Co-working spaces are the trending things in the work environment, especially for freelancers, startups and even some bigger organizations. The growth of this type of working environment means that people now refer the co-working spaces to the traditional office.
Taking a busy city like Lagos, Nigeria for example, with the traffic and other inconveniences involved in a 9 to 5 job, using a co-working near your home can help you to be more productive. But what is a co-working space and why should you use one?
WHAT ARE CO-WORKING SPACES
Covenworks.com describes a co-working space as as a space founded by groups of like-minded people who wanted to build a space that combines the best elements of fun and a work-space.
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It is also a style of work that involves a shared working environment, often an office, but independent activity. Unlike in a typical office environment, those co-working are usually not employed by the same organization.
When you walk into a co-working space, you will notice that it feels different from a regular office. The smell of fresh coffee in the air is second only to the electric atmosphere that the energetic and excited occupants bring to the space. You’ll see a mix of those in deep focus at private desks and others striking up engaging conversations at large shared tables.
They offer a lot of services like office-like amenities such as hot-desks, private meeting rooms, kitchens, coffee and more. Also encourage community and are cost effective. You get the opportunity to rent only what you need vs an entire private office space.
You have the options for daily fees or monthly fees. Membership costs for these spaces also differ based on whether you use a shared desk or want a dedicated one.
The Co-working Wiki says:
Beyond Just Creating Better Places To Work, Co-Working Spaces Are Built Around The Idea Of Community-Building And Sustainability. Co-Working Spaces Agree To Uphold The Values Set Forth By Those Who Developed The Concept In The First Place: Collaboration, Community, Sustainability, Openness, And Accessibility.
WHO USES COWORKING SPACES
A co-working space attracts a whole lot of people, but here are some of the usual suspects.
Co-working spaces create the best of both worlds for freelancers: The flexibility of choosing your own hours and schedule without the isolation. These shared spaces are thus great for freelancers. A feeling of community is created for those that would otherwise be forced to work alone at home, or a coffee shop.
Start-ups appreciate the flexibility of co-working spaces. Co-working spaces don’t come with the high costs and commitments of a traditional office leases.
They also provide the chance for small teams to interact with others in the space. These spaces also may even help entrepreneurs find a co-founder for their start-up by connecting the right people at the right time.
A team of researchers have been studying the effects of co-working on productivity and recently recounted some of their findings in the The Harvard Business Review.
To put all of this into perspective, here is a video from Hub Australia Co-working Space
WHY SHOULD YOU USE A CO-WORKING SPACE
Coven works went on to mention some advantages of co-working spaces, some of which are a creative environment and the sense of community from like-minded professionals.
Others experience when they have a regular office to go to and coworkers to bond with–even from simple acts like greeting each other at the start of the day or sharing a coffee break.
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Many co-working spaces offer amenities like kitchens stocked with snacks and beverages, high-speed internet, printers, meeting rooms, and even couches and other places to take a comfortable break.
They also offer flexibility, networking opportunities, helps maintain your freelancing freedom and they boost your productivity.
According to an article on co-working spaces by chargespot.com, The freelance economy is growing. Younger members of the workforce, such as Millennials or Gen Z are increasingly finding themselves in freelance work. Currently there are 53 million freelancers in the US. By the time we reach 2020, 50% of the American workforce will consist of freelancers (both full and part-time).This in turn will give rise to more co-working spaces.
In case you are in need of a co-working space, check out Symmetry50 list of work spaces around the world.