The concept of coworking has gained a lot of popularity in the last few years. This new and dynamic market has been growing at a rate of 24 percent annually and is predicted to grow further. Namely, until 2022, we can expect some 30,000 coworking spaces and more than 5 million coworking members around the world. Coworking can be very useful for all sorts of freelancers and digital nomads, but it has proven to provide value for up-and-coming startups and big corporations as well.
Nowadays, small businesses and startups have a great opportunity to inspire growth, encourage innovations and boost creativity among their employees by going for coworking offices instead of traditional office buildings or telecommuting. There are several good reasons to make this choice.
First of all, coworking offers a great deal of flexibility to companies. With traditional offices, there’s a problem of scalability, since you’re often expected to rent them for at least 6 months or a year. This means that in case of a rapid and unexpected business development you still have a financial commitment that makes it much harder for your startup to expand or move. Renting practices are much more flexible with coworking spaces and you can basically leave in a matter of days should you decide to move due to the growth of your business.
Moreover, coworking is simply cheaper than renting offices. When you’re on a tight budget, choosing coworking can give you more financial freedom to invest in people, equipment and your business in general.
Employees in startups that are based on telecommuting are in danger of getting too isolated from their fellow coworkers and often don’t have the feeling they’re a part of a bigger organization. This can be a bit of a motivation killer. You can’t really expect spectacular breakthroughs from workers who spend days alone in their room, sitting on a chair and watching reruns of their favorite shows during lunch break.
Coworking offers an advantage over working from home insofar as it keeps people from distractions they have at home. Furthermore, it helps employees separate home and work affairs, which can be extremely important in order to keep their motivation high. Failing to separate these two can lead to exhaustion and loss of ambition. Sometimes these people basically have no rest but don’t deliver results which causes lack of confidence and enthusiasm.
Being surrounded by creative and dedicated people who are passionate about their job can be very inspirational. Encouraging your workers to speak up and express their ideas at brainstorming sessions is the best foundation for developing groundbreaking concepts. And it’s not just about your own employees influencing each other – the whole coworking environment suits dynamic spirits and innovative thinkers. It’s no wonder that some of the best software development companies today actually started their journey from a coworking space.
Feeling that you’re a part of a community can give genuine meaning to your work and an additional reason for every employee to get up in the morning. Finally, having a good atmosphere around your team is crucial for carrying out everyday tasks. Namely, as much as 86 percent of employees blame lack of communication and collaboration for workplace failures. Have this in mind when picking your team and the right environment for them.
Networking and collaboration
For young startups, initial growth is largely dependent on the ability to find clients and gain new contacts. It’s not that easy to accomplish this while sitting at home or in a coffee shop, roaming through random LinkedIn profiles. And in this context, there aren’t many better places than coworking spaces to meet new people that can be of help.
They could be very convenient if you want to connect with the talented and enthusiastic people from the same industry. These people can introduce you to possible future clients and investors. And if you find another company in your coworking office whose employees’ knowledge and work ethics you really admire, you could even suggest working on a new project together. An exchange of fresh and original ideas from two different organizations can have very exciting results.
Finally, you can even find freelancers with skills that your startup needs, whether short-term or on the long run. For instance, you can find a web designer to help you with visuals for your business’ social media or a quality developer that could build and maintain your website.
Learning from others
Having other companies and experts around you can be of use not just for collaboration, but also if you simply want to learn some new tricks from them. Most of the startups you’re going to be surrounded with are probably on more-less the same level as your organization, but some of them have simply been there for a longer period of time. Hearing about their experiences and learning from their mistakes and achievements can be very valuable.
Choose the right coworking space
In order to learn anything useful from others at the coworking office or to collaborate with them, you need to make sure that the companies you share the space with share the same values and goals. Otherwise, you could experience some undesired effects and bad influences. Therefore, first you have to know who these people around you are, what line of work they’re in and what their codes and beliefs are.
Secondly, you need to be certain that the facilities are good enough for your business, your employees, as well as your clients. Have in mind that you’ll be meeting your clients there – a lot of coworking spaces have their own meeting and conference rooms you can use for this purpose. Also, try to find out what kind of events (if any) they organize and whether they offer incentives, mentorship or any kind of support for promising startups. Lastly, try to simply feel the vibe this place radiates and decide whether you and your employees can make it your home for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.
All in all, coworking spaces offer a dynamic and vibrant environment that can definitely boost your team’s enthusiasm and stimulate their creativity. The concept of coworking perfectly fits the way that up-and-coming, promising businesses of the future will work. If you’re careful enough when choosing the right place and right people that’ll be surrounding you for a while, coworking can largely benefit your startup and motivate your employees to develop fresh, groundbreaking ideas.