Coworking: What Is It? (A Simple Guide for Beginners)
You are older than the idea of coworking if you were born before 2005. And if that still hurts, here's another one: You might also be older than the Internet.
what exactly is coworking?
- Brad Neuberg's idea of a shared workspace gave rise to coworking as we know it today in 2005. He founded the San Francisco Coworking Space with the intention of establishing an office setting where independent contractors could operate without interference while enjoying the comfort of being close to others in a work community.
- Coworking spaces provide an alternative to working in coffee shops or feeling isolated at home. They offer a communal location for independent workers to connect with others and eliminate the feeling of isolation often associated with remote work. The popularity of coworking has grown significantly, with over 5,000 coworking offices in the US and 19,000 globally. It is projected that 1.08 million Americans will work in coworking spaces in 2022. For those looking for an office without the commitment of renting their own, a coworking space can be an affordable and exciting option. Membership typically includes access to the coworking facility and amenities for a certain number of days each month, and most spaces charge a monthly fee for use. Some also offer daily usage for travelers in need of meeting space.
How Does a Coworking Space Appear?
- A coworking space has the same atmosphere, decor, and sound as an ordinary office. It usually has a lot of busy action going on. You'll probably hear low-level background noises like people talking at the water cooler, coffee brewing, keyboard typing, printing on paper, and mild giggling that are absent from a home office.
- The majority of coworking spaces are organized like traditional offices since they are designed to promote productivity. Wireless Internet, desks, conference rooms, phone booths, break rooms (with fresh coffee and occasionally free refreshments), and access to printers and copiers are just a few of the basic services they provide. Additional services, such as mail service, game zones, nap pods, fitness centers, and other features, may be offered in premium coworking spaces.
- Coworking spaces typically provide a variety of areas, including a typical office area with desks, a shared meeting/recreational room for discussions and networking, a peaceful space for a phone and video meetings, and a dining lounge.
Who Employs Coworking Facilities?
Teams as well as a range of individuals utilize coworking spaces. Who are the most likely people to be found in a coworking space? Here's a breakdown:
- Individuals who work for themselves as independent contractors offer task-based or consulting services to other companies. Even though they value their "freedom," freelancers may dislike the idea of working from home for a variety of reasons.
- First of all, working from home does not encourage a healthy work-life balance. Second, scheduling client meetings when working from home might be challenging. These people like working in a more formal environment since it gives them more freedom to achieve their professional objectives.
- Startups often have a small, core workforce in their early phases. They favor working collaboratively in a coworking space due to its accessibility and affordability in order to reduce expenditures. Contrary to what you may discover with regular office space, coworking spaces don't require a long-term lease.
- Additionally, they are far more reasonably priced and don't charge extra for things like electricity and cleaning services. A small crew can enter the building with their laptops and begin working immediately because everything is supplied, including office furniture and the Internet.
- Startup teams can engage with one another in the same environment by using coworking spaces. They can regularly collaborate and work together, creating links and chances for real-time communication.
Remote and Hybrid Workers
- An organization hires a remote or hybrid worker as a full-time employee as opposed to a freelancer. However, a remote or hybrid worker can choose to work from anywhere they like and is similarly independent of location as a freelancer.
- These individuals might appreciate working from home, but they might also desire to mix up their work week. Many employees who work remotely or in a hybrid setting nevertheless prefer the option of doing so. Being with other people frequently stimulates productivity.
What Advantages Come with Coworking?
- The early stages of the pandemic taught us that isolation can have a negative impact on our mental health. You're going to feel lonely when you spend the majority of your day alone at work, seeing just the mailman and sometimes your pet. However, in a coworking environment, you collaborate with people who work for different organizations. Additionally, you can interact, meet new people, and build fresh connections.
- As was already said, a lot of coworking space provides a wide range of facilities in addition to an Internet connection. Snacks, mail delivery, happy hours, and the use of an on-site fitness center are a few examples of these extras. As a member, you have access to these benefits, which can improve both the quality of your personal and professional lives.
- You can meet people who work in various companies and industries in a coworking space. You might strike up a conversation with someone who would be a good fit for your company, and vice versa.
- In a coworking space, you're much more likely to connect with other professionals who can advance your career than you are when working from home or in a typical office. Anyone can benefit from these networking opportunities, but it's especially true for those just starting their careers.
- Work-life balance is arguably the largest advantage that a coworking space offers. Working remotely or independently from home might make it difficult to distinguish between your professional and personal selves.
- It's simple to practically bring your job to bed with you when you work from home. However, if you use a coworking space, you'll be more likely to separate your business and personal lives during the day.
What Negatives Come with Coworking?
Coworking is not for everyone. The following are some explanations as to why coworking might not be the best option for you:
- Joining a coworking space is not free, especially if you want to use one with a lot of features. That costs a lot of money. Some people find it more convenient to use a free workspace, like a library, or to spend a few dollars on a cup of joe at their nearby coffee shop.
- Productivity can be increased by ambient noise in an office setting, but only in moderation. Some coworking spaces could be too noisy, which makes it difficult to focus on your work.
- A coworking space may be completely crowded with people depending on the time you attend. Due to this, it could be challenging to obtain a desk or a semi-private area. Although not always the case, some coworking spaces regulate traffic by allowing members to book desks or time periods.
- Additionally, you shouldn't anticipate a completely private experience when you share an office with other people.
How to Establish a Coworking Space:
- To set up a coworking space, first, determine the reason for starting the space and how it will benefit the community.
- Conduct market research to identify the demand for coworking space in the area.
- Select a location that is easily accessible, safe, and has ample parking and high-speed internet.
- Plan and furnish the space with different zones and necessary amenities.
- Determine additional perks to offer members to set themselves apart.
- Develop a marketing strategy to promote the space and hire a community manager to oversee operations.
Increased productivity, networking opportunities, and a variety of amenities are just a few of the numerous advantages that coworking offers to employees. Make sure you start with the list of tasks mentioned if you want to create your own coworking space.