The usage of coworking spaces has increased in the past couple of years and we owe that to the pandemic. The data is pretty clear: most people don’t want to go back to the office but at the same time they don’t want to be working exclusively from home either.
Considering all these changes and perspectives, companies are in a difficult position: it wouldn’t be wise to keep going the old way if times have changed, but at the same time, change is never an easy thing.
On the verge of those two dilemmas is where coworking spaces arise.
We’ll answer two important questions today: what are coworking spaces and what opportunities do they offer? Let’s take them one by one.
What is a coworking space?
First things first, let’s settle on what coworking spaces are. Generally speaking, coworking spaces are neutral offices where people come to work from.
They are all equipped with all the amenities you need, but the difference between coworking spaces and regular office spaces is that people from a coworking space are working for different companies, clients or businesses.
You can find various businesses and industries in a coworking space, which is one benefit we will tackle later.
There are many types of coworking spaces available:
- open workspaces: the explanation is right in the name. These types of workspaces have dedicated desks or hot desks and members from different companies share the same area without having walls to divide them.
- private workspaces: these are the exact opposite of open spaces. You and/or your team members can get a dedicated room with the number of desks you may need. Another option is that you as an individual have a private room to have your office, which is great if you need more silence or privacy.
- industry-specific: these spaces gather people that work in the same industry so they can share thoughts, ideas, or similar experiences. These can also be open or private.
- venture/incubators: these are the most selective coworking environments. The purpose of these workspaces is to attract and fund start-ups by providing them with the support they need to grow.
All these spaces can have a different aesthetic or feel: formal, corporate, funky, or colorful. It’s up to you to find the one that suits you best.
Now that we have all this figured out, let’s look at some opportunities that arise when you work in a space like that:
Networking at its finest
Coworking spaces increase the chances to meet people you can connect with. As every freelancer or entrepreneur knows, your network can come in handy on multiple occasions.
Connecting with people from different industries and areas may seem like a waste of time in the beginning. When would you possibly need to know a Software Developer? Well, what if you are a freelance marketer and that developer needs a social media specialist or knows someone who is looking for that role? Wouldn’t it be great to land a new job or client just because you talked to someone while eating your lunch at work?
Networking may seem like an effort on a day-to-day basis, but when you work in a place that gathers so many individuals from so many different industries, it becomes a piece of cake.
If you don’t consider networking as being important and you just want to hang around with some people while at work, coworking spaces offer so many ways for you to socialize.
You are surrounded by people who are looking forward to taking a break and talking to someone. Take that opportunity and start building relationships. Who knows? Maybe your next best friend is the person you are working beside on that open desk today.
It’s a great way of finding events, places to go, and work experiences. Especially if you are a junior, talking to people who’ve filled your shoes at some point is valuable and priceless.
Sharing with people from your niche
No one can understand what you’re going through professionally better than someone who works in the same industry.
You can talk to your friends and family, but if they don’t know what you are actually talking about, it’s hard for them to give you advice.
But imagine this: you are a marketing freelancer and are having trouble with some rough clients. You mention it to your friends, but all they tell you is “be patient, it will solve itself”. However, one day you bring this up to one of your colleagues from the space you are working in and she gives you tips and tricks, tells you her experiences, and is actually providing some solutions. Why? Because she’s been there so she knows best. Moreover, she knows exactly what you are talking about and can give you the space to share and learn.
Attend events and workshops
Coworking spaces usually organize events, workshops, gatherings, and so forth. They can be educational and have speakers talking, or purely for networking and socializing.
However, they are usually free of charge for the people who work there. And if not, discounts are always in place. You have the opportunity to learn new things in different areas or to simply hear professionals from your industry talk about different topics.
Learning new things often comes in second when you are working. But remember that you need to learn at any age and position if you want to keep getting better and better.
Because you also work there, you just probably need to change the room and you’re all settled to learn something new.
Get offers and discounts
Besides discounts for events, which we mentioned earlier, coworking spaces often have partnerships with all kinds of providers.
As thank you gifts or just to keep you satisfied, they will offer you discounts or offers on various things, whether it’s products, events, workshops, or services.
These are only some benefits you gain from choosing a coworking space. From here on, it’s up to you to shape your working experience the way you want it and the way it increases your productivity.