Coworking: should you give shared office space a try?
There are lots of benefits to coworking in shared office space. Such as…
You’re launching your business and you think you need office space, but you’re not sure which office, and you’re not even sure whether being in office would suit you. Alternatively, perhaps you started your business from home and, now that you’re growing, you need to give an office a try. You could sign up to a private office but if you’re just getting started – especially if you’re just getting started – you might find sharing a space could be the better first move.
What is a coworking space?
A coworking space is office space that you share with other businesses. You ‘hotdesk’ so when you’re not in the office other people may use the desks, and when you are in the office you simply choose one that’s available.
What are the benefits of sharing office space?
As you might expect, it costs less to rent a shared space than a private office. That’s good news if you’re trying to balance the need for an office presence with keeping overheads low.
It’s great for building connections
Some businesses are tailor made for sharing office space. Photographers, graphic designers, web builders, social media marketers and illustrators form just one group of related professions that tend to collaborate successfully together. Your industry will probably have several more and chances are that sooner or later you’ll find yourself sitting next to one of them. Sharing space with even just the occasional potential collaborator can be a great way to build your connections and get established.
You’d think that running your own business – and the freedom that gives you – should be a liberating thing. In reality, as studies show, too much freedom can leave you lacking structure and that can make it harder to knuckle down and get work done. An office can provide a focal point for your day and sharing the space can give you the motivational nudge from others that can help you stay productive on the days when you’re not quite ‘feeling it’.
Building your own business can be hugely rewarding (in every sense). But let’s not pretend it’s always easy. That’s especially the case if you’re used to a social environment yet find yourself working solo for long stretches.
Coworking makes you part of a community. It enables you to hold the face-to-face conversations that you may not have if you’re working from home every day, and those conversations can help boost ideas and innovation as well as happiness.
A study reported by London School of Business & Finance made a fascinating finding: people thrive in coworking office space. Why? First, because when you’re in a coworking space you’re always meeting new people. You’re always being asked what you do – and that means you’re always refining your pitch, which can make what you do “seem more interesting and distinctive” (to you and everyone else).
Second, although you’re in an office environment, it’s an environment of different businesses that probably don’t have a history with one another. That means you’re part of an office without the office politics that can sometimes go with it.
Third, coworking spaces are full of people who have a diverse set of skills that can benefit other office users. Put simply, you’ll be able to help people out and others may well be able to help you. That may start informally, but it may not take long before a quick favour turns into more solid business relationships.
Keeping things flexible
As business develops you’ve always got the choice of upgrading to a private office. The beauty of our coworking spaces is that, when that happens, you won’t be tied into a long contract – so you can switch your shared space for something more permanent exactly when you need it. If business takes a dip, you can press pause for a while, and if you find sharing suits you perfectly, you can keep doing it for as long as you like.
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