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.

1 June

The Benefits of Coworking Office Spaces

Coworking office spaces have grown exponentially in popularity among entrepreneurs in recent years. In fact, communal work environments are predicted to average membership growth rate increases of nearly 25% over the next few years alone, according to the Global Coworking Unconference Conference (GCUC).

So why the sudden influx of memberships? Perhaps it’s the unique and diverse environments associated with coworking offices spaces. Or, perhaps, it’s one of the dozens of other benefits members list as appealing that is drawing new members in droves.

According to sources such as the Harvard Business Review and the Chicago Tribune, coworking office spaces have become wildly popular for numerous reasons. Members who participate in them state the coworking spaces allow them benefits that are unparalleled by any other means. Of the many benefits given, here are some of the most widely reported advantages coworking members reported:

The Coworking Savings

For starters, let’s be honest – when it comes to business, the bottom line is, well, the bottom line. An office space option that allows you to cut costs while keeping a beautiful and functional work space is going to be high on the list for sure.

“If you lease your own office space, you’re responsible for paying for utilities, supplies and amenities. With shared offices, utilities such as water and Internet are included, as are other amenities including coffee and kitchen supplies. This reduces costs and some of the details you have to tackle day to day,” explains ChicagoTribune.com.

No More Office Politics

Another benefit, as researchers with Harvard Business discovered during a 2015 survey, is that coworking spaces have a noticeable lack of “office politics.” Since everyone who is involved in a shared office environment has a different area of expertise, there is no sense of competition among coworkers.

“Because there is little direct competition or internal politics, they don’t feel they have to put on a work persona to fit in,” Harvard Business Review reports. As a result, coworking space members tend to feel much more comfortable and focused on their own projects than they did in traditional office spaces.

Flexibility

Since shared office spaces usually offer monthly membership options, you have much more flexibility than you would with an office lease or mortgage. The monthly choices give members the ability to operate on an as-needed basis, as well as allowing them the flexibility of their own schedules as well. Coworker spaces are often open 24/7 for members to access whenever they want. This allows for a “come and go as you please” office environment, which is (understandably) highly appealing to members.

Community and Support

Finally, coworkers have noted that one of the biggest benefits to utilizing shared office spaces comes in the form of the community and support they gain while at work. Coworking spaces have members from all walks of business and experiences. This gives members a unique opportunity to socialize with others they may never have met before.

By extension, members are also entrenched in a pool of coworking specialties. This means that most will have a new set of coworkers that can offer on-demand help or advice with fresh perspectives every day. It also offers some fantastic networking opportunities.

The benefits of coworking seem to be never-ending if you have the opportunity to discuss experiences with someone who participates in a membership. One thing is for certain; the statistics clearly state that coworking offices are trending, and we’re beginning to see why!