Co-working — the benefits of a growing global trend

Whether you’re a startup founder, a freelancer, a digital nomad or some other niche of the 21st century workforce I’m yet to discover, no doubt at some point you’ve considered the idea of using a co-working space.

It’s the idea that a group of individuals, with different agendas and desired outcomes, can work alongside each other in a serviced, purpose built office space to create an inviting community that inspires and connects its members.

Although working from home in the early stages of a business venture can be great for cutting costs it unfortunately, as we know, has its limitations and can lead to disturbances, reduced output and loneliness. Opting instead for a fully serviced personal office could appear a positive substitute, however with huge overheads and often long, inflexible leases, this quickly becomes unfeasible.

Co-working has risen to prominence over the past 10 years as an alternative solution for many stuck in this difficult position and provides heaps of other benefits, too. Check out my top 7 below and decide for yourself if co-working could be for you.

1. Increase productivity by surrounding yourself with others hard at work

Working at home can be a convenient option as you start out your business, but the opportunity to procrastinate and distract yourself can have a damaging effect onto daily progress. Swap that instead with a business focused, community driven environment that motivates you to be conscientious, and your productivity will rise.

2. Expand your network (without having to try too hard)

Taking up all your evenings and weekends with networking events is an exciting adventure for any young entrepreneur looking to progress their business, but can you really spare taking up all that free time? Choose to spend 3 days a week co-working instead, and you’ll naturally cross paths with others on the same wavelength as yourself. Additionally, it creates new and exciting opportunities to collaborate on different projects outside your usual remit, helping to expand the scope and reach of your business.

3. Decrease your feeling of isolation

Life for any freelancer/startup founder/small business owner can be lonely. Not having the chance to interact with others on a daily basis can have a damaging impact onto your personal well-being. Co-working is a great way to avoid this. Surrounding yourself with likeminded individuals and creating the opportunities for daily face-to-face interaction is something that should be prioritised.

4. Reduce overheads

Sharing workspace means you won’t have to fork out personally for the total bill of every amenity you choose to use each day. Superfast Wi-Fi and commercial grade printing come as standard in any well-established co-working space, as well as (if you’re lucky) free coffee and kitchen supplies. What’s not to like?

5. Flexibility

Being able to rent out space daily/weekly/monthly gives you the opportunity to create a transient lifestyle which every entrepreneur desires. Not having to be chained down by a long lease means you can react as circumstances change and adapt accordingly. It also means you can switch desks from Birmingham to Bali when those rainy Sundays get too much.

6. Scalability

The life of a startup can change and grow exponentially if the conditions are right. Having the option to scale as you demand it with no extra cost of having to move office blocks is a substantial bonus that any proactive founder should be considering.

7. Improve your work/life balance

Kitchen, to home office, to sofa, to bed is an unsustainable routine that can lead to a downward spiral for even the most upbeat and motivated professional. For your own sanity, and for the health of your business, it’s crucial to maintain a positive work-life balance. Co-working allows you to separate where you work and where you relax, creating a more manageable foundation from which to grow your company.

So maybe it’s time to jump on the bandwagon, don’t you think? With companies like WeWork (a global co-working brand) valued at over £12 billion, it’s clear that this growing trend is very much here to stay and not simply a passing fad.

Get involved and give yourself the best opportunity to grow that business idea into a reality.

Any questions feel free to drop me a line at jono@SYZO.co

Thanks :)