Co Working Spaces
Co-working spaces are on the rise and some of them are big business, and some are not-for-profit.
The Co-working Wiki says:
Beyond just creating better places to work, co-working spaces are built around the idea of community-building and sustainability. Co-working spaces agree to uphold the values set forth by those who developed the concept in the first place: collaboration, community, sustainability, openness, and accessibility.
As they are here, are they for you?
First off, co-working spaces are not for everyone. There isn’t a one size fits all co-working space – thankfully.
They all cater for a particular market. Some for startups, some for corporate business, and some for the space in between.
To answer the question of do I need a co-working space there are some things to be aware of.
- Do you work alone? A lot of small business startups work on their own in their back bedroom, in the car, in the cafe. We all need human contact of some sort, one the the 6 core needs. We all need input into our thoughts and our business. Doing it alone will most likely not be the best for the business or you. In this case I’d suggest a co-working space of some sort. If you’re short on fund to invest then some do a “day pass” where you pay a fee for the day, or they have an “open day” once a month. NAB (bank) in Melbourne and Geelong have a free co-working space to business account holders, and they’re building a great community there.
Do you go stir crazy being in the same place all hours? Having a change in environment can work wonders for creativity. As can passing by ideas by others. A note on this; keeping ideas to yourself because you think someone else will steal it is not good. Most people are lazy and wouldn’t know a good idea if it got up and slapped them across the face, fewer recognise the good idea and not act on it, and maybe the one who would act on it is too busy with their own ideas to drop them and do yours. So most ideas are actually pretty save.
Do you commute too many hours to and from work and could, if given the option, work remotely and go into the “office” once a month or so? Then a local co-working space might be the place and a god fit. There are some co-working spaces that have been franchised so you can join one and visit other in the “chain”, which could be good for traveling sales people who need a space to write report or even have face to face or skype meetings.
Pros: co-working spaces have a sense of camaraderie and one of helping each other without seeking reward. Some are free (NAB in Melbourne & Geelong). The potential for networking, there maybe someone there requiring your services. Finally, many co-working spaces offer amenities like kitchens with coffee, tea and microwave ovens, high-speed internet, printers, meeting rooms, and even couches and other places to take a comfortable break.
Note: Most require an investment but its generally less than renting your own office. And most people using co-working spaces respect the space around fellow workers and also try to keep the noise level down. Some co-working spaces even have “phone booths” so you can take a call with disturbing those around you.
Cons: There can be many distractions around the space, noises, conversations, people walking around, some asking questions.
And there you have it. Go have look & feel, try it out, see if it work for you.
Have you try one recently? What was your experience? Which ones would you recommend?
Pictures from Unsplash