Coworking is on the rise giving startups, smaller entrepreneurs and business owners a unique opportunity to have an office of their own and the other amenities that come along with it, without blowing their budget.
What is coworking? Coworking is the new, flexible way to go to work that meets the needs of the modern workforce. You rent the space you need from an office to a cubicle to a table in a common area. The feel of each coworking community is different, so try out the ones in your neighborhood. Many give free day passes just for this reason. Some focus on gender, or a specific industry, while others aim to attract the younger crowd and still others make it an inviting work space for all industries.
Here are some of the top 10 reasons why you may want to ditch the coffee house, or your kitchen table and move into a coworking space.
1. A ready- made office
You don’t have to purchase a desk, chair, printer or cables. Just come on in, sit down and get to work! And don’t forget about the unlimited coffee!
2. A community & resources
When you join a coworking space, you become integrated into a community who are passionate about their work and successes. This creates a workplace filled with highly-motivated people who in turn motivate you toward achieving your goals.
Resources abound at a coworking space. What do you need? Are you seeking someone with whom to consult, give or get referrals, expand your knowledge? All of these are at your fingertips once you join the coworking space that is right for you.
3. Network without trying
At a coworking space, you are stepping into a bounty of networking opportunities. You’ll meet exciting people with interesting projects and common interests. Many coworking spaces also host happy hours, events and seminars, giving you even more chances to network without having to go out to a new location.
4. A real meeting place
You may be comfortable going to the cafe to meet your existing or potential clients, but have you ever thought about what it looks like to your clients when the people at the table next to you are loud, rude or obnoxious? Or maybe your clients want to talk about a proprietary process or business idea and don’t want to do it within hearing distance of others. Your office at the café may be costing you a new client or an opportunity to land that next big account. Belonging to a coworking space gives you access to a private conference room with amenities such as video hookups and wifi to make your presentation pop. It also provides an atmosphere that shows your client that you are serious about your business. Try pulling that off at the café!
5. Get your happy on
Belonging to a coworking space will make you happier. Yes, that is a bold statement, but you’ll be happier because your productivity will go through the roof! And when you’re happy, you’re more positive. Happiness + Positivity = Productivity! Consider a coworking space as an investment in your future productivity, creativity and happiness. Now, that’s a priceless combination!
6. Guilt-free coffee
Do you feel guilted into purchasing a cup of coffee just to get the new wifi code? Are you tired of all the glaring looks you get from the baristas for sitting so long at the same table? Then it’s time for a change. Leave your guilt at home. Promise yourself from this day forward that you’re going to invest in a work space that treats you like the professional you are—and provides unlimited coffee, consistent and fast wifi and other services. Find one that fits your work needs, your personality and your caffeine requirements!
7. Space to grow your team
Your company is growing from one to two people. Where are you going to put your new employee? In the dining room? The bedroom, perhaps? Moving your company to a coworking space will allow you to purchase just enough room for you and your new hire, and if need be, your next hire and the one after that. All of that without a long-term lease. The coworking philosophy is built on flexibility, community and success—three essential elements needed to grow any company.
8. Learn something new
Many coworking spaces offer learning opportunities, such as community presentations, free workshops, seminars, mastermind groups, and more. You and your employees will have these educational opportunities at your fingertips without ever having to leave the office—a huge savings just in travel time and costs.
9. Work and life are out of balance
Working at home has some advantages. You can stay in your pajamas all day, and shower at your leisure. It also brings interruptions from your personal life—friends calling, household chores calling your name, and errands to do–creating an imbalance between what you want to do at home and what needs to be done to grow your business. Restore the balance in your life. Move to a coworking space and put boundaries between your work time and down time. Does this mean you won’t be occasionally answering that email in the middle of the night? No, but you’ll have the option to wait until morning, until you get back to the office.
10. No place else like a coworking space
Once you decide what you need to grow your business, you’ll be able to narrow down the kind of space that works for you. Do you want to stay close to home, or is being part of a community that is in line with your business goals more important? Do you want to be part of coworking space that only focuses on a particular industry, such as IT? Or one that is open to many types of businesses and new ventures? A space dedicated for women? Or one that is open and welcome to all?
Ask yourself these questions, write down your answers, and use this article as a guide. Decide what’s important to you, and if it is in line with your business goal for the year. Whatever you choose, joining a coworking space may be the most important thing you can do to take your idea from a hobby to a business, toward growth and profitability.
Judy Santos is the founder of OfficeSlice, the San Fernando Valley’s first coworking space. She is also the creator of the Business Builder Program a one- on- one 12 week coaching program designed to provide business owners with a road map to success. You can connect with her on LinkedIn, or visit the OfficeSlice website for more information on coworking.