Whether you work from home as a freelancer or have formally started your own business, at least initially, you are usually a one-person operation. Often, this means beginning by working out of your home. This can be a cost-effective and efficient approach. However, when it’s time to meet with clients in person or bring on new staff members, a home office might not cut it anymore. Instead, you might want to join a coworking space.
Definition of Coworking Spaces
Coworking spaces are a fairly new paradigm. Typically, these are formal office spaces that allow freelancers, remote employees, and small business access resources for a small fee.
Essentially, coworking spaces are shared work environments. They may have open designs featuring rows of desks. This configuration can make the office more social. In other cases, they provide access to private offices and formal meeting rooms.
Professionals who want to take advantage of a coworking space can usually either select a “hot desk,” a term for an available and unreserved space, for a relatively small fee. They might also opt to reserve a specific location for a higher cost. Conference rooms may be available, either with or without reservations.
Benefits of Coworking Spaces
Coworking spaces can provide professionals with a range of benefits. Many of the benefits can help improve your business. Here are four, depending on your coworking space.
- Shared Amenities
Nearly every coworking space provides professionals with certain amenities. For example, major office equipment, like scanners and copiers, are usually open for use. Similarly, high-speed internet is typically available, and many even provide snacks and beverages.
Some coworking spaces cater to specific industries, like technical or creative professionals. At times, the location will offer amenities that these particular kinds of workers need. They are equipped with access to software, tools, equipment, or supplies.
Coworking spaces created a step between your home office or coffee shop and renting your own office space. Typically, real estate is expensive, especially for startups or small businesses who don’t have a lot of extra capital.
Instead of getting into a traditional lease, coworking spaces provide flexible options that allow professionals to find a happy medium between working from home and securing a commercial space. There usually isn’t a long-term commitment. Most coworks allow people to pay by the week, month, or even the hour.
If you are a one-person operation which usually works from home, your opportunities to network and socialize with other people are likely limited. With a coworking space, you share an environment with other professionals who may be in a similar position. You’ll meet contractors, freelancers, remote workers, and small business owners who are all looking for economical solutions that can help them grow.
Since you’ll likely have something in common with at least a portion of other coworking space users, there are both social and networking opportunities. In fact, some of the connections may even help you grow faster. This aspect of the working environment makes saying hello a worthwhile effort.
If your business grows to the point where you need a team, most coworking spaces provide the ability to expand with ease. Adjusting your contract to include more people, time, or space is fairly easy, thanks to the flexibility of these arrangements.
Plus, if you can reserve desks or rooms, you can ensure you and your team are near each other. Further, you don’t have to worry about straining available amenities, as they are designed with the site’s full capacity in mind.
Is a Coworking Space Right for You?
Ultimately, whether a coworking space is right for you depends on your exact needs. However, many locations will allow you to take a tour for free or may even let you try out the space for a period as a free-trial.
Additionally, each location may have something different to offer so, if one doesn’t work for you, consider checking out another. In the end, a coworking space can be beneficial to your business, so take the time to explore what is available or even give it a try.
Have you ever tried a coworking space? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.