These days, more and more people are choosing to work in a coworking space. And for good reason: there are a slew of reasons why you should consider such an option when seeking out a home base for your budding business. Whether you are a freelancer or are brave enough to have founded a startup, choosing a workspace will likely benefit you.
For example, a freelancer might choose to work from home or to bite the bullet and pick one of the many workspace options in the big city. The thing about working from home is that, though free, does not necessarily encourage you to buckle down and maximize productivity. Having your bed and fridge nearby serves as a substantial distraction. Being in the coworking space means that you get to be around other people who are doing the same thing as you are, thereby encouraging you even on the loungiest of days. There is something about setting up shop next to people who you at least know by face and cracking on with the day’s responsibilities together.
Speaking of other people, as cliché as it may sound, coworking spaces are great for networking. That shy fellow who sits across with you with whom you share awkward smiles might be just the techie you need to give your startup the boost it needs to excel. Even the barista might be about to finish off their masters in marketing and is ready to take on a student job where they won’t finish the day smelling like a latte.
According to the Harvard Business Review, “some companies are going even further, however. Rich Sheridan and James Goebel, founders of Menlo Innovations in Ann Arbor, Michigan, recently expanded their office space by 7,000 square feet so that startups and early-stage entrepreneurs can work alongside Menlo programmers to spur community and innovation.”
Unlike working from home or in a nondescript office building, many workspaces offer all sorts of perks. Be it as simple as access to a printer when you only need hard copies twice a week or as snazzy as a complimentary yoga class, you will find the perk that makes it all the more worth coming in. At the same time, make sure to stay focused on your work rather than spending all your time enjoying your freebies.
But the most important benefit to coworking spaces is the flexibility that they allow for. Any space worthy of the name will have a variety of areas in which members can elect to work. For example, there will generally be an area designed for socializing and relaxing, but also a variety of more traditional office spaces such as conference rooms, closed offices, and leisure activities. This permits workers to insert themselves into whatever environment best suits the learning style. Also, as a freelancer, it’s important to be able to have professional meetings. It doesn’t look great if you welcome a potential new client into your home or at the local coffee shop. Though that kind of thing flies when you’ve got an established clientele, getting interrupted by a waiter spilling coffee all over the contract is hardly an ideal scenario.
Extensive research has been done about the optimal work environment, and workspaces have given the most results when it comes to productivity, but also towards employee happiness. Part of this is because the workers have the option to be themselves in an environment rather than being stuck at a desk or a cubicle. The result ends up being that employees feel that they have the choice to the level of commitment to the company and therefore aren’t locked down as much.