For the past two years I’ve heard loud and clear (direct from Conjunctured members) why coworking is the way to go for them. We’ve been open for a little more than two years now and I’ve spoken with just about everyone that has walked in the front door. Members, visitors, and I have discussed all kinds of things. Specific to coworking, we’ve talked about what they’re looking for in an office, complaints about their previous setup, their experience working from home, the positives of being in a coworking environment, the negatives of being in a normal office, etc.
I decided I would share some of these things I’ve learned in a top list of sorts for coworking. I tried to make it general and not super specific to how Conjunctured does coworking. Every coworking space does things a little bit different, so I tried to focus on the commonalities. This list will be good for those of you out there that are considering coworking, but you’re just not sure if it’s really the right solution for you. Or perhaps you’re trying to convince a friend (or spouse!) of yours they need to get the heck outta the house! Feel free to send them this list to nudge them along and direct them to the nearest coworking space in their city or neighborhood. There’s coworking locations all over the globe, with a coworking space in pretty much every major USA city (see graphic below). No excuses!
So, without further adieu…14 Reasons Why Joining a Coworking Space Beats Renting Your Own Private Office Space
No lease! Coworking is month-to-month.
Most commercial office spaces require you to sign at least a one year lease and many times even longer. Commitment issues? Flexibility is the name of the game in the fast-paced world of entrepreneurship.
Working alone sucks: the need for social interaction.
In your own private office, yes, you can shut the door and concentrate. But the lack of human interaction for some is very difficult. After all, human beings are naturally social creatures. Simply being in a coworking spaces will give you that social element without you even having to try.
Office spaces are expensive! Coworking grants you low startup costs and low overhead
As much as people join coworking spaces for social reasons, it is hard to deny the logical reasoning. Moving into your own private office costs money. Furniture, equipment, monthly utilities, internet access, fridge (and everything to stock it with) —- all of it costs money! Wouldn’t you rather spend the money investing in your company and simply borrow all the office stuff? Coworking gives you that option.
A unique place to meet clients.
Yes, a private office gives you the opportunity to do this too. Many times, though, coworkers enjoy bringing clients by and sharing what an innovative workspace they work in. Choosing to headquarter your company in a coworking space shows your client you’re on the edge of innovation and apart of the small business community in your local city.
Make professional contacts.
There’s something about coworking spaces that attract specialists in their industries. As a result, working in a coworking space rather than a private office space allows you to weed through the mediocre professionals and jump straight to the best. It’s very common for people to hire each other as contractors, establish mutually beneficial partnerships between member companies in related fields, and even to start up companies together. It happens more often than you think.
There’s something about being around the same people every day that allows you to slowly get to know one another. Friendship is pretty hard to guarantee, but it’s pretty easy to make a friend or ten when you work in a coworking space. It’s very common for people to go to lunch together, grab drinks after, do weekend trip together, etc.
Receive pro-bono consulting.
Need an opinion on your company’s new logo? How about you lean over to the graphic designer next to you and get his quick opinion. Need feedback on your new headline for your soon-to-be-submitted advertisement? Ask the copywriter down the hall to give it a quick read. The scenarios are endless. Certainly, you don’t want to bug someone and get free advice all the time. The law of reciprocation definitely holds true in a coworking space. With a spirit of giving, often you get much more in return.
Learn about and become a part of the local entrepreneur, social media, tech community.
Many coworking spaces host events for local meetups and get togethers. And if they don’t, many times the members are attending them, so all you have to do is keep your ears open and you’ll naturally learn the inside scoop on the important events to attend.
Share important contacts
Coworking is a perfect example of the “six degrees of separation” philosophy. Example: At Conjunctured, we share media contacts we have good relationships with so that when one member needs to get some press attention it’s just a matter of an introduction.
Build yours and your company’s brand and reputation.
Often times coworking spaces will promote their members to the local community. Conjunctured has a specialists page where we promote freelancers, a members directory, and also have a weekly featured member that is spotlighted on the main page.
Have a cool place to host company events, workshops, parties
Often times if you were to get a private office, it wouldn’t be as spacious as a coworking space. Most coworking spaces allow their members to utilize the space however they want as if it were their own. At Conjunctured we’ve hosted company launch parties, a book release party, organization meetings, workshops and more. Members have a free for all and genuinely feel like it is their office.
Be more productive.
It seems counterintuitive that being around other people would cause you to be more productive, doesn’t it? There’s this interesting phenomenon coworking seems to have discover: social pressure. There’s something to be said for being surrounded by others who are working hard, staying focused, and making big things happen. There’s something about overhearing your coworking neighbor close a big deal on the phone that’ll get you motivated to make big things happen too! It’s hard to daydream and stare off into space too much when you’re around others.
Experience a pet-friendly work environment
Many coworking spaces allow pets. Animals bring a new dynamic to the workplace. There’s something about having pets around that keeps things fresh and fun. See our blog post: Coworking’s Best Friend.
Learning little things you wouldn’t expect.
Many coworkers at Conjunctured have learned to make a barista quality latte on our commercial quality espresso machine. It’s a fun talent that many enjoy sharing with others. No doubt there have been a few that have brushed up on their chess skills and their guitar skills at Conjunctured, as they’re both just there, waiting to be played. We even had one member start trying the crossfit workout program after another member spoke so highly of it. And we have shared library where members bring in books that were integral to their professional and personal growth. With a spirit of sharing and community, learning comes naturally.
I hope this list was helpful to you! If you can think of more ideas I forgot on why joining a coworking space rocks, then by all means comment below!
He is the co-founder of Conjunctured, Austin’s original coworking community. Conjunctured supports the business+heart+cultureeco-system and holds space for a more connected and harmonious co-existence.
Latest posts by David Walker (see all)
- Guest Post: Thoughts on Corporate Coworking - November 5, 2013
- Code for America’s Civic Innovation Hackathon to be hosted at Conjunctured 2/25/12 - February 20, 2012
- 14 Reasons Why Joining a Coworking Space Beats Renting Your Own Private Office Space - October 17, 2010