Coworking spaces bridge the gap between the expense of a fully-fledged office and working from home. They provide an opportunity for networking and collaboration, an environment conducive to productivity and a place for solopreneurs and small businesses to flourish.
Wondering if coworking is compatible with your business?
Big or small, we welcome them all at Ormeau Baths.
Some new business owners truly thrive in working from home environment but for many, there comes a point where you’ve outgrown working from the dining room table or spare room. Renting a traditional commercial office space often requires signing a long-term lease plus a deposit. Breaking out of a commercial lease can also be difficult and expensive.
On the other hand, coworking spaces are more flexible, based on a membership model and rented one a month-to-month basis. On the financial front, coworking spaces may be better suited to you and your start-up, offering entrepreneurs a professional workspace without high upfront costs and long term commitment.
The aspect of flexibility offered by co-working spaces serves as an advantage also. As your team grows, all you’ve got to do is adjust your membership to reflect this. Throw in the opportunities to widen your network and collaborate with likeminded people and co-working could be the ideal low-risk way to take your business to the next level.
While the stereotype associates freelancers with sipping a flat white, tapping at their laptop from the corner of a coffee shop, many freelancers miss the company of co-workers. They crave the creativity and social aspects of working in an office.
With many co-working spaces accessible on a 24/7 basis, coworkers are given the flexibility to dip in and out of more structured office life as and when they need to. You can choose whether to work in a quiet space to focus or a more collaborative area where interaction is encouraged, providing the opportunity to bounce ideas off those around you.
Research carried out by Harvard Business Review on “Why People Thrive in Coworking Spaces” revealed that although workers value autonomy, they equally value some form of structure in their professional lives. With too much autonomy you run the risk of crippling productivity due to a lack of routine.
According to HBR, “Coworkers reported that having a community to work in helps them create structures and discipline that motivates them. Thus, paradoxically, some limited form of structures enables an optimal degree of control for independent workers.”
Coworking spaces provide a great fit for both freelancers and startups, with an inherent alignment between what coworking spaces offer and the goals of both groups of workers.
Further to the HBR research referenced above, findings also show that a sense of more meaningful work, more job control and an improved sense of community correlated with the use of coworking spaces as a professional base.
Observing the positive impact experienced by these individual professionals, we’ve seen an increasing amount of larger organisations adopting coworking spaces for their teams too. Similarly to startups, the leasing flexibility appeals to companies in terms of managing property and costs.
Some are testing coworking spaces as a means to easily interact with innovative startups. The social and collaborative nature of coworking spaces combined with the features of a traditional office in a more relaxing atmosphere, makes networking feel much more effortless and natural. Sharing a workspace with fellow innovators provides motivation and increases employee productivity.
Additionally, by allowing employees to work from coworking spaces affords employees more flexibility, choosing to work from a location that may be more convenient to them.
As we navigate our new working world post-pandemic, some of us – startups, freelancers and larger businesses alike – are craving a sense of community, others are keen to keep themselves in the safety bubbles of their own home. For many, coworking spaces provide a happy-medium for moving forward in our new working lives.