Co-working is a relatively new concept which has increased in popularity over the years.
Co-working is the practice of working in a shared office space and renting a desk or even a private office in a place where other entrepreneurs and companies also work.
Ideal for self-employed individuals and small companies who have only a few employees, co-working can be an excellent way to meet new people, network and save on the cost of rent (not to mention you won’t be paying the bills).
But can co-working work for you?
I know many people who have enjoyed working in a co-working environment, as it gives them the opportunity to enjoy a space without having to worry about the cost of running the building, decorating, buying tea & coffee and generally just being in a nicer environment. Such premises tend to be well equipped with spacious office spaces, ergonomic furniture, and storage options (cabinet, Locker, etc.), ensuring that people can work without being deprived of any necessities.
So many people prefer to co-work as it means that they can network unofficially and enjoy specific events which are put on by the company who run the space.
From talks with industry leaders to nights out and shared skills, co-working can be an excellent opportunity to really build your brand.
Often located in key locations in city centres and business parks, co-working spaces offer the very best perks of offices without the big overheads and with a community environment.
These co-working offices are always pretty modern and feature an abundance of space as well as great perks such as breakout zones so you can have time to chill out and recoup during working hours. Some co-working spaces even go the extra mile and offer quirky furniture and design including beanbags, hammocks, and picnic benches so work really doesn’t have to feel like work. Of course, the majority of the actual “work” areas will include furniture you’d more expect from an office space, with the likes of desks and ergonomic chairs that office monster can help with, as well as other office furniture outlets.
Being a freelancer often comes with the perk that you can create your own working hours. From taking a Monday morning off to working on a Saturday and straight through to 11 pm on a Thursday, you’re no longer restricted to the 9-5 grind (but this doesn’t mean you don’t do over and above these hours).
Co-working offices are often open 24 hours a day or at least between 6 am and midnight (as well as weekends), meaning that you don’t have to worry about the office closing and you not fulfilling your daily work to-dos. Having said that, you could also be assured that there may be proper alarmanlangen in place to ensure security for the building. Considering the number of people that move in and out of the office building, there may be an air-tight entry policy to prevent any unwanted trespassers from entering the property. This could include the use of unique QR codes, ID cards, or security numbers dedicated to every employee, to verify and permit entry. In a sense, it could be comparable to the security you may have in your home office. There may be little to no issues related to unexpected guests, let alone a robbery.
However, when it comes to transitioning from freelancing or working from home, then you may be struggling to deal with the initial change in environment and the fact you’re not surrounded by people.
From have a catch-up whilst you’re making a cup of tea in the morning to asking a colleague’s advice on something when you’re not quite sure, it can be hard to go from being surrounded by supportive co-workers to being on your own.
Co-working space gives you that perfect balance between working on your own and being surrounded by people, taking away the dreaded feeling of loneliness.
I worked for around 12 months as a freelancer in my home and really struggled with how isolated I felt. Co-working offices rectify that by placing you in a supportive network.
To discover if co-working is for you then why not go to your local co-working offices and have a trial day or trial week? This will help you to get a feel for the environment, space and the people who you will be co-working with.