Coworking spaces might seem to be a fairly new concept, bolstered no doubt by the fact that a lot of companies have embraced it as a result of the hybrid work setup brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Coworking is close to being three decades old now, and believe it or not, the idea was developed by hackers.
Although not basically physical in nature initially, the first “coworking space” was established in 1995 by hackers for their members to share ideas, information, and even a room so that they could finish a task. This idea of a “hackerspace” caught on and has since expanded in purpose to include social events, classes, and seminars.
It was also in 1995 when a game designer named Bernard DeKoven first used the term “coworking” to describe the idea of different people “working together as equals.” Within the same year, a software company opened up a physical space in New York that offered a flexible desk setup.
The very first formal coworking space began its operation in 2002 in Schraubenfabrik, Vienna inside an old, renovated factory. At first, it only catered to companies but soon expanded to admit freelancers and other professionals. The concept of a flexible “office for hire” caught on and expanded across the globe.
What makes good coworking spaces great?
Coworking spaces/companies are on top of their game. But what exactly makes them great? It’s been often mentioned that location is a primary factor and so do internet connectivity, office equipment and facilities, and the community that the place attracts.
Experts say all of the above are well and good but that they should just be the basics. What separates the great coworking spaces from the merely okay are the following:
Privacy and security
Granted that coworking spaces need to foster collaboration and engagement between people, but one should not overlook the fact that every business must still observe a certain amount of confidentiality.
For this reason, coworking spaces must maintain an ideal number of people so that the place won’t be overcrowded. Storage spaces that are secure must also be provided for clients to feel that in certain cases, they can leave valuable things without worrying that they could get lost or accessed by unauthorized individuals.
By itself, a coworking community may not take off if it relies merely on casual conversations. Great coworking space also facilitates networking events, brainstorming sessions, training programs, and even team-building activities designed to improve camaraderie and trust.
Depending on the type of clients a coworking space is targeting, the appropriate atmosphere must be created. For this, having a community curator (someone who filters the clients that should be accepted to make sure that there is harmony in the area) can really help. Are the clients mostly made up of young people? Or are they the more senior kind? Designing the coworking space to cater to a specific clientele will ensure that friction becomes highly unlikely.
Getting all of these ingredients together almost always ensures the success of a coworking space.
Why are coworking spaces ideal for startups?
With everything said about what makes a coworking space a great place for business, it’s no surprise that startups, particularly, are drawn to it. There are simply more benefits to be had going for a coworking space instead of setting up a permanent office for businesses that are just starting. Here are five compelling reasons why coworking spaces are great for startups:
Startups normally don’t have unlimited financial resources, which means setting up a permanent office may not be ideal as it would eat into the budget. Coworking spaces solve the problem of putting up an office by offering something that is already there, just waiting for employees to come in. They offer flexible rent/lease terms that would cost the company a mere fraction of what it would spend had it put up its own office.
Nothing else to worry about
Startups won’t need to pay for electricity, water, or maintenance bills individually as these are taken care of by the coworking space. This means the small business can focus all its resources to grow.
Offers a chance to establish business connections
Startup needs all the help it can get, and this includes growing its customer and supplies base as well as getting inputs from others. With coworking spaces hosting different companies, a startup will have all the chance to establish a network that can help in its development.
Offers office amenities at virtually no extra cost
Usually, paying for a coworking space gets a startup most if not all the amenities of a regular office such as a Wi-Fi connection, meeting rooms, a business address, and even food and beverages.
With most office concerns taken care of by the coworking space, a startup company can spend all its energy on the thing that matters most: growing the business. If you are planning to start your very own company, you can get all the information you would need here.
Weremote and the Coworking Experience in the Philippines
Coworking space has, of course, reached Philippine shores, and Weremote has been spearheading its further growth. Located strategically near the Ortigas Center, Weremote offers the ideal location for virtually any kind of business looking to expand or to make their day-to-day operations simpler. It serves as a platform not just for coworking but also for BPO seat leasing, serviced offices, and shared services.
Everything an office needs can be found there, available through flexible multiple location plans that suit any budget and any kind of work schedule. What’s more, it offers 24/7 security using RFID card access and CCTV monitoring.
If there’s one positive that we can get from our pandemic experience, it’s the realization that we do have a choice when it comes to working or conducting our business—a hybrid work setup is one, and coworking space is another. Interconnected, both are beneficial not only for employees but for business owners as well.