January 26th, 2016 by Natalie Rowley
What is co-working?
The use of an office or other working environment by people who are self-employed or working for different employers, typically so as to share equipment, ideas, and knowledge.
“The whole idea of co-working is to bring bright, creative people together and let the ideas collide”
Co-working is growing ever more popular amongst the self-employed, freelancers and one-man-bands of the business world. There are currently more than 400 x more co-working spaces than this time 3 years ago. But what is it about this working environment that is pulling these individuals away from their home offices and into the world of co-working?
When joining a co-working space you instantly become a part of a living, breathing community; “me” becomes “we”. Workers are no longer alone and isolated with just the cat for company, but they are out there immersed, interacting and learning from one another. The great thing about this community is that it is made up of talented individuals each with their own unique skills and talents. Need help updating your webpage? Stuck on a design for your logo? Chances are you will be working with someone who can help you or refer you to a trusted person they may use themselves.
Co-workers always seem to be in the know. If there’s a networking event or local award show, co-workers will always share this information with one another because they love to see each other thrive and succeed.
Working for yourself can be great but there can also be scary, daunting times for small business owners. Working in a co-working environment, chances are you are going to be surrounded by people who have faced similar challenges and survived them. Sharing solutions to daily problems and being able to ask for advice from a supportive group of people means your business can stride from strength to strength.
Co-working spaces do not tend to have typical office culture nor do they have the usual politics. In fact, 90% of co-workers stated that they felt an increased level of self-confidence after working in a shared space and felt they could be their true self.
There is a very collaborative culture within co-working communities. Co-workers regularly work together on projects and spark ideas off one another for future projects. It has been reported that 71% of workers have experienced a boost in creativity since joining their co-working clan. Some larger corporations are actually providing co-working space to external businesses within their large offices to spur innovation and encourage the same collaborative culture within their organisation.
Working from home you may be able to wake up when you like, have as many breaks as you fancy and even stay in your onesie all day, but when it comes to getting things done is this really a good thing? When working from home, there are an infinite number of distractions that can keep you from staying on task. From chasing after children to cleaning the floors or even getting stuck watching some dull daytime television, there are many things in the home can make it near impossible to structure your working day. Over 60% of co-workers have reported that they have seen an improvement in the standard of their work and are better able to complete tasks on time.
Getting out of the house, dressing in casual business attire and having this change of environment will not only improve your efficiency, but will also better your work-life balance. Your home should be your haven where you can switch off and focus on things other than work. Co-workers are able to relax at home when they have spent the day in the productive atmosphere of their shared workspace.
Co-working spaces more often than not, include a lot more than just a desk. Workers are able to take advantage of meeting rooms where they can meet with their clients in a professional, business environment. Most buildings will have a friendly reception desk to welcome any visitors and organise incoming post Tec Marina’s co-working space gives its workers free, unlimited access to premium hot drinks, meaning no more hefty bills after a day of working in over-priced coffee shops where you are guilted into buying something every 30 minutes to remain welcome on the premises. Our co-working desks also come with free access to our on-site gym facilities and any exercise classes that take place at Tec Marina, another reason to leave the house and come to work.
With more and more people taking the plunge into solopreneurship, co-working communities will continue to grow, thrive and achieve incredible things. If you are a freelancer, start up or small business owner looking to restore your work-life balance and get things done, get in touch or download our new brochure to find out more about Tec Marina’s inspiring co-working spaces