What Are the Advantages of Working in a Coworking Space?

If you live in or near a big city, you’ve likely noticed at least one coworking space appear, seemingly out of nowhere. Over the past 10 years or so, coworking spaces have gone from being a rare novelty, reserved only for a handful of cities in the United States, to being so commonplace that it’s stranger when a city doesn’t have one. You can find coworking spaces in cities from Hollywood to Madison, Wisconsin, and most of them follow a similar formula; for a monthly (or sometimes weekly) subscription fee, you can gain access to all the office amenities you’d get from a conventional workplace. You can also pay a day rate and visit for the day.

So what are the advantages of working in a coworking space, and why have they become so popular?

The Benefits of Coworking

Coworking spaces offer many advantages to the people using them:

A productive environment. While working remotely is shown to actively increase productivity, many people feel they’re working at their best when they’re in a shared, office-like environment. If you’re new to working from home, you might feel sluggish when you’re all alone in your pajamas, with the temptations of the refrigerator and the TV nearby. Working in a coworking space gives you structure, and surrounds you with other people; most of the time, this keeps you more accountable, and helps you get more done during the day.

Reduced office expenses. If you’re an entrepreneur looking to start a business with a semi-conventional office atmosphere, you can turn to coworking spaces to save costs. A conventional office lease could cost thousands, or even tens of thousands of dollars a month, depending on where it’s located. In a coworking space, you’ll pay a small fraction of that, depending on how many people you have and how much space you want to occupy. You can also scale your business reliably with a coworking space, gradually taking on more space for your business.

Better client impressions. If you’re working as an independent contractor or you’re running your own business from home, you may not want to invite your clients to your home directly. You’ll want to make a better first impression on them, and coworking spaces give you that opportunity. You can rent a meeting room or an office, even if it’s just for a day.

An alternative work location. Even if you like working from home, dealing with the same exact work environment every day can easily lead to burnout. Coworking spaces give you one (or several) alternative work locations you can use to spice things up. If it suits you, you can jump from location to location, working at several places over the course of a week. This is especially valuable if you mix in caf├ęs, parks, libraries, and other unusual locations.

An opportunity to meet new people. Coworking spaces attract a diversity of different professionals, including contractors, entrepreneurs, and travelers who are only in town temporarily. Visiting a space, even if it’s only for a day, gives you a chance to meet those interesting people—possibly introducing you to new clients, new business partners, new employees, new mentors, or just some people to share an engaging conversation with.

Collaborative potential. Though some coworking spaces deviate from the norm, most are centralized around big, open collaborative spaces, with private offices on the sidelines. People are encouraged to work next to each other, and in some cases, with each other. If you bring your partners and employees, you can collaborate more effectively, and if you meet a like-minded professional, you can easily work together on a new project.

Absolute flexibility. One of the best perks of a coworking space is its flexibility. If you only need the space for a month, you can subscribe for a month and cancel. If you need it for a day, you pay the day rate. You only pay for the amount of space you need, and in most locations, you can come and go as you please.

Support while traveling. If you find yourself traveling to new cities often, coworking spaces are an absolute godsend. They’re a reliable, convenient place to get some work done when you have a few extra hours to kill.

A Growing Trend

The State of Coworking Spaces – Statistics and Trends - infographic
Infographic courtesy of: GoGlobe.

Thanks to the increasing number of people working from home and the growing state of entrepreneurship in the United States, coworking spaces are getting to be in further increased demand. This trajectory will likely continue indefinitely, with new coworking spaces popping up all over major cities throughout the country and memberships growing for the coworking spaces that already exist. If you haven’t yet tried one, and you travel frequently or work remotely, you should give one a try.

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