Thanks to the co-working space revolution, entrepreneurs, freelancers, remote workers and startups are freed from being locked into expensive office leases and working out of garages, basements, cafes, hotel lobbies or living rooms.
Co-working spaces, which are defined as membership-based workspaces where diverse groups of freelancers, remote workers and other independent professionals work together in a shared, communal setting, are a hybrid of your favorite neighborhood coffee shop and a traditional office setting. They provide a social, supportive, energetic and creative environment that fosters business growth, in addition to the equipment, technology, support staff and conference rooms you need to conduct business.
The benefits of co-working spaces include:
- More money to invest in business growth: You’ll save a significant amount of money by only paying for the space you need instead of being tied to a long-term lease. Plus, you’ll also save on the cost of equipment (copiers, printers, scanners, projectors, etc.), receptionist, utilities, coffee and more. When renting a co-working office, you also won’t have to buy chairs, desks or filing cabinets. All these savings translate into money you can reinvest into your business.
- Improved work-life balance: Working out of a designated workspace enables you to separate your personal and work lives. You’ll leave your work at work when you go home, with the added benefit of eliminating work-related clutter from your home. If you need to go in early, work late or return to work later in the evening, you probably can since most co-working spaces are accessible 24/7.
- Increased productivity: Working in a co-working space may make you more productive, particularly if you previously worked from home. You’ll have to get up, get dressed and get out of the house instead of being tempted to stay in your PJs or tackle home projects, chores, or watch television when you should be working. In addition, you’ll be surrounded by people who are focused on getting work done, which will help you do the same.
- A supportive community: Many people who work remotely or are self-employed feel isolated and lonely, particularly if they used to work in a collegial office. Working in a co-working space offers opportunities to connect with businesspeople who have complementary skills. The “work alone together” environment enables you to bounce ideas off of each other and help grow each other’s businesses.
- Birthplace of new ideas: Due to the entrepreneurial environment of co-working spaces, it’s not uncommon for people to hit upon new ideas while working within them and to sometimes collaborate with fellow “co-workers” on developing them. Such ideas are sometimes inspired by observing others in the space or brainstorming new concepts over a cup of coffee during a work break.
With all of the benefits co-working offers, it’s no surprise that people who co-work enjoy doing so. In a University of Michigan Coworking Project survey, people who co-work averaged 6 on a 7-point scale in response to questions about “thriving” in the workplace,
which was higher than the average for employees who work in regular offices.
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