As an entrepreneur, it can be challenging to find a place where you can focus on your to-do list if you don’t have your own office. Home comes with lots of distractions and imperfect work surfaces, especially if you are a parent or live in a small apartment in a big city. On the other hand, dragging your laptop and files from cafe to cafe is not ideal either. Is there a solution?
In the past few years, co-working has grown to be the new craze that seems to offer not only an affordable workplace, but also a more creative environment that can inspire you to push yourself to the limits of your productivity. The dawn of the phenomenon considered heaven for the self-employed is frequently credited to Brad Neuberg, who launched a co-working space within a live/work loft in San Francisco in 2005. By 2015, some 7800 co-working spaces had been set up around the world.
But can co-working space really work for you?
Here are some pointers to help you decide.
Co-working may be right for you and your company if you are:
- A startup, small business or freelancer. Co-working is an affordable way to obtain professional office space until you are ready to graduate to your own location. Understandably, at the early stages of your venture, you wouldn’t want to invest their capital in long-term leases. By renting office space on a monthly, weekly or even daily basis, you can save money and also avoid having to commit in the long term. Plus, often you can get access to basic office amenities like internet access, printers and meetings rooms as part of the whole package.
- Have a small team. Co-working works great for one or two person teams who can prosper in open workspaces. You can rent desk space on an as needed basis, obtain a desirable address and have access to a professional space for team or client meetings. It’s great for small business owners, telecommuters and freelancers who don’t like working in isolation and need the ebb and flow of an office bustling with people. But as your team grows, co-working becomes more challenging. For example, having team meetings in open workspaces can be disruptive to other coworkers and ultimately lead to an unproductive working environment.
- Flexible. Co-working locations thrive on non-commitment. Membership can often be purchased yearly, monthly, or even daily. As a result, the environment and people are always changing. If the hustle and bustle of co-working environments inspires you to perform, then this is definitely the right choice.
- Want to collaborate and network. If you want to meet people who share the same goals and challenges, you’ll find them at co-working locations. You’ll instantly gain a network for people that you can collaborate with and exchange ideas and advice. Oftentimes, there are co-working events to build community too. More than likely, they won’t be in your industry, but you may be able to create synergies or trade resources, maybe even hire people.
- Don’t require too much privacy – yet. The collaborative nature of co-working means you are often in open working spaces, freely sharing ideas and resources. Note that this much openness gives other companies insight into your company’s plans. And while most co-working spaces make break-out space available, if you’re thinking of holding your weekly all-hands meeting at 10am on a Monday, chances are, everyone else is too.
In sum, co-working is perfect for smaller businesses or entrepreneurs that need a place to house their companies. So if a combination of fountains of productivity, endless coffee (and sometimes beer), and even learning opportunities appeal to you as an idea, try co-working today!
My OutSpace Business Centre is a co-working space in Croydon, which offers access to flexible workspace with WI-FI, networking opportunities and business advice. So, you can not only start and grow your business in safe environment, you can also gain business advice and make useful business connections.
Get in touch today to access support and find a new home for your business!
Yuliana Topazly – My OutSpace
T: 020 8686 2771