So, coworking; you have probably heard a fair bit about it, especially in recent years. And you might have thought to yourself that it sounds vaguely hipster-ish – like a cereal café, perhaps, or beard oil and moustache wax. In other words, it may seem like something a bit ‘different’, remote, and not very relevant to you.
But does that perception much reflect reality, especially in 2022? No, not really. So, what actually is a coworking space, and how does it work?
Coworking: A Concept That Has Gained Ever-greater Relevance
If we were to look at the dictionary definition of “coworking” given by Merriam-Webster, we would be presented with the following: “being, related to, or working in a building where multiple tenants (such as entrepreneurs, start-ups, or nonprofits) rent working space (such as desks or offices) and have the use of communal facilities.”
So, from that, you basically already know what a coworking office space is. It’s not entirely unlike a ‘traditional’ office, in that it is a professional space housing the equipment and amenities that help its occupants to work – the desks, chairs, superfast broadband, video conferencing, printing facilities, and so on.
But the key difference is that while – in a more ‘traditional’ private office – you might expect only your business and its employees to be based there, in a coworking space, there is a greater sense of community with others.
The clue is in the term “coworking”; in one of these spaces, you could be sitting at a desk quite literally rubbing shoulders with an architect or graphic design freelancer who has nothing to do with your business. Meanwhile, on the other side, you might have a tech entrepreneur who usually works from home, but who has dropped in for the day with his or her laptop.
Some of these people with which you share your coworking space might run established companies, while others may be setting up small firms of their own for the first time. But the fact that you are all sharing a working space together could greatly heighten the likelihood of you all starting to talk to each other… and who knows what collaborative possibilities could arise from there.
As you can probably imagine, the relevance of coworking spaces has been underlined by the sheer turbulence and unpredictability of the COVID-19 crisis and its associated economic effects. Indeed, you might think of it as a ‘stepping stone’ between working from home and establishing a more permanent and formal presence in an office that your company occupies by itself.
How Else Does a Coworking Space Differ from A Traditional Office?
So far from reading this article, you might be thinking that the communal vibe of a coworking space sounds all very ‘groovy’.
But coworking isn’t merely ‘cool’ – it also has very practical benefits in the form of its flexibility. That is particularly useful for many entrepreneurs and workers amid the current global economic uncertainty when it might seem far from certain to them what their situation will even be in another six months’ time.
To explain that ‘flexibility’, let’s use the example of our own coworking office space in Essex here at CREATE Business Hub. We give you so many options for how you might work in our space. So, if you are currently a solo entrepreneur or freelancer, you may choose to start off with a ‘hot desk’ arrangement, whereby you simply turn up, grab a desk space, plug into our rapid broadband, and get on with your work.
However, as you begin to build up your business and gain staff, you might like the idea of moving to a ‘fixed desk’. And if you reach the point of having a team of as many as 11 people, it may seem the right moment to shift again, into a private, lockable office. Although – again, going by that ‘flexibility’ watchword – you could also simply book one of our private offices for one morning, afternoon or full day. That’s a very different fee structure to the deposits and minimum stay requirements that traditional private offices tend to be associated with.
Hopefully, the above will have given you a good appreciation of how a coworking office space functions – and the fact that it’s very far from ‘just another’ type of office space. If it sounds like a solution that could be a great match to your needs as a professional, why not get in touch with the CREATE Business Hub team now, to find out more about how our facilities and services could help you?