Coworking is an exciting alternative to traditional office work and provides employers, entrepreneurs, remote workers, and freelancers an interesting environment in which to work and connect with other professionals. With more people than ever before working remotely, you may be wondering whether it’s time to let go of your office lease and opt for a coworking space instead. Here’s what you should know about coworking and how to make it work for you.
What is Coworking?
Coworking is when professionals from different industries, like entrepreneurs, freelancers, creatives, and remote workers, work in a shared space.
Many coworking spaces and setups are available, from large rooms and buildings that allow people to come and go as they please to rent-a-desk or rent-an-office outfits. These spaces function as alternatives to working from home while still providing a regular physical space to call one’s own.
5 Reasons You Should Try Coworking
There are numerous reasons to give coworking a shot. Here are five that you should think about.
Be More You
This may come as a surprise, but because coworking spaces are full of professionals from various backgrounds and industries, those who use them feel like they can be more themselves while working. Whereas working in an office means working day-to-day with the same people and dealing with office politics, working in a coworking space provides an opportunity to be unapologetically you without worrying about what your coworkers may think. Whether you work better in jeans and a tee-shirt or prefer business casual, coworking means presenting yourself in a way that you see fit, not what an employer requires.
Network with Other Professionals
Because coworking spaces are hubs for individuals from various industries, they are a great place to network. Often, people are eager to assist with a project or provide a helping hand. These connections can spur further collaboration and creativity while building a sense of community that you just can’t get when you work from home.
Save on Office Expenses
Maintaining an office is pricey. In addition to the space, you need to furnish your office and cover the utilities. You may need to have a system administrator come out to set up a network and get everyone connected to your wifi or printer. Your wifi is already set up at a coworking space, and there are often shared items like printers and copiers. While there may be restrictions on use (like a certain number of free pages a month or day), most people don’t find this problematic.
Hooray for Flexibility
Most people who use coworking spaces love the flexibility the most. While you may be doing similar tasks daily, getting to do them in different spaces can keep you interested and engaged in your work. You can hunker down in front of a window or opt for a comfy armchair one day and then work at a large table with other professionals another day.
Depending on the space you choose, you have the freedom to come and go as you please or within a certain time frame. You can choose to work in an open area, rent a desk, or rent an office for yourself or your team.
Enjoy the Perks
Some coworking spaces offer special networking events or educational lunches so that you can connect with other professionals or increase your area of expertise. Other perks can include complimentary snacks and coffee, unique pastries and items from local shops, and more. I’ve even seen coworking spaces that offer free beer! Now, whether you should mix beer and work is another thing…
Top 4 Tips for Making Coworking Work For You
Nervous that straying from your home office could impact your productivity? Think that renting an office space for your team is better? If you are thinking of coworking but want to protect the quality of your work, then keep these tips in mind.
Are you more creative during the mornings or better able to focus on particular tasks? Do you work better when you make a schedule or when you allow yourself to work on what you’re passionate about at a given moment? If you want to make the most of coworking, set yourself up for success by continuing to follow your own personal best practices for work, even though you may be in a different location.
Have a Plan
Lists are crucial for staying on task. If you’re someone who can get distracted by other people working nearby, consider creating a plan for what you will accomplish and when. For example, some people enjoy having a set time for checking and responding to emails or for particular tasks like writing content. Schedule that time in your calendar and commit to it.
Keep Your Must-Haves at the Ready
Make sure you have what you need to work away from home. Setting up to work at a coworking space and finding you don’t have a charger and your battery is low can upset your whole day.
You’ll want an easy-to-carry bag that protects your laptop and has plenty of space for your charger, headphones, and other supplies. If you’re still a fan of paper, you’ll want a pad and some pens for your note-taking.
Split Your Schedule
Many coworking spaces are available on your schedule. That means that you can easily split your day between home and your coworking space and get the best of both worlds if you prefer to do specific tasks at home, like Zoom calls, and other tasks at your coworking space, like writing. Just because you use a coworking space doesn’t mean you have to do all your work there. It’s all about what works best for you. If splitting your team gives you the ideal mix of stimulation, then go for it!
Making the Switch for Your Team
More and more teams are ditching their leases and opting for coworking memberships for their employees. If you have a strong culture of teamwork and innovation, coworking may be a great fit for your organization. Consider how much of your work truly needs to be done together in person. Would it make more sense to rent a conference room for those occasions and use coworking space for everyday work rather than maintaining an expensive office lease year-round? With virtual office services that accept mail and even phone calls for your business, coworking can help you find the ideal balance between teamwork and employee independence.
At Digital Neighbor, we’re fans of coworking for many reasons and feel that it provides professionals with an alternative to traditional office work. What do you think? Have you tried coworking, or will you be trying it soon? If you have questions about how we’ve made coworking work for us, reach out!