Coworking has become one of the fastest growing professional trends over the past few years. The concept may be new to some entrepreneurs in Flagler Beach, so we thought we’d answer the question: What is Coworking?
Coworking is a style of work where professionals, who are not necessarily employed by the same organization, share a physical workspace, and frequently have similar values and professional habits. They are also interested in the benefits that come from working alongside other talented professionals in the same space, including collaborating on projects, providing business advice or exchanging leads and referrals.
As it turns out, solopreneurs and small businesses have been coworking for decades; technically speaking, any shared office space would be considered coworking. For most, the benefits that come with coworking are typically referrals and business advice from experienced colleagues when it is required.
Coworking’s recent transformation from a verb to a noun.
Over the past few years, the concept of coworking has become very popular and the term coworking has morphed into a noun, used to describe a type of physical workspace. For the most part, coworking spaces are generally large, open and bright rooms with a more casual feel than traditional office space.
In most coworking spaces located in large cities, professionals can buy day passes to use a coworking center for about $40 per da. Monthly memberships that can range from $200 to $700 per month, with prices being higher for a dedicated workspace.
What is the work environment like in a coworking space?
Though you wouldn’t expect them to be, coworking spaces tend to be relatively quiet. Of course, different centers will have different cultures, and with that, different levels of acceptable noise.
While the design of each center may differ, they generally have the feel of a library, except more trendy. And like a library, there is a social expectation that people will not disturb each other.
This being said, interacting with peers is an integral part of the coworking experience. So, many coworking centers have separate lounge-style areas where members can converse, make phone calls and eat lunch.
What type of professionals use coworking space?
Coworking spaces are particularly popular with freelancers, like blog writers or webs designers, who would normally work from a home office.
It is also very popular with entrepreneurs, start-up companies, and small businesses, particularly in technology fields. Plus, large companies sometimes provide stipends for remote employees, who choose coworking centers that fit their style of work versus working from home.
Is coworking a viable option for small businesses and entrepreneurs?
Multi-professional coworking spaces can be viable for any entrepreneur, particularly those who work primarily from home but want an inexpensive professional workspace to use from time-to-time.
According to a recent Harvard Business Review study, professionals who cowork with their peers find more meaning in their work, have greater job control and value the potential for interactions with peers.
According to an independent study we performed with our clients:
- 83% say they are happier
- 86% noticed an increase in motivation, and
- 70% reported an increase in income.
So, if you are the type of person who can get work done in a coffee shop, then you can certainly get work done in an every-day coworking center.
Is a multi-professional coworking space a good environment for new business?
For B-to-B businesses, a coworking space with several other entrepreneurs may seem like a fertile environment to find new clients. And while it may seem that landing clients should be as easy as shooting fish in a barrel, it still takes some work. If properly built and administered, the community of the space may help you to make a few strategic introductions.
While business referrals are not uncommon, the most frequent and well-used benefit of coworking is the access to quick and free advice, entrepreneur to entrepreneur. Already we have seen several business owners at Ripple Coworking exchange ideas and offer advice to their colleagues down the hall.