One of the benefits of working remotely can be a flexible lifestyle and the opportunity to work wherever you please. However, many independent workers also miss the social interaction and networking opportunities of a face-to-face workplace. Enter the coworking space! What was in the mid 1990s a radical revision to the modern workspace, is now common amongst the 21st century’s knowledge economy. Today, coworking involves renting out a desk or area of a shared workspace where you’re in the presence of a variety of other independent workers. The ability to network and be exposed to a sense of community are two of the main reasons that many of today’s remote workers are seeking out these spaces. So is coworking right for you? Read below for an insight into today’s nomadic workforce.
Technology is the cornerstone of this type of flexible working and it follows that a coworking space will have very good quality internet, even though it is commonplace for the workers themselves to bring their own equipment like laptops, headsets and other tools, for say, graphic design. A well equipped coworking space will also provide breakout areas, conferencing rooms, MFD printers and user pays corporate and business services for administration, transcriptions or other standard services. In addition to this, many will offer frequent social and/or upskilling events and workshops, encouraging people to collaborate and learn. This often leads to additional work for people who work in these shared spaces. Higher end facilities may also offer a gym, function space and food and beverage facilities.
Sometimes marketed as a ‘curated community,’ the clientele of shared workspaces tend to be those who seek somewhere to work, but want to belong or contribute to an environment of like-minded people. This is in terms of those with a similar mind set, but differ in terms of skill set! Recent studies have indicated that the desire to belong to a community is more important to many coworkers over having an actual place to work. After all, if you can work anywhere, wouldn’t you want to do in your pjs at home?
Many of today’s coworkers operate in tech and business fields such as web design, coding and software development. The creative industries are also well represented through graphic designers, media or marketing gurus and writers of various types. Consultants across a myriad of industries will also be present as well as many start ups. Although you may get the vibe that coworking spaces are for the young and trendy, you’ll typically find a mix of ages, depending on the type of site you visit.
If you’re a landlord, this is good news. Whilst offering your commercial property for lease for hot desking alone has more potential for unanticipated vacancies, a coworking space will offer a number of membership tiers that encourage regular and ongoing use. This can help to plan for expected rental income and allow for a lower turn-over of tenants, typically meaning a space will be more nurtured by those utilising it.