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Everything You Need To Know About Coworking

Coworking is a hot topic in the business world and many companies start adopting this approach. It’s not just a potential solution for businesses, it’s also a great option for solopreneurs and self-employed people to choose. In this piece, we’re going to talk about everything revolving around coworking. This includes a brief definition, some of the benefits, and what you need to consider if you’d like to give it a go.

What is coworking?

People get this term confused with a couple of others. Firstly, coworking and coworkers are two completely different things. A coworker is someone who works for the same company as you. Coworking refers to a shared space where lots of different people work separately. This can include multiple businesses working in the same office, or it can be numerous individuals just working in the same place. The point is that you share your workspace with others, even if they don’t work for/with you. 
Now, you could also come across a term called office sharing, which sounds like it describes the exact same thing. However, office sharing is more private than coworking. Here, there are private office spaces within the same location. In essence, businesses share the location but have their own space. 

What are the benefits of coworking?

Why would anyone choose to adopt the coworking approach? As it happens, coworking can provide a series of benefits that you’re unlikely to see from other working concepts.

  • Affordable office space – Businesses can start coworking by paying to work in an office with one or more other businesses. You’re all working in the same place and sharing everything, but it’s much cheaper than renting your own office space. This is because all of the businesses in the office are contributing to the rent. Imagine you were the only one in that office, you’d pay the rent in full. Now, you’re splitting it two or more ways! The same goes for individuals that want office space; it’s substantially cheaper than renting your own office. 
  • More professional than working from home – The argument against the previous point is that working from home is even cheaper than coworking. That’s true, but working from home doesn’t provide much professionalism. With coworking, you save money on office space but can still boast about your location. Your logo will be on the side outside the office, and it can boost your reputation more than if you worked from home. 
  • Fewer distractions – Another comparison between coworking and working from home is that coworking provides fewer distractions. You aren’t surrounded by everything in your home that can attract your attention. Instead, you’re surrounded by other people working hard. Funnily enough, this environment can motivate you to work even harder and be more productive!
  • Excellent networking opportunities – Arguably the biggest advantage of coworking is that it provides perfect networking opportunities. You could share a workspace with people from different industries, giving you a chance to talk to them. Who knows, you may have shared interests that lead to a partnership. Or, they could recommend suppliers for your company. You get none of this when working from home, and it’s harder to network when you’re in a more traditional office setup as well. 
  • Is often very flexible – Sometimes, coworking arrangements exist where you are renting the space with others for an extended period. In essence, it works like renting a normal office, only the costs are split. Other times, the situation is far more flexible. You can literally go to coworking spaces and rent them for a day or two as and when you need them. This flexibility works very well for solopreneurs that might need a more professional place to work now and then, but don’t want to commit to renting an office. 

What should you consider before coworking?

You’ve seen the benefits, and you’re interested in coworking. However, before you make any rash decisions, consider what this move will mean for you. If you run a business, you have to wonder about your employees. Will they respond well to sharing an office with another company? Perhaps the shared experience will make them less productive, rather than more. 
If you’re self-employed and working alone, you have to consider if coworking makes you more productive than working from home. Here, it’ll be a case of testing both methods and seeing which one works the best for you. Some will find coworking far superior, others will prefer to work from home. 

Lastly, you need to think about the options provided. Most notably, does the coworking space offer hoteling or hot desking. Now, these two terms are probably brand new to you but don’t be alarmed. We will very briefly run through hoteling vs hot desking explained, so you understand what they are. Hoteling is where you have to book your space in advance, and you keep it for as long as you want. Hot desking is basically when you can turn up on the day and pay for whatever space is available, for as long as you need it. If you have decided that coworking is right for you, you’ll need to weigh up whether or not the space you’re looking at offers the correct option for your needs. Again, the ‘correct’ option will vary depending on if you own a business, what work you do, and so on. 

To conclude, coworking is a method of working that involves being surrounded by others. Numerous people or companies share the same office space, using the same equipment and resources. It can sound hectic, but it definitely has a range of pros and cons – as discussed earlier. 
Nevertheless, coworking isn’t for everyone. Some individuals/businesses find it really beneficial and helpful, while others absolutely hate it. Still, it’s helpful to be aware of coworking as an option to consider. After all, it gives you one more idea to explore when figuring out the best way for you to work. There’s a selection of you that will now go out and try this approach, realizing that it’s what you’ve been looking for this whole time. 

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