The coworking craze has spread through the working world, becoming a hype on our social media that is impossible to ignore. Discussions on every aspect of it are taking place, but unfortunately as with every internet-obsession, coworking has been coupled with “fake news” too. The coworking myth we are tackling today is that coworking is not for everyone and that you have to fit a specific “box” in order to be accepted to the community. This is not true! Inclusivity should rest within any coworking space’s core values.
So that begs the question, who is coworking for? To be a member of a coworking community there is only one box you need to be able to tick; do you have a passion for what you do? Coworking is for anyone who is brought together by this common factor; someone who is looking for a space that increases their productivity, enhances their network and drives their success. Understandably, this may still look a little bit abstract, so maybe we can discuss a few of the more typical examples of a coworker.
The beauty of coworking is the flexibility that it provides, so a freelancer’s malleable mindset makes them well suited. Contracted for specific projects with time pressured deadlines, an office which provides 24/7 access is ideal. They can make their working hours what they want them to be, without having to work from home. The same can be said for remote workers; who due to time zone differences may find themselves needing access to the office until the early hours. Working remotely should not have to mean working from the kitchen table whilst your roommate cooks their dinner! Just because one is flexible, doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a real office to call their own.
Flexibility isn’t just about the opening hours but also the length of the contract. No one loves long term commitment but particularly not students. With the motto of work hard, party harder it seems to be that every student at university leaves revision until it is absolutely necessary! Going to a coworking space does not have to require long term planning and commitment. If you feel like you need one day of pure productivity, you can spontaneously decide to buy a day pass! This way, you can avoid the libraries which are filled to capacity and the chaotic cafes which have the danger of rogue, hot coffee spillages! Coworking day passes or week passes would allow you to knuckle down and get things done, without long term commitment!
Coworking is a natural fit for an entrepreneur in their early days, or equally a startup. When there are so many variables to consider in the early stages of a business, the last thing you want to worry about are the logistics of leases. The coworking community team will tailor your office to fit your staff so that you don’t have to pay the penalty of renting a normal office. This can be incredibly expensive, particularly if you don’t have a large team to fill it with. Coworking allows you to pay per desk, per month, acknowledging the fact that one size office does not fit all and tailoring to the needs of smaller companies who can’t afford the instability of a year-long lease and the extra costs that come with it. This is perfect for someone that doesn’t want to risk their profits, as your company grows the size of your office can grow too, but no need to do it before you are ready!
Running a business you are passionate about should not be consumed by bureaucracy and logististics. Increase your productivity and focus on your growth by allowing a coworking space to take care of the office infrastructure. For smaller companies and startups this is particularly crucial, as your team would otherwise be spread too thin. Resources are provided on a silver platter (well the coffee is provided in mugs) so you can get on with what you really care about! On the flip side, that’s not to say that coworking is just for smaller scale teams. Corporate trans-national companies are often the ones who have the most fast paced growth. What gets in their way? Logistics! Don’t hold up on opening your next location just because you couldn’t find an office for the expansion team. Not only is it a smooth transition, but it saves money and keeps the employees happy.
In order to grow, it’s said that the most important thing in business isn’t what you know but who you know. Coworking communities create an infrastructure of contacts and opportunities for great partnerships. Whether you are a corporate looking to make a deal or a student searching for a graduate job, how better to make a first impression than by showing a real insight into your work ethic? A freelancer can also benefit; they will never know if the woman who they chatted with in the lift or the man that they met at Community Breakfast Club will be their next contractor (or better yet, their next date!). But, a network is more than just making new contacts, it means support. The isolated nature of working independently, like a freelancer, makes it common for one to feel like they are on the outside, never quite belonging, even though they have great working relationships with firms that bring them regular work! This feeling of ‘belonging’ can be found in a coworking space. One can find like-minded individuals who relate to their lifestyle and encourage their progress.
So who is Coworking for? Anyone that wants flexibility, spontaneity, growth or community. It’s a diverse group of individuals who have come together under this common umbrella and support each other to create with passion.