How often do you head down to the café for your afternoon coffee break, and notice that one or more informal meetings are happening in the same space? This common trend is evidence that people would prefer to step outside their restrictive office environment and discuss ideas in a stimulating space that engages their senses rather than a stifling office boardroom.
Contrary to popular belief, coworking spaces are not just for tech start-ups and hipster entrepreneurs. Coworking spaces are emerging as effective alternatives to the corporate office that encourage creativity, innovation, and are better equipped to meet the needs of today’s working professionals.
In this post, we tear up stereotype of the co-working space as an entrepreneur-only zone.
Open space is not all there is
Coworking hubs are often thought to be noisy rooms with nothing to separate your team meeting from your neighbour’s dramatic account of his guinea pig’s rowdy birthday party on Saturday night. While this might be true of some spaces, the beauty of cowork is that you can choose the place that’s right for you.
Does your business need space where your workers can work in silence to effectively complete some of their tasks? No problem. Many coworking spaces are flexible enough to provide quiet spaces for individual focus, or even bigger private office spaces for teams to work from.
When you need some digital detox or to make yourself scarce while your team-leader launches into her latest Game Of Thrones theory ridden with spoilers, you can emerge into a shared space, engage with other like-minded people and restore your inspiration for your next focused session.
Networking works both ways
Another common misconception of cowork is that it is inundated with start-ups, freelancers and millennial entrepreneurs armed with almond milk piccolos; that it is a place where individuals come to boost networking opportunities for their fledgling businesses.
However, established businesses also have much to gain from working in a shared space. Being in proximity to a thriving community of freelance workers of varying fields of expertise can pay major dividends when your team is missing a relevant skillset to effectively complete a project.
Working in an environment where ideas are tossed around (whether interrelated or not) fosters innovation. You never know what creative solutions might come to you during a conversation with a new acquaintance or familiar face in the communal lounge area! The best ideas aren’t forced.
Coworking spaces foster creativity and productivity
“Corporate coworking” is not an abstract concept. Corporations have been experimenting with implementing coworking elements into their company culture for a number of years, and it’s only a matter of time until this becomes the norm.
Many corporations are already playing around with coworking spaces to see what works best for their employees. They can provide a change of scenery for productive meetings or team training workshops. Some companies own coworking spaces to nurture professional connections and keep in the loop with innovative ideas and projects. Others set themselves up in a dedicated space within a coworking community – a decision that can save on costs and greatly boost flexibility and creativity.
An inspiring alternative to working from home
Trying out a coworking space can be an exciting way to bring a breath of fresh air to your existing small business. Many people working as sole-traders or even as remote employees choose to work from home for financial reasons or because it’s convenient. However, a working arrangement like this blurs the boundaries of one’s personal and professional lives and can decrease the overall satisfaction of each.
If this sounds like you, conducting your business among a coworking community can be an effective way to reignite your passion and productivity in a stimulating and social space. With affordable workspace options, no commitment to a lease, and all utilities provided, what do you have to lose from trialling a coworking space and see how it affects your overall working experience?