Picture this: you’re stuck at home, working, losing track of time, not getting enough done. The isolation of at-home work is taking its toll. You don’t know where to find new motivation. Enter: Coworking. Coworking spaces are affordable, rentable office spaces designed for independent employees, small businesses, and remote workers.
As the gig economy and remote work options have increased, so has the need for new office concepts. And the proof is in the numbers: in 2010, the US had only 283 coworking spaces. In 2019, that number is 5,026 and will continue to grow. Every coworking concept is different, but the basics are a combination of offices or common space plus meeting areas or conference rooms that are available for daily, monthly, or yearly rates.
So, how do you know if coworking is right for you? Let’s dive into the benefits and types of coworking spaces so you can see if coworking could help you and your business.
Benefits of Coworking
Coworking has tons of benefits, but one of the biggest is the ability to separate your work and personal life. As anyone who operates out of a home office knows, it can be hard to “turn off” at the end of the work day. Coworking gives you a separate space to work, and if you go for a private office or desk, you can even keep all of your work supplies and papers out of your home.
Coworking also gives you an opportunity to enhance the professionalism of your business. You can host clients at the building rather than a public spot or in your home. Some coworking sites may also give you a mailing address to use on business cards and your website.
Another benefit of coworking is the potential networking opportunities. Working from home can be isolating; coworking spaces give you an opportunity to meet other people. Industry colleagues, vendors, potential clients – either through water cooler chat or formal networking events, coworking expands your professional and personal network.
As coworking evolves, some are even expanding to offer other services. Gyms, fitness classes, food delivery, and childcare are all popping up as add-on services.
Another way to elevate your business? NetLines business phone service. NetLines gives you a separate business number on your personal smartphone with advanced business features such as an auto attendant and dial-by-name directory, so you can increase professionalism and keep your work and personal life separate.
Types of Coworking Spaces
Every coworking space is unique and has a unique feel, so there’s nothing like researching and visiting the options in the area. However, there are some common types of memberships or spaces to understand when searching for your business’ new home:
The ultimate in privacy: A dedicated office space will give you the option to shut the door and get your work done. You may be able to have multiple employees in one office or enough space for clients or customers to visit.
A dedicated desk is like having your own cubicle. It’s not as private as a dedicated office, but you’ll have an open spot every time you come to work. Many dedicated desks also have storage options or let you leave a monitor or computer at your desk, so you don’t have to lug equipment and papers back and forth each day.
Most coworking spaces have a combo of dedicated desks and offices as well as common areas. Meant to mimic a coffee shop or a library, these are often the most affordable memberships. You simply come in, grab a seat at a big table, and get to work on your laptop.
Minimal coworking spaces are even more basic. Often founded by coworkers themselves, they have just the essentials – like tables and a coffee maker. These spaces are ultimately dependent on the owner’s vision, and may serve a specific market, like developers.
Is Coworking Right For You?
If you like the idea of a home away from home to get your work done, research the options near you and make sure to consider how you like to work. Coworking spaces aren’t a “must have”, but, they are a great way to elevate your professionalism while offering a number of other benefits. It could be the thing that takes your business to the next level!