Whats the big deal about co-working?
In recent years, the concept of coworking has taken flight. Coworking has become a world-wide phenomenon with new co-working spaces being launched all over the world. This has caused coworking spaces to garner much attention from many different parties, the public, media, and even researchers, with a few research papers published on coworking. However, this begs the question, Whats the big deal about co-working? What is the hype all about?
“Why people thrive in co-working spaces” – Harvard Business review
“7 benefits of using a co-working space”-Chicago Tribune
At the heart of it, a co-working space is a place where you can rent office space.
How different is this from the traditional office?
Here are three major perks that co-working spaces offer that traditional offices do not.
The people working out of coworking spaces are able to work flexible hours. As most coworking spaces offer 24/7 access, members are able to work late or arrive early in the office without the worry that the office is shut. Flexibility is also evident in the physical set up of the space, where there is usually a variety of areas members can choose to work from. This allows people the choice and freedom to work outside of the confines of the four walls of their cubicle.
Clients who choose coworking spaces are also allowed flexibility in their contract terms. Tenants can choose to start and end their contract at any time they choose. If your company quickly doubles in size, coworking spaces can ease the transition. Compared to a traditional office where contract terms are by a per year basis, co-working spaces offer rental on a much shorter term, which allows members the ability to scale up or downsize their contracts with ease.
As unorthodox as this sounds, working in the presence of people who come from different organizations or industries is one of the perks offered by coworking spaces. you get to mingle with people without having the need to worry about office politics. You also have the opportunity to meet people from different industries. Beyond the obvious perk of networking and expanding your business and social circles, meeting new, different people outside your comfort zone can be an enriching experience. The intrinsic value really lies in the informal conversations and expert advice offered by other members of the space.
When you pay for spot in a coworking space, you are essentially paying for the management of the space to take the inconveniences and cumbersome admin work that comes with running an office and a physical property off your hands.
Take what happens when breakdowns occur. Not only do you not have to worry about the dreaded tasks of office maintenance and upkeep (especially in the unfortunate event of breakdowns ), repair costs are taken off your plate as well as these are included in your rental. Likewise, paying for utilities as these are usually included in the rental, and can be an administrative load off your chest.
Another major convenience that a coworking space provides is a community manager stationed at reception. Think of them as a personal concierge for the office as they are there to answer any of your queries, give you directions, and also help to collect mail and answer all the calls that come to the office so that you will not have to deal with those spam calls yourself.
Essentially, the reason why co-working spaces are so attractive and appealing to the masses is that it is a one stop resource for work. It is fast, flexible, convenient, and could be the starting point for an entirely reimagined notion of work.