If you are one of the growing number of professionals working remotely full-time or part-time, chances are you have considered joining a co-working space. Whether you are an independent freelancer, a solopreneur or a founder with a growing team, co-working spaces can offer all of the benefits of traditional office space and professional networks without many of the downsides.
The Benefits of Co-Working Spaces
American business and enterprise lore is littered with stories about the creative or business genius laboring away in a garage or at the kitchen table until the proverbial lightning struck. And while it may be true that some of the most successful, iconic companies and projects began that way, collaboration between teams and individuals with diverse experience and backgrounds is more commonly where the magic happens.
A co-working space provides individuals and growing companies the best of both worlds — the freedom to work on your own terms and schedule, the opportunity to collaborate with others, get inspired and generate new ideas, and the ability to avoid many of the pitfalls that come with working from home.
1. Access to Creativity and Inspiration
Even if you work in a creative industry, traditional office settings can make it difficult, if not impossible, for people to collaborate across teams or organizations. The open nature and lack of traditional professional hierarchies in co-working spaces make it possible for everyone, from writers to designers to engineers to meet, talk to each other, work side-by-side and, ultimately, collaborate on current or future projects.
In addition to giving you a dedicated place to work and grow your business, co-working spaces can act like natural incubators where a casual conversation with a fellow co-worker in the shared kitchen could lead to a new idea or solution to a problem you might have otherwise struggled with on your own.
2. More Affordable Than Traditional Office Space
Depending on where you live and what your budget is, renting office space for yourself or a growing company, even with just a handful of employees, can be prohibitively expensive. Costs can range from paying for space and services that you may not need to getting locked into a lease that can prove difficult and expensive to get out of it and when your personal and business needs change.
On the other hand, co-working spaces offer affordable prices and the flexibility to pay for just what you need, as you need it.Most co-working spaces offer weekly, monthly and yearly plans catering to every budget. In many cases, you can even buy a daily pass, which allows you to experiment until you find the space that best fits your needs and working style. If you work with a team of freelancers on a project-to-project basis or anticipate hiring staff in the future as your needs change and your company begins to scale, co-working spaces allow you to upgrade or downgrade your membership as needed.
3. Opportunities for Networking and Collaboration
Despite the freedom and fulfillment that can come with entrepreneurship and remote work, working from home can be lonely and isolating. It can also make it difficult to meet new people on both a professional and personal level. Co-working spaces are a great way for startups, freelancers, remote workers and entrepreneurs to get work done and remain independent while making organic connections with peers.
Bonus: If you’re an introvert who cringes at the idea of attending traditional networking events or conferences, a co-working space makes it possible to meet like-minded people in a low-pressure, non-threatening and supportive setting.
4. Greater Productivity and Flexibility
In addition to the loneliness and isolation that come with working from home or your local Starbucks, it can also be downright distracting. Sure, one of the many joys of ditching the office commute and setting up an office in your kitchen or living room is the freedom to work in your pajamas or gym clothes and catch up on the shows piling up in your Netflix queue. But after a while, the lack of structure can begin to eat into your productivity — and your earnings and profits.
In addition to access to other professionals and potential collaborators that you might not otherwise have the opportunity to meet, the common purpose and flexible but professional vibe of a co-working space can help you and your employees to focus and take your work seriously. And you can still wear what you want and take a coffee or lunch break whenever works best for you.
5. Access to Support
Just like traditional office buildings, co-working spaces are professionally managed, and while amenities vary from space to space, most co-working spaces include all of the essential business services you will need, from reliable Wi-Fi and comfortable desks to conference rooms and a dedicated business address.
All of the facilities and basic services like kitchen and utilities are included in the membership, so there are no surprises to throw your budget off track. And for the less tech-savvy types, chances are there will always be someone with more experience to help troubleshoot a glitchy laptop or tablet, even in the absence of a traditional IT department.
Get in touch with us at CoWork Hudson at (508) 439-4781 if you are interested in joining our cowork space.