The coworking space has become more and more in demand as the world shifts to the “new normal” where many employees and companies prefer hybrid work.
A hybrid work setup is one where there are days when people work remotely while at other times, they work in the office. And working remotely doesn’t necessarily mean working from home. Today, a remote workspace could be an internet café, a park, or for a lot of people, seats in a coworking space that their company has booked for them.
Even solopreneurs and small business owners are ditching the traditional office that eats a lot into the monthly budget because of the fixed costs in favor of the more pocket-friendly coworking space.
This is despite many people still somehow confused about how to write “coworking.” Is it one word or hyphenated?
In grammatical terms, when you say “co-working,” it means individuals from the same company or office working together. “Coworking,” on the other hand, refers to people from different companies working within the same space but not together, although they may also collaborate from time to time.
A coworking space can and usually serve both, especially today when you don’t need to go to your traditional office to be productive.
It should be fair to say then that within the past few years, the coworking space has had a big impact on the way we work.
Oh, and did you know that August 9 is now well-recognized around the world as International Coworking Day?
The Coworking Space: A Look Back
The coworking concept can be traced back to 1995 in Berlin, Germany. That was when a group of hackers decided they needed to have a space for sharing ideas and information. While the seed was planted, it didn’t sprout until 10 years later.
On August 9, 2005, a software engineer named Brad Neuberg sent out an invitation in a blog post for creators to get together and form a “community.” People did come.
And then on August 7, 2010, the cofounder of New Work Cities, Tony Bacigalupo, blogged, “Next Monday will be five years since Brad Neuberg talked about coworking for the first time. I think that date should be the official Coworking Day.”
It could be because of the clout that Bacigalupo had, being the owner of the first dedicated coworking space in New York City. Or it’s because by then, people have realized the important contribution of the coworking space to different industries that run the country’s economy. Whatever the reason is, August 9 became the official day to celebrate International Coworking Day.
Why Consider a Coworking Space?
What makes a coworking space better or more desirable than a traditional office?
As has been mentioned, everything boils down to budgetary considerations. If you are a solopreneur or the owner of a startup company whose funds are quite limited, the first thing you need to make sure is that regular expenses are kept to a minimum.
To do this, you would need to consider which aspects of your business you can scrimp on. This is so that you can pour most of your funds into those that are really important, such as manpower, supplies, and other inventories that would carry your company forward.
Having a regular or traditional office, whether rented or you own already, means you would need to allocate a portion of your budget regularly. Payments for the maintenance of the place and the utilities as well as the data connection (because most everything now is done online) are made every month. This could very well deplete your resources and hold back your business. In this setup, you are most likely spending more than what you are earning.
A coworking space helps you do away with those pesky overheads. Sure, you would also need to pay a regular fee for the use of the area, but most of them come with great amenities that make it worth it. Mind you, those are just the extra features that make the coworking space a nice place to work. Their basic offerings are quite impressive.
What Makes a Good Coworking Space?
If you’re still on the fence about this coworking craze among startups and solopreneurs, here are five reasons why a coworking space is desirable:
Different kinds of seating
Gone are the days when employees have no choice but to settle for office furniture the company provides. Woe to those who happen to work with a cheapskate owner as they would be spending their working hours in office chairs that are uncomfortable and just plain ugly.
In a great coworking space, you’ll most likely be sitting in ergonomic chairs. But if you feel you can be more productive by working on the floor with beanbags and throw pillows, most likely it would have them too.
Meeting rooms and private offices
Solopreneurs in particular won’t have to settle for the not-so-businesslike atmosphere of meeting clients in a noisy coffee shop, at the park, or at home. Even companies that don’t have a place to hold a conference or a private talk in their traditional office will find it so convenient to have one in their coworking space.
An atmosphere conducive to productivity
A great coworking space offers a sense of well-being the moment you enter its premises. Not only are the interiors (sometimes even the exterior) designed for the ultimate comfort of its users, but there is also a certain ambiance that you won’t find in any other place. There’s a sense of liveliness, luxury, professionalism, or uniqueness that leads workers to be at their most productive.
Good for the environment
When your company ditches or makes your traditional office smaller in favor of a coworking space, it’s reducing its carbon footprint. You’re practically doing away with energy consumption, waste products, and other aspects that a standalone office usually produces. Employees won’t have to commute long or daily, reducing the energy needed to take people to their office and then back to their homes.
Diversity and networking
As people work in the presence of other groups representing other companies, connections and collaborations will inevitably be made. A coworking office fosters diversity (it would be in their best interest to attract as many clients as possible), making discrimination at the workplace a big no-no. With such a regulation in place, people can be themselves, comfortable in the thought that their rights are protected.
Which Coworking Space Should You Choose?
So, here’s a pleasant problem to have: What kind of coworking space should you go for? As you might have guessed by now, not all coworking spaces are made the same. Some would be better than others in terms of basic services and amenities.
When they do offer similar benefits, you can be sure that there would be a conscious effort to set themselves apart from the competition. And you as someone looking for the perfect coworking space for your business can take your pick:
Also known as conventional or open coworking space, it’s exactly what you would imagine it would be. It’s designed to accommodate (and make happy) the most diverse kinds of workers and offers a collaborative working atmosphere. Its well-lit rooms and open design invites people from different companies to talk and share ideas.
This is a full-service coworking space whose features are a cut above the rest, which means you would be paying more for a more premium experience. The luxury and convenience it offers will surely delight the company’s employees and impress their clients, which makes the extra expense worth it.
Catering mainly to corporate or professional clients, this type of coworking space is more suited to well-established companies that are expanding their operations but would not want to set up their own traditional office. They are often characterized by a more muted lighting and a more serious atmosphere that startups may find kind of snobbish.
If you’re looking for a possible collaboration with other companies, this may not be the best coworking space for you. Here, clients stay at their respective private offices that may have their own kitchen and conference rooms.
Somewhat similar to the traditional coworking space, but this one is really minimal or bare bones, making it much more affordable. This makes it ideal for those who are just starting and would just need a place where they can work quietly and enjoy the basic features of an office such as Wi-Fi and office desks. There could be free coffee too, but that’s about it.
As its name implies, it caters to very specific industries or businesses such as creatives, law firms, or health care providers. You can expect services and amenities that are tailor fit for its target clientele.
This type of coworking space offers a relaxed, collaborative, and energy-rich atmosphere. It is best for startups and accelerators that need all the help and innovative environment they can have. You can also be sure that they charge a lower fee, which is precisely what every company that is just starting needs.
For companies that need a meeting space rather than a working space, this is just what they need. It offers a private room or a conference room for collaborative sessions, planning, or client meetings. These rooms can be rented for an hour, a full workday, or a week depending on the need.
This space doesn’t offer a physical area where employees can work. Instead, it gives management services to its clients such as receiving mails or meeting clients or employees as the case may be. It also provides a physical address to make any startup or solopreneur a legitimate business.
How Much Should You Pay for a Good Coworking Space?
Well, it would depend on the type of coworking space you settle on. Weremote, for example, offers different kinds of membership rates that fit any kind of budget, business, or need. You can click here to check out your options and the great services and amenities that come with your membership.
Whatever size or business your company has, you can be sure that there is a specific coworking space that would suit you best. It’s just a matter of doing your due diligence so you can get the best service at the most affordable price. And with that, you would be taking the necessary step into ensuring that your business or company will have a chance to become stable, thrive, and succeed.