According to current statistics, around 3.1 million around the world use coworking spaces. Within the next few years, researchers expect this number to increase to more than 5 million workers.
If you’re a business owner or entrepreneur thinking about changing from traditional office space to coworking, you may be wondering if coworking can work for your business. Here are five factors to keep in mind.
There are a few different things to think about when you consider location within the context of coworking. First, does the location save you precious time commuting? If you’re currently driving a long distance to report to an office job, using a coworking space closer to home can save you valuable hours in the car or using other forms of transportation.
You should also consider the coworking space’s location with respect to your home as well as your clients. If the coworking space is near your home, this can make it easy to maintain a flexible schedule that lets you work when it’s convenient for you.
Many people also choose coworking spaces that are close to shopping or the grocery store or gym so they can easily do errands or get in a workout. This kind of flexibility is hard to find with a traditional 9 to 5 office job.
One of the downsides of working from home is the loss of community and camaraderie you typically get in a traditional office space. You can also miss out on networking opportunities that can help you grow your business and land new clients.
If you’re a digital nomad, you may struggle with feelings of isolation that make it tough to focus on building your brand or pursuing your career goals. In some cases, working in a coworking space can help you take advantage of networking and collaboration opportunities you won’t get if you work solely from home. Coworking spaces can help you make important connections with others in your field. They can also help you find new clients and explore new business opportunities.
Not all coworking spaces are the same. While some have a more open concept, which can be great for collaboration, others are set up to resemble a more typical office building, where you get individual offices and conference rooms. In addition, some coworking spaces are a mix of the two styles.
One type of space isn’t necessarily better than the other, and what works for one type of worker might not be a good fit for someone else. For example, a freelance writer who needs a quiet space to concentrate might not thrive in a coworking environment where the work spaces are an open concept with no ability to filter out noise.
You should also pay attention to things like office furniture and equipment. Is the space equipped with modern computers and office machines? If you need to do a presentation, does the coworking space offer audiovisual equipment and support? The space you choose should mesh well with your industry as well as your personal working habits.
Some coworking spaces offer a bundle of amenities that appeal to a certain demographic of workers but might not necessarily offer you any additional value. For example, a ping pong table might be a great addition, but does it help your productivity by offering some down time, or does it create a distraction when you’re trying to work?
Similarly, do you need access to a kitchen, or can you work just fine without one? Is the lack of a conference room a deal breaker for you? Will an on-site gym save you time and money?
The answers to these questions will depend on the individual. For some people, a broad menu of amenities are must-haves. For others, all the extras will go unused, so it doesn’t make much sense to pay for them.
Obviously, you will want to run the numbers to make sure a coworking space will save you money compared to a traditional office. Even if you work from home, renting a coworking space might actually save you money in the long run. This is because having a dedicated space to work that’s free of distractions can help you be more productive, which means you bring in more money and waste less time.
Preparing to Transition to Coworking
When it comes to choosing a coworking space, there are a lot of factors to consider to make sure the space is the right fit for you and your business. Keep in mind that various coworking spaces are different, and they might not cater to everyone. Fortunately, as coworking becomes increasingly popular and more spaces become available, you have an excellent chance of finding a space that suits your needs and can help you grow your business.
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