How start-ups can benefit from co-working spaces
What is a co-working space?
According to the Co-working Manifesto, co-working spaces are: ‘a group of connected individuals and small businesses creating an economy of innovation and creativity in communities and worldwide. Envision[ing] a new economic engine composed of collaboration and community, in contrast to the silos and secrecy of the 19th/20th century economy.’
Lots of people that use co-working spaces see themselves not only as people who work flexibly, but also as part of a wider social movement.
So, effectively, co-working is a bunch of start-up entrepreneurs, SMEs, freelancers, people working flexibly for large corporations and various other waifs and strays of the business world, working from a single space, allowing them flexibility and the opportunity for collaboration at the same time as providing an element of structure that they wouldn’t get while working from home.
The Culture of co-working
Co-working spaces, and in turn, co-workers themselves, often foster a sense of collaborative camaraderie.
In fact, it is often the case that the collaboration and culture of helping each other that co-working spaces are prone to, can lead to improved work and new ideas from their users. The skillsets of each individual being valuable to each other individual and helping to get the most from each person working there. In a sense, creating workshops where ideas and people can bounce off each other.
In addition to this collaborative culture, co-working spaces are often viewed as havens to an extent as they are free from the internal cliques and politicking that often abound within larger companies’ offices; allowing each person to be themselves, without having to adopt a work persona.
Start-ups entrepreneurs and any other people working from co-working spaces tend to find that it gives them more job control than they would get when working from home, or from a traditional office space. With most co-working spaces providing 24-hour access, they are free to start and finish whenever they like, working long shifts when they have a project with a tight deadline. At the same time, they are free to take long breaks in the middle of the day to go to the gym if they want to.
It also provides them with a structure and discipline to motivate themselves that working from home sometimes lacks.
The sense of community in co-working spaces has even led to one co-working space provider adopting the slogan of, ‘join as “me”, become part of “we”.’
Can larger businesses benefit from using co-working spaces?
It may seem the case that co working spaces are tailored specifically for SMEs and freelancers etc., rather than employees of larger businesses, but this is far from the case.
By allowing staff to work from satellite locations, such as co-working spaces and hot-pods, larger businesses are able to give their staff more control over their day to day jobs.
If they want to work from home, or from somewhere quiet on occasion, but aren’t particularly enamoured with working from their own home, then using a co-working space can be ideal for them to reduce their time spent commuting and to find a bit of quiet space to complete that important project they’ve been working on.
In addition to this, by making this option available to employees, companies will be able to attract a better calibre of staff who have come to expect this type of flexibility in their working life.
It also allows employees, or teams to utilise meeting and boardroom spaces that are free from the distractions that can be prevalent when holding meetings in the office itself.
Working away from the office in this fashion can also help to foster greater team spirit and can tap into the collaborative and intuitive environment that co-working spaces can provide. Which in turn will help members of staff to create new ideas and more creative work.
Co-working can help your business to thrive
Studies carried out by the University of Michigan have found that employees who are able to work from a well-designed environment and have a well curated work experience are much more likely to thrive at work than their cohorts who are solely office based.
Whether you’re a start-up entrepreneur or an employee of a multi-national corporation, or anything in-between, working from a co-working space can help you to thrive.
By utilising the opportunities that are available, you can provide yourself or your staff with the opportunity to feel supported and like they have the space they need to do their job effectively – helping them to reach their full potential and want to work well and stay at your company.