As an increasing share of the workforce migrates to remote workflows, there is less of a need for traditional office space. A fairly new phenomenon, coworking spaces have experienced 100% growth annually from 2006, when they first started popping up, to 2015. Since then, coworking has become a major global force for entrepreneurs, creatives, and the self-employed.
In today’s economy, working in a corporate office is often optional. Instead, more and more employees are working remotely, alongside freelancers, artists, and independent contractors. However, the work-from-home lifestyle can be distracting and isolating, an affliction that has given rise to the popularity of membership-based coworking spaces.
What is Coworking?
Coworking refers to a collaborative work style in a shared environment. First coined by entrepreneur Brad Neuberg in 2005, the term “coworking” now refers to an entire industry centered around collaborative, professional environments where members can work, chat, and socialize in a supportive and sustainable fashion.
Understanding what is coworking begins with knowing what coworking is about. Coworking is about more than sharing a physical space — it’s also about sharing a lifestyle and a core set of values geared toward collaboration, trust, exchange, and sustainability. At its core, coworking is about creating a better place to work that can serve as an alternative to the traditional nine-to-five office.
The question “what is coworking” is usually followed by “how does coworking space work?” Members of coworking spaces pay membership dues on an annual or monthly basis to rent a desk or office within the space. In return, members gain exclusive access to a community of like-minded professionals with whom they can collaborate in close proximity.
Why Choose a Coworking Space
The benefits of choosing a coworking space over a home office or cafe are plentiful, and not just for the member. Below, you can review some of the top benefits of using coworking spaces for yourself and the community at large.
- Productivity: Coworking spaces allow you to cut out distractions and get focused on your work in an environment shared with other hard-working professionals.
- Health: Working in a open setting with other people is better for your mental health than working in isolation. Plus, many coworking spaces promote a healthy work-life balance with fun social activities.
- Diversity: A wide variety of professionals use coworking spaces. Working alongside a diverse array of people can lead to new insights and networking opportunities.
- Cost-Efficiency: Compared to what you would pay to rent a traditional office, coworking spaces are highly affordable with no overhead costs. All you need is your laptop to enjoy the many benefits of coworking, with no need to worry about anything else.
- Flexibility: Coworking spaces are available on a month-to-month basis, which makes them a flexible option if you don’t want to get locked into long-term contracts or tenancy agreements.
- Networking: When you join a coworking space, you become a member of a vibrant professional community. With your membership, you can network with other professionals and attend social and professional development events with them.
iQ Office Suites released their Coworking vs. Lease: Cost Calculator, which allows anyone debating between a coworking space or leasing an office, to see which is the most cost-effective. Signing a lease to an office is a long-term commitment that can be quite expensive. Coworking spaces help to remove some of that financial burden.
Through the calculator, it provides a rough estimate of what the costs of leasing a building would look like over the costs of renting a coworking space each month. Many of the luxuries that require additional money when leasing are included in the monthly fee for a coworking space.
What any business will find that going with a coworking space, it saves not only money, but also a lot of time. Searching for a building that is reasonably priced, signing the lease, running the building efficiently, all of those require time from executive level employees. Coworking spaces help revert those additional tasks of upkeep so that employees can use their time effectively to benefit the company.
Coworking is a global movement
centered around freedom and community
Why Coworking Space is Important
Coworking is a global movement centered around freedom and community. This, above all else, is why coworking space is important for professionals. Not only do coworking spaces offer small business owners the ability to scale their operations without worrying about accommodations, overhead, or accessibility, but they also give them a chance to network and create new solutions with other business owners.
It should also be noted that many coworking space members are small business owners or freelancers. Therefore, a membership at a coworking space puts you in a better position to support local small businesses by making inroads with their owners.
However, major multinational firms are also making greater use of coworking spaces for networking and productivity boosts — effectively giving members the best of both worlds. This also allows larger firms to scale in a more confident manner by reducing the financial risk of being tied to a lease and instead provides flexibility in being able to upsize or downsize with ease.
Types of Coworking Spaces
There are several types of coworking spaces, with each of which have unique benefits to offer their tenants. Here are six of the most common coworking spaces available on the market:
- Traditional: These spaces are, above all else, about establishing community and rapport among members.
- Lifestyle: Emphasizing work-life balance, these spaces are usually heavily decorated and well-furnished, and including many lifestyle perks like gym and club memberships.
- Specialization: These coworking spaces are geared toward a single industry to help drive innovation and collaboration.
- Professional: These spaces are designed for businesses that need a “corporate” image and a professional space to greet and receive clients.
- Shared Office: Shared offices are open-concept, inclusive spaces that are designed to encourage conversation, collaboration, and networking.
- Incubator: Coworking spaces offered to startups in exchange for private equity in the company.
At iQ Office Suites, there are several coworking spaces available for use. Below, you can browse each of them and their respective benefits.
- Private Offices: Secure, business-ready offices that offer privacy, exclusivity, and elegance for business operations.
- Dedicated Desks: A “classic” coworking environment that offers an open-concept, collaborative workspace for all budgets.
- Virtual Offices: Offering a professional image, this option includes a downtown mailing address and mail handling, as well as telephone and reception services.
- Event Spaces: Elegant, contemporary spaces to host events, product launches, meetings, and more.
- Meeting Spaces: A basic offsite location to conduct interviews, private meetings, client one-on-ones, and more.
Start Coworking Today
Why choose a coworking space? Because there are countless benefits to be reaped by working alongside professionals who share the same drive, energy, and enthusiasm as you. From professional development and a greater sense of freedom to new networking opportunities and fun social events, there is something for everyone at a coworking space.
To find out if a coworking space is right for you, reach out today to book a tour of one of iQ Office Suites several coworking spaces across the country. This way, you can see for yourself why the coworking movement is disrupting the traditional office rat race.