be a Member

While it’s true that coworking spaces provide fantastic social and networking opportunities on a daily basis, you don’t need to worry about privacy or space to work on your own. Since most spaces offer private office spaces, cubes, or designated quiet areas, there’s always somewhere for those who wish to have a more solo experience as well.

Myth #3: You’re Limited to Access the Things You Need

Many people assume that a coworking space will limit their accessibility to things they need. This, however, couldn’t be further from the truth.

With coworking spaces, you’re free to come and go as you please – meaning, you create your own hours. As you continue your coworking membership and get to know others in your shared spaces, you will begin to mesh out a schedule that works best for you and doesn’t interfere with anyone else in the space.

Myth #4: You Must Sign a Long-Term Contract or Lease

Another myth is that coworking spaces run like rental properties and leases, requiring you to sign a designated contract ensuring you’ll stay for a specified length of time. Since this can be quite a detraction for those who need flexibility, many swear off coworking spaces before they even get inside the door of one to check it out.

The truth? While there are likely some spaces that operate that way, most coworking communities are designed specifically to help those with flexibility needs. Meaning, the majority of shared spaces offer many different tiers of membership options that allow you to utilize the space only as you need it. In other words, most offer simple pay-as-you-go options that require no long-term contracts.

While all spaces operate under their own policies and procedures, you’ll never know if they’re right for you unless you chuck the myths and check them out on your own. Ask someone who participates in coworking spaces or take a visit of a nearby shared community – those are the best ways to debunk the myths and find what works for you.

 

Keeping Start-Up Costs at a Minimum: Tips for New Business Owners
1 August

Keeping Start-Up Costs at a Minimum: Tips for New Business Owners

When you’re contemplating a start-up, few things are as vital as budget and costs. In fact, often times a budget can either make or break a decision to begin your venture – but it shouldn’t. If you find yourself fretting over your start-up bottom line, rest assured, there are ways to keep your costs under control.

Keeping Start-Up Costs in Check

Chances are, if you’re looking at budgets and start-up costs, you’ve already done your fair share of research on what to expect. You’ve also likely heard that you need to have a solid plan in place in order to give your venture a clear shot at success. So, what does that mean exactly?

For starters, yes, you need to create a budget that takes as many factors into consideration as possible – but that’s not all. When it comes time to putting your budget and plan in motion, there are ways to be smart about your spending that will help you keep your costs in check.

Buy Smart

It may seem like a no-brainer, but before you go writing checks for your start-up needs, make sure you shop around. Just like you would take advantage of holiday sales or special discounts for everything else in your personal life, you need to do the same with your business.

Research area businesses that may be having a close-out sale, or maybe a going-out-of-business sale can help you score some quality used pieces on a budget-friendly purchase. It’s always good to check tag sales and estate sales or auctions for items you may need as well. Remember to keep things in check by ensuring you’re truly buying what you need, and not just what is convenient or something that lured you in for “extras” you could really do without right away.

Start Simply

In the beginning, you’ll likely have a difficult time keeping up with the expenses of bringing on a full-time (or even part-time) staff. One way to help off-set this expense is by avoiding it altogether. How? Try subcontracting work out on an as-needed basis.

There are plenty of sites and sources for employees looking to work on a contract-only basis, meaning you simply pay for what you need without all the overhead for insurance premiums and salaries. As time goes on and you get more established, you can look to add more permanent staff members later.

Alternative Spaces

Being budget conscious about your start-up equipment and staff needs are a large part of the puzzle, but there’s another one you need to focus on as well: your business space. Starting your own business doesn’t mean you need to go out shopping for primo store fronts or the typical brick-and-mortar buildings.

There is a plethora of options out there for those just starting out in their business ventures today (and even for those well-established ones who are looking for a more budget-friendly avenue). Many choose to carve out a space in their residence to help cut costs that way, but there’s a third option to consider as well: coworking spaces.

Coworking spaces can be a great way to keep your start-up costs in check because they offer a fantastic business setting without the fantastic pricing. Essentially, you share a communal office area that comes complete with all your basic needs (so you’ll cut down on equipment expense as well) and offers a professional atmosphere to present to clients.

Overall, there are a number of ways you can stay under budget on your start-up, you just need to be smart and resourceful about it. Do your research, stick to what you need, and explore options that give you the most bang for your buck.

Conference Room for Rent? Wowing Clients with Professional Spaces
15 July

Conference Room for Rent? Wowing Clients with Professional Spaces

As the coworking movement continues to trend, entrepreneurs are beginning to see more and more of the advantageous benefits of their memberships. Among them is the ability to wow prospective clients with amazing professional spaces on a budget. Some of the greatest advantages to coworking spaces and conference room rentals is the minimal overhead and maximum utilization.

Professional Space Memberships and Rentals

If you’re unfamiliar with the coworking trend, it’s essentially a shared office space which allows freelancers and entrepreneurs alike to work alongside others in a professional setting with minimal costs. It’s catching on quickly, in large part because it allows business professionals to work in some amazing (and fully equipped) spaces with very little overhead expense.

With several options available today, memberships range from full-usage, unlimited access, to conference room rentals for specific meetings. These spaces are designed specifically to meet the needs of any business professional while allowing for budget-friendly flexibility and accessibility.

What Conference Room Rentals Offer

There are a number of reasons you may find the need for a larger meeting space. Annual budget meetings, conferences, or even just to impress a specific client – whatever your need, conference room rentals might be a great option.

Many people think of these areas as hotel meeting rooms with closed off panels and outdated décor. It’s difficult to make a good impression with outdated surroundings weighing in on the meeting. That’s where the coworking movement and conference room rentals come in. Today, there are several options available for coworking spaces and conference room rentals in much more elaborate (and fully equipped) settings.

The Benefits of Conference Room Rentals

Whatever your reason for considering a conference room rental, there are numerous benefits to the rented space options. If you’re considering a conference room or meeting room rental, here is a look at some of the greatest benefits to keep in mind:

1 – The Wow Factor

Perhaps you don’t have the space in your existing office environment to accommodate a larger meeting, or maybe you just want something with an impressive view. No matter what your reasoning, renting conference rooms can offer you the chance to truly impress potential clients with functional and updated areas. Particularly, if you’re conducting business out of a small home office, professional conference spaces can supply you with a much more professional atmosphere for meetings.

2 – Fully Equipped

It’s difficult to host a meeting if you’re lacking specific technology and equipment. Depending upon your current office situation, it may be quite costly to purchase items such as multiple phone lines, projection screens, interactive whiteboards and other tech needs. Renting conference rooms offers all of the technology you will need to hold a successful meeting without the ridiculous overhead expense.

3 – Convenience and Budget-Friendly

If you’re a budget-conscious entrepreneur (and let’s face it, we all are), coworking spaces and conference room rentals are a fantastic way to stay in the black. By keeping costs to a minimum and offering flexibility of usage, these shared spaces are a great way to conveniently take care of some of the basics of your business needs.

The Coworking Trend: What Is It and Why It Might be Right for You
1 July

The Coworking Movement: What Is It and Why It Might be Right for You

Whether you’re a small business owner or a freelancer, planning a start-up or self-employed, one of the most important decisions you’ll face is where to set up shop. You’ve likely considered the usuals: home office, rented storefronts or building spaces – but did you know there is another option? The coworking movement is trending today, and for good reason.

What Is the Coworking Movement

Coworking is a relatively new concept that’s quickly gaining ground in the U.S. and it’s easy to see why. With the options and flexibility of coworking spaces, they are a great fit for many different entrepreneurs. So just what is coworking?

According to CoworkingResources.org, “coworking is a shared office space where entrepreneurs, freelancers, remote workers, and anyone else who wants access to a fully-equipped space can get a membership.”

In essence, coworking spaces are community offices that allow workers of all walks of entrepreneurship to come together. They are essentially a place to network and share ideas with others while still offering private work and meeting areas for an affordable membership fee.

Strong Growth Pattern

If you’re considering a coworking space, you’re not alone. Statistics have shown coworking spaces have a strong growth pattern, continuing to catch on across the globe. Harvard Business Review explains the new trend is due in large part to the many benefits associated with office sharing:

“…People who belong to (coworking spaces) report levels of thriving that approach an average of 6 on a 7-point scale. This is at least a point higher than the average for employees who do their jobs in regular office spaces.”

With such a high number of employees reporting positive rankings for coworking, researchers wanted to take a closer look. What is it about coworking spaces that creates a highly satisfying work space?

A Networking Hotspot

Since coworking offers unique opportunities to network with others in various professions, the benefits are practically endless. In addition to the fully stocked office equipment coworkers have access to, networking with individuals with other entrepreneurial specialties can be exponentially advantageous.

“In a shared office space, there are usually dozens of other people – if not hundreds – occupying the same location as you, and those demographics will likely change every month. It’s a perfect place to meet new people in the professional world…” writes Forbes.com.

Beyond the Networking Opportunities

Outside of the networking opportunities, there are several other benefits reported by those who are already coworking members. Among the benefits, coworking spaces offer members:

  • Flexibility of membership (monthly, no long-term lease requirements)
  • Freedom (come and go as you please, no set hours or required schedule)
  • Less Pressure (no office politics or competitions with others as with a traditional office)
  • Community Support (get advice and ideas from a wider range of coworking community members)
  • Fantastic office spaces at budget-friendly prices

Above all, the coworking trend is catching on because it offers a unique and affordable office experience for those looking to get away from the traditional conformity. With the flexibility and networking opportunities associated with coworking, it’s no wonder coworking office spaces are increasing in popularity.

What to Consider When Shopping for Office Headquarters
15 June

What to Consider When Shopping for Office Headquarters

If you’re shopping for a new office space, there are many things to consider beyond what is simply available. Since your office space is where you’ll do the bulk of your business dealings, it’s imperative that you find the right space for not just your business, but your budget and your future.

“An office environment reflects and reinforces a business’s core values, through the placement of different teams and functions and design elements that reflect culture, brand, and values,” explains Harvard Business Review (HBR.org).

While availability is certainly something to consider, it’s not as critical as you may believe. What is far more important to keep in mind is something HBR.org identifies as the “7 Attributes of Workspaces:”

1 – Location of Your Office Headquarters

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s crucial to choose a space that is central to your business needs and clients. Be sure to keep in mind how easy the space is to access by visiting customers and colleagues.

2 – Office Elements

You’ll need to take stock of any potential office headquarters’ spacial elements. What we mean is, how open is the location? Does it offer privacy where needed for meetings, and spaces that encourage comfort and productivity?

3 – Privacy Matters

Similar to the elements listed above, privacy is a key attribute to keep in mind. You’ll need to make sure the space offers elements such as private conference rooms, individual land lines for closed telephone meetings, and any other privacy options.

4 – Tech Tools

Since the bulk of business dealings today are handled digitally in one form or another, it’s crucial that your new office space is equipped with the necessary technology. Look for locations that can offer high-speed internet, Wi-Fi, and other integrated technology tools. There are many locations, such as coworking spaces, that offer all-inclusive bundles for office spaces that are ready-to-go and equipped with all the digital tools you’ll need.

5 – Networking Appeal

One simple element that many entrepreneurs overlook is the degree to which your space invites clients and colleagues to network together. In other words, does the space offer ample and inviting areas where you can comfortably carry on business with others in both a social and functional way?

6 – Focal Points

This may seem trivial, but focal points are a critical piece of any office environment. They are the elements within the space which draw you to them (and by extension, your clients). You’ll want to choose a space that has appealing aspects and a well-thought-out area for inviting and comfortable work areas.

7 – Available Space

Lastly, a space is only as valuable as its available work areas, so take stock of how much (and what kind of) space you need and compare that with potential headquarters. The area needs to have enough room for your daily functions (quiet space, communal areas, conference rooms), yet also allow for any future growth.

Overall Considerations

Once you have taken all of these elements into consideration, you can then compare your options with other aspects. Obviously, you’ll want to carefully consider your budget and individual business needs among other things. Overall, your office space will say a lot about your business in general, so consider all factors carefully before moving into your new space.