Many people ask, “What is coworking and what are the benefits of working in a coworking space?” After the pandemic, more companies are assessing the benefits of owning their own buildings, leasing their workspace or moving into local coworking spaces. Some are calling it flex workspace, some call it a virtual office, and some still think executive suites.
Thanks to the chaos at WeWork and the Netflix series, “WeCrashed,” coworking was put on the map. It’s not always the best example to use but it does help people begin to understand what coworking is. Many don’t realize that coworking has been around since 1995. Most of the spaces back then were “hackerspaces” or what I call, “Bro-working” spaces; lots of tech workers sitting at work benches with earphones in and hoodies on! In 1999 the term “coworking” was first used by Bernard deKoven, an American game designer and author. He used the term to describe a way of working, not necessarily a place to work.
Today, coworking spaces range from the executive suites-style that are a floor or two of a building with rows of quiet offices to the pingpong and beer-on-tap play-places. The communities may include attorneys, bookkeepers, coaches, small businesses, tech startups, and today there may be associations and corporations that have part of their workforce working from home and some gathering in coworking spaces.
Coworking spaces have become increasingly popular in recent years due to the numerous benefits they offer to workers and organizations. Here are just a few:
One of the biggest advantages of coworking spaces is the flexibility they offer. Workers can choose a space that fits their needs, whether it be a private office, a desk in a shared area, or just a place to sit and work coffeeshop style. This allows workers to have control over their work environment and choose the space that best suits their needs and preferences. Workers are even encouraged to move from place-to-place or “zone-to-zone” to break up the day, get up and move, and change the scenery with different tasks.
There is also the flexibility coworking spaces offer to organizations who have some employees working from home and some needing to come into a physical space each day. Coworking spaces allow for a business to contract and expand the space they use with very little effort, and why pay or conference rooms, fitness centers, and large kitchen or cafe space when you only use these spaces part of the time?
Renting a traditional office space can be expensive, especially for small businesses or freelancers. Coworking spaces offer a more cost-effective solution as they allow individuals and businesses to rent space on a monthly or hourly basis, rather than committing to a long-term lease. Most coworking spaces also provide free WiFi, coffee, cleaning services, reception or greeting areas, conference rooms with audio/visual equipment and more.
Coworking spaces provide a professional and stylish work environment, which is especially important for freelancers or small business owners who may not have the resources to create a professional space of their own to meet with clients, investors or team members. Having a virtual office or business mailing address and mailbox is another professional touch for many startups. After all, your Google business profile needs an actual street address to verify your account. The pandemic may have helped many people develop a tolerance for barking dogs and children running by in underwear during meetings, but this tolerance went away with our face masks.
Coworking spaces often bring together a diverse group of professionals from different industries, providing a great opportunity for networking and collaboration. Workers can make new connections, exchange ideas, and potentially find new clients or partners. This is done in serendipitous moments near the coffee bar or through events that are coordinated by the coworking space.
Collaboration and community:
In addition to networking opportunities, coworking spaces also provide a sense of community and collaboration. Workers can bounce ideas off of each other, work on projects together, and collaborate in a way that may not be possible in a traditional office setting. Most coworking spaces have different zones, or spaces for informal connecting and, again, events that help people connect and make friends at work. Friendship at work has so many benefits including improving your physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.
Coworking spaces often have a variety of amenities and resources available, such as fast internet, printing services, fitness centers, and conference rooms. These resources can help workers stay focused and productive, and can also be a more cost-effective option than setting up these resources on their own.
Coworking spaces can also help workers achieve a better work-life balance. By providing a dedicated space to work, workers can separate their work and home lives, which can lead to increased productivity and a healthier work-life balance. Sure it may be great to work in those sweat pants and avoid leaving your home when it’s snowing outside, but it doesn’t take long before you feel like you are working 24/7 and you dream of having a kitchen table that people actual eat at. Some coworking spaces offer fitness centers and other wellness aspects to ensure you return home as your best self.
Coworking spaces can be found in a variety of locations, including suburban neighborhoods (like Centennial, Colorado), and even remote locations. This allows workers to choose a location that is convenient and accessible, and can also help them to avoid long stressful commutes.
Coworking spaces are often open 24/7, providing workers with the flexibility to work at their own pace and on their own schedule. This can be especially beneficial for those with unconventional work schedules or those who work remotely.
Sense of purpose:
Coworking spaces can provide a sense of purpose and structure for workers who may otherwise work from home or be isolated in a traditional office setting. The community and professional environment of a coworking space can help workers feel more connected and motivated.
There are many more benefits, but hopefully you see that coworking spaces are a great option for workers and organizations who want flexibility, cost-effectiveness, professional environments, networking opportunities, collaboration and community, increased productivity, work-life balance, location options, accessibility, and a sense of purpose. These benefits make coworking spaces an attractive option for individuals and small businesses who are looking for a place to work.
If you’d like to pop in to see or “test drive” a coworking space in the Centennial, Colorado area, contact us today! We always encourage people to test out a few spaces to find the one that fits their unique needs and personality.