Coworking spaces, is slowly becoming a buzzword to freelancers, business owners, and even corporations. Thanks to coworking — freelancers get a decent place to work, entrepreneurs can run their small businesses more easily, and franchise holders rake in big money.
But what exactly is coworking, and should you consider being part of the practice?
Work at Your Own Terms
You’ll think that work won’t get done under these conditions — but surprisingly, coworkers perform more efficiently than they would normally would in a normal office setting. Freelancers and independent contractors can perform their tasks with no bosses looking over their shoulders.
They can purely focus on the job since coworking relies more on output — bereft of all the social dealings in an office. Coworking usually involves a shared office space, usually very informal and with an organic feel.
Coworkers have their own workstations, but they can move freely within the confines of the shared space. There are no office hierarchies or dramas — all you need to worry about is getting your assigned work done within the allocated time frame. This informal setting and a more relaxed working condition have made coworkers more efficient, less stressed, and happier.
Getting Startups Started
Coworking spaces give startups and small businesses a place to work, meet clients, and hold meetings — without the need to rent actual office space. It eliminates the need for troublesome permits, office furnishings, daily cleaning and maintenance, and the ever-rising costs of rent.
Most coworking spaces can even cover your concierge and secretarial needs for an additional fee. Shared office spaces allow entrepreneurs to minimize their overhead and devote more of their capital into their business endeavors.
Being a member of a large coworking company with multiple branches also allows you to set up meetings with clients in different locations easily. You can book a conference room or a few workstations in another branch of your coworking space whenever you need to travel.
A large coworking space also allows you to network with multiple people with varying expertise in their own different fields.
Opening Your Own Space
Starting your own coworking space will require a bit of capital — around $10,000 to $50,000 depending on how big you want to go. You can usually recoup your investment in 1–2 years — especially when you’re booked at 80 percent capacity.
That capital will go to rent, workspaces, connectivity, miscellaneous office needs, and wages for a skeleton crew for concierge services and maintenance. If you own a suitably large location, your initial investment drops significantly — giving you more capital to devote to the bells and whistles that will make your coworking space more inviting and appealing.
Of course, it’s always best to partner up with an established coworking brand. This gives you access to their networks of contacts — including corporate clients. Once your shared office space is operational — the coworking brand does most of the work.
By next year, 40 percent of all American workers will be using some form of coworking. Corporations are keen on exploring the practice and employees are eager to work in less restrictive office environments.