Let’s be honest, there’s a ton of hype on coworking right now. It’s a hot topic of conversation and is, without doubt, shaping the future of work. There are articles popping up left right and centre talking about the growth of coworking and predicting coworking trends for the short and long term. But wait, what? Let’s backtrack a little. What actually is coworking? Who is Coworking? When did Coworking get popular, does she have a friend and does she want to go to brunch this weekend?
Don’t worry! We are here to break down ‘What is Coworking?’ for you, right here, right now. Rest assured, she brunches!
In fact, Coworking was recently added to the dictionary! Alongside words such as photobomb and selfie, now coworking is definitely a thing. The dictionary defines coworking as:
the use of an office or other working environment by people who are self-employed or working for different employers, typically so as to share equipment, ideas, and knowledge.
I’m sorry, come again? In other words, coworking is a shared space with a variety of individuals and/or businesses. The space should provide you with all the tools you need to do your work using your own computer.
Here are a few FAQ’s about coworking spaces and a few myths answered for you.
Who is coworking for?
Coworking is for any one or any business, as long as their work can be done with a computer and a good WiFi connection. If you’re a Dentist, for example, it may be a little difficult for you to work from a coworking space. (Although not impossible!)
Do I get a computer in a coworking space?
You do not! However, a lot of coworking spaces do provide other tools upon special request. For example, a lot of spaces offer monitor hire, or the option to turn your desk into a standup desk. However, a computer usually isn’t on the cards.
Will I have a private office?
The choice is yours! Coworking spaces often come with a variety of options. You can chose to work from the public spaces (What we call the Hot Desk area), you can also hire a private desk (which is a desk designated just for you, with storage) OR you can bag yourself and your team a private office! Depending on the coworking space they can usually adapt the office size depending on the size of your team and its growth.
Is it a phase?
Great question! Perhaps it started as a phase but it is here to stay and could potentially overtake the generic office setup we are used to. There’s been a ton of trend research in recent years on the growth of the market.
Is it a young person’s thing?
Not at all. Diversity is something that is celebrated across the board and we can learn from each other, no matter how old or young you are. The oldest member of our spaces is currently 64 (Although you didn’t hear that from us!) and the youngest coworking member is 19.
Is this the place where they give me free beer?
In short, yes. Coworking spaces have been known to provide free beer at Afterwork events. However, a community that depends on free beer is not a community at all. It’s down to the coworking space to provide opportunities to connect that aren’t ruled by alcohol.
Is it like a WeWork?
Yes! If you have knowledge of what a WeWork is then you should have a good idea of coworking. However, every coworking brand and space is completely unique. WeWork is one of those brands but there are tons more out there! *Cough* OneCoWork *Cough*
Are Cafe’s coworking?
Nope! You can work remotely from a cafe but it’s not “technically” a coworking space. A cafe’s main priority is to sell coffee. So, despite some looking like they may be a coworking space with the amount of laptops you see there, it is not their priority to provide you with reliable internet, community events, free coffee.. (the list goes on).
How do I spell Coworking/Co-working/cotwerking?
Coworking is inclusive. We do not want to separate members nor the root of it all, the WORD. We are taking a stance here and now to ditch the hyphen and start using coworking as one word. It is only capitalised at the beginning of a sentence. Bye, Co-working! We’re over you.
Can I stop by for a day?
Yes! In fact most coworking spaces encourage day passes. It’s part of being flexible and adapting to everyone’s needs. If you only need the space one day a week, that’s fine! If you need the coworking space 24/7, that’s fine too! (At least with us!)
What do I have to commit to?
This is unique to each coworking space. Usually there’s never a minimum amount of time you have to stay in a coworking space, unless you’re taking up a large office.
What amenities are there in a Coworking space?
Amenities for coworking spaces differ per space. Here’s what’s included at OneCoWork:
(Unlimited!) Free Beverages (Coffee, still & sparkling water, tea)
Access to Fridges, microwaves, a dishwasher
Seasoning for your lunches (Oil, salt, pepper)
Lunch offers/ access to meal providers
Meeting Rooms and call systems
Read more about other amenities here
Is it just internet and neon lights?
In some cases, yes. However, this is not a good example of a coworking space! A successful coworking space champions its community. Other spaces often bring a second or third factor in the mix that they chose to do well. For OneCoWork, it’s luxury design.
Can I receive my mail there?
In most cases, yes! There’s an option to send all your parcels there either included in your membership or with a small monthly fee. Never miss a package again!
Can I bring my lunch?
Yep! Fridges are always available for you to keep your lunch in.
What hours are they open? I work late!
No worries. At OneCoWork you’re guaranteed 24/7 access with most membership plans!
What activities are there?
This depends on the coworking space itself and the community it is trying to build. Most coworking spaces will provide a mix of joyful events alongside educational or networking events. All should be a chance for you to build your inner circle as well as expand your outer ones. Check out our upcoming events to get a taste of what we’re talking about (fingers crossed it’s a busy week for us!)
What does a Coworking space look like?
Come with us, we’ll show you!
Is it safe to leave my belongings there?
We can’t speak for every space here but we can speak for ours. OneCoWork is flooded with cameras, will always have at least one member of staff on the front desk (with a view over the entrances and exits) and can only be accessed with your unique member’s card or a visitors code. We also have a few in-house pups that have been known to stop people in their tracks with a head tilt.
What kind of companies are at a coworking space?
Any company that can operate from the cloud can operate in a coworking space. We’ve had agencies of all types, banks, SaaS companies, startups, corporate branches, you name it, we’ve got the t-shirt, well, they have!
But, how can you work with dogs around?
Great question, there are scientifically proven benefits to having pups in the workplace. Take a look!
Do you not get distracted?
That’s the joy of a coworking space. Everyone is respectful of other people’s space. If you prefer to work in quiet there’s always quieter sections to choose from. Or, if you thrive with a buzz around you then settle down in one of the main areas.
Is it only for startups?
Although startups are often attracted to coworking spaces for numerous financial reasons alongside the community, it’s not only startups that fill the walls of the space. There are often corporates that feel an area of their team will benefit from being out of HQ, adopting an out of the office, out of the box type mindset.
How do the members help each other?
This comes down to the environment and the mindset that the coworking space initiate. More often than not, great minds will come together over lunch organically, or at an event hosted by the space and the rest is history.
How do I find talent at coworking spaces?
If you’re looking for a particular skill set from an individual there’s a huge chance that the talent you’re looking for is sitting in the same room as you. It’s down to the coworking space to initiate opportunities for you to connect. At OneCoWork we’ve recently introduced OneConnect; a pay as you go recruitment platform that enables members to find talent, without dedicating the resources often required to find the perfect candidate.
What are the advantages of coworking?
Woah. Big question. This deserves a blog all on it’s own. Have a read!
What are the disadvantages of coworking?
We’re not just saying this, but not THAT much. If we had to be brutally honest, you probably couldn’t use a coworking space if you were a nurse, a bus driver, a gymnastics coach (although a gym coach could be entertaining!). However, coworking spaces are flexible in making sure your business can thrive. If you need privacy, you’ll get it, if you need a certain internet connection, you’ll get it! If you need three screens to do your work, we’ll figure it out! Don’t worry, we’ve got you!
How do you take care of privacy?
We respect each of our members and their business needs. If you’re worried about being surrounded by glass walls or having other members looking over your shoulder then we’ll find you private spaces.
Is there an app?
We’re pleased you asked, mystery guest! There is an app for most spaces! Here you can normally see upcoming events, your members’ perks, booking meeting rooms, invite visitors. Take a look at what you can do with the OneCoWork app, here.
So it’s like a space for freelancers to meet?
Yes and no. Freelancers are a huge part of the community but there are tons of other types of people within the space that are all humans too.
Is it one big room that people share?
Almost and not totally. Think many rooms, different shapes, sizes, themes, atmospheres, some private and some open for everyone, then you’re a little closer to your answer!
Why would people want to share their office?
That’s your choice! If you want to share the space then a Hot Desk membership is for you. However, if you want something just for you or your team then you’ll want to look into a Private Office.
What do people do when they want to bring clients to the office?
No problem! There are meeting rooms you can book. At OneCoWork you can also send out visitor codes from within the app. A member of the community team will greet your clients at the front door and make you aware they have arrived.
What happens when you want to have a private meeting?
Big or small, coworking spaces have that covered too. Take OneCoWork Catedral for example, here there are meeting rooms suited for two people right up to 30 people!
What’s actually included?
100% This is also a blog in itself. Luckily, we’ve got you covered on that front too!
Why do big companies do coworking when they can afford their own space?
Great question. Although financial reasons may be the reason a lot of companies chose to work from a coworking space there are also a ton of other resources and perks to a coworking space that you won’t be able to find in a HQ. We’ve summed up the advantages and disadvantages for larger companies to join a coworking space here.
Aren’t the spaces too cramped?
Definitely not. Each of the OneCoWork spaces are designed with your experience at the top of mind. It’s never a case of fitting in as many people as possible but fitting in a comfortable amount of people to give a variety of community members while still enjoy the space itself
Isn’t it too noisy to concentrate?
There are areas of a coworking space that are always busier than others. This is usually the main space of the event space. Although this doesn’t mean it’s too noisy to work. At the end of the day, everyone who is using the space is there to work, so even those busier or more popular areas are respectfully quiet. If you need complete silence there’s always the option of finding a quieter section of the space or getting your own office!
That's a wrap! Have any more questions about coworking? Comment on this blog post and we'll add them to the list! Thanks for reading.