Is Coworking Right for Your Small Business? Here Are 5 Ways to Leverage a Coworking SpaceJake Slobe
As an entrepreneur, there is a good chance you started your business from home, whether it was in a spare bedroom, at your kitchen table or at a nearby coffee shop. And while launching your business from home has its perks, it can also have its drawbacks. Working from home can lead to distractions, feelings of loneliness and not having anyone to bounce ideas off of.
You might consider renting a dedicated office space, but taking on the expense and long-term commitment can seem daunting, especially when you don’t know how big or how fast your business will grow. That’s when joining a coworking space might be the best step.
Interested in joining a coworking space? Check out our new Kansas City Coworking Guide to see what space best fits your needs.
How does coworking work?
Coworking spaces are shared workspaces where individuals from different industries and backgrounds work alongside one another in a collaborative and creative environment.
Think of a coworking space as a community center. Coworking spaces are popular among freelancers, entrepreneurs and remote workers who seek a professional and social environment to work in. Members can interact with one another, share ideas and collaborate on projects, creating a community-like atmosphere.
5 Benefits of Coworking Spaces
1. Networking opportunities
One of the most significant benefits of coworking spaces is the opportunity to network with other professionals. You will be surrounded by like-minded individuals who are eager to collaborate and share ideas. These connections can lead to valuable partnerships, business opportunities and friendships.
Grayson Smith, Director of Operations at Plexpod, says that the real value of coworking lies in its ability to bring together people from diverse backgrounds and industries.
“Being able to interact with people in completely different sectors and different fields that have such a different knowledge base is truly incredible,” Smith says. “We’ve heard from our members time and time again about the kind of impact coworking has had on their thinking, on their day-to-day work schedule, and all-in-all, made their business more successful.”
Coworking spaces provide the flexibility to work on your own terms. You can choose to work from a shared workspace or book a private meeting room. Additionally, coworking spaces often offer flexible membership plans so you can choose to pay for only the hours or days that you need.
You can also choose to work during the day or night, depending on your schedule. Many coworking spaces are open 24 hours, allowing you to work whenever it best suits you. This can be especially helpful for freelancers, entrepreneurs and remote workers who often need to work outside of traditional office hours.
“Our goal is to catalyze entrepreneurship, whether you are a solopreneur seeking a simple desk space or a large bank in need of dedicated workspace,” says Shervonne Cherry, director of community and partnerships at Spark Coworking. “From small companies to large, we want to make sure that we’re across the board supporting the needs of those various companies.”
Renting a traditional office space can be expensive, especially if you are just starting out.
“A lot of times when we’re talking with potential members, we’ll do a full breakdown of the costs that can come with a traditional office space: security, janitorial, cable, internet, reception, everything that you don’t necessarily think about when you’re thinking about the rent cost for four white walls,” Cherry says. “It’s not just the white walls, it’s everything in the space.”
Coworking spaces alleviate much of that financial burden by offering affordable memberships that provide access to all the amenities you need, including high-speed internet, meeting rooms, printing facilities and more.
4. Improved productivity
Coworking spaces can offer a professional and focused working environment that can help to minimize distractions and improve concentration. This can lead to increased productivity as there are fewer distractions compared to working from home or at a coffee shop.
Research by Harvard Business Review found that people who frequently use coworking spaces experience an increase in productivity and overall satisfaction. Other benefits claimed by the study include greater autonomy structure and the ability to change their routine frequently.
5. Sense of community
Last but not least, coworking spaces are more than just a place to work. They are communities. You will be surrounded by people who share your passion and drive for success. This sense of community can provide motivation and support when you need it most.
One of the main benefits of a coworking space is the diverse community it offers. You’ll be working alongside people from different backgrounds and industries, which can help you gain new perspectives and ideas.
“We have law firms, accounting firms, massage therapists, tattoo parlors, hair stylists and are the home of the LGBTQ inclusion center,” Smith says. “We have such a diverse group of businesses and every single one of them finds a benefit in being in a space like this.”
Image courtesy of Plexpod Westport Commons.