What is Coworking?

By: Elizabeth Piela Office Manager for The O Co Working at Backyard Dream

Let’s just get right into it, what exactly is coworking? It’s not as technical and official as it sounds. Have you ever worked or studied in a coffee shop, library, or computer lab? If you have, then you already have a taste of the coworking lifestyle.

Although similar to each of the places listed above, a coworking space falls somewhere in the middle. It offers the same environment as a library, study room, or computer lab, but without the need to stay quiet. Just as easily as you can put on your headphones and escape into your work zone, you also have the freedom to take a ten-minute work break chatting with the person seated next to you. It is, however, much quieter than a coffee shop since everyone in the space has the same goal and purpose. While talking is not discouraged, there also aren’t large groups of friends getting together for the first time in years, reminiscing about past nights out while laughing louder and louder, all while talking over each other. A coworking space also offers a pleasant alternative to taking up a seat from other customers for hours on end. So chances are, if you are reading this, you have coworked many times in your life already!

The O Members trying Kombucha from House of Nutrition

Oh, you have a home office? Did you know that after a single distraction it takes an average of 25 minutes for your brain to refocus and get back on task? That means if in one day at home you have to let the dog out, fold a load of laundry, remember that you didn’t do the dishes from last night, and answer the door for a package delivery you’ve lost about two hours of work already! When you are working from home constantly it is so easy to be distracted with day to day tasks that are in no way business related. Don’t get me wrong, working from home is great! I love being home, actually I would probably never leave my house if I didn’t have to! But, I would also be missing out on so many opportunities and relationships from other people who know a lot more than I do about, well, everything. It is so easy to get into the habit of never establishing a work life that’s separate from your home life that you almost forget what it was like. From a few of the members that we have, we have heard endlessly about how they are now able to “leave work at work” so much easier than when they only worked at home or coffee shops. Establishing a place in your head where work happens frees up your mind when you are not physically in that place. That alone is beyond valuable.

Now that you know what coworking is, you’re probably wondering “Ok great, but how is this useful to me?” Well, don’t worry, I am ready and willing to tell you! When we started this coworking space we had a few goals in mind. The main goal, however, was to add a valuable place to the community for the other small business owners or people who work from home. Starting a business is hard, especially when you are all on your own. We really wanted to build a place to bring people who are in similar situations together. Everyone here works independently, but connections can’t help but be made naturally when you are around other like-minded people. It forces you into an environment full of people who have gone through, or are currently going through the same exact challenges, questions, and concerns that fill your head and keep you awake at night. It’s true what they say, that it takes a village (yes, I know this saying is about raising children, but let’s be honest our businesses are our babies). So why wouldn’t you want to grow relationships that are beneficial for everyone involved? We are all stronger together.

Members, Connie and Matt using the open seating