Thanks to the increasing awareness of coworking benefits, entrepreneurs, freelancers, remote workers, small business owners and startups are being freed from being locked into expensive office leases and working out of garages, basements, cafes, hotel lobbies or living rooms.
Coworking spaces — 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 offer a social, supportive, energetic and creative environment that fosters business growth, while providing the equipment, technology, support staff and conference rooms you need to conduct business.
Read on to learn more about how coworking benefits a diverse range of workers and businesses, including:
- Remote workers
- Small business owners
Top 7 Coworking Benefits
Coworking is shifting the way people work toward a more collaborative and connected approach. Benefits of coworking spaces include:
Coworking Benefits for Businesses
- More money to invest in business growth: You’ll save a significant amount of money by only paying for the space you need, when you need it, 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 coworking office, you also won’t have to buy chairs, desks or filing cabinets. All of these savings translate into money you can reinvest into your business.
- Increased productivity: Working in a coworking 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, do 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.
- Birthplace of new ideas: The energetic, entrepreneurial environment of coworking spaces can also inspire an exchange of ideas, whether it’s bouncing a concept off a fellow coworker in the workspace or over a cup of coffee during a break.
- Increased business: The camaraderie of coworking spaces also can be a source of mutual support, and possible business referrals, from your fellow coworking space tenants.
Personal Benefits of Coworking
- Improved work/life balance: Working out of a designated workspace enables you to separate the personal and work sides of your life. You’ll leave your work at work when you go home, with the added benefit of eliminating work-related clutter around the house. If you need to go in early, work late or return to work later in the evening, you probably can since most coworking spaces are accessible 24/7.
- 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 coworking space offers opportunities to connect with businesspeople who have complementary skills. The “work alone together” ethos describes an environment in which it is common for coworking “colleagues” to become familiar with and supportive of each other’s businesses. You will likely leave work feeling energized as well as inspired each day.
- Emotional Support: Every entrepreneur has moments of self-doubt. Tapping into the support of other entrepreneurs who work in your coworking space will help you to overcome them. They likely have tips and tricks to share that worked for them.
By the Numbers: Benefits of Coworking Spaces
64% of entrepreneurs are more productive
68% of entrepreneurs feel more focused
90% of entrepreneurs are more confident
70% of entrepreneurs feel healthier
92% of entrepreneurs are satisfied with their space
*Source: Office Vibe study
Tips for Boosting Productivity in Coworking Spaces
Many apps are available that can help you work more productively in a coworking space. They include:
- ToDoist, the ultimate to-do list app. It has helped over 10 million people get more control over their lives.
- Whether you switch between desktop or laptop to iPad or iPhone, you’ll never be without your needed information and documents with iTeleport.
- WorkFlowy is ideal for people who must simultaneously balance many tasks. It’s more effective than jotting tasks down on a sticky note.
If you’re old-fashioned, you can also write out a daily schedule on a piece of paper, being sure to include some time to network with coworkers. Should you get easily distracted at work, investing in noise-canceling headphones can help you stay focused. When you want to interact with others, you can simply remove them.
Pros & Cons of Coworking vs. Working from Home
Working from home may initially appear more cost-effective than coworking, however, unlike coworking spaces, it doesn’t come with a receptionist, conference rooms or all the technology you need to run your business.
You may also be drawn to the zero-commute that working from home offers, but not separating your office from your home comes with some downsides. You’ll likely be distracted by home projects that need your attention or kids interrupting your workflow. In addition, you won’t have the opportunity to network with like-minded professionals. Accountability is also tougher when working from a home office since you are not surrounded by others whose entrepreneurial drive will inspire yours. It may also be tougher to find work/life balance at home because your office is always accessible.
Pros & Cons of Coworking vs. Working in an Office
Although coworking spaces are increasing in popularity, traditional offices are still the most common type of workplace. They historically provide workers with more structure and discipline, while people working in coworking spaces are responsible for creating their own structured schedule. Also, many team members enjoy the ability to interact and work directly with their peers and supervisors for many reasons including getting clear direction and forming friendships. Working in a traditional office setting can also provide access to perks that wouldn’t be available from a coworking space such as gym classes, free lunches and coworker celebrations including births, birthdays and other milestones. While all of these benefits are wonderful, some people feel smothered by constantly working in the same environment and on the same schedule.
With all the benefits of coworking, it’s no surprise that people who cowork enjoy doing so. In a University of Michigan Coworking Project survey, people who cowork 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.
Get ready to thrive at work, learn more about oHIVE.