What is a Coworking Space

Thirty years ago, permanent office spaces were an unavoidable aspect of doing business. Companies needed a space to work, a space to meet with clients, a space for their employees and coworkers, room for office equipment, a separate phone line, and so forth..


Even small businesses, freelancers, and those who were self-employed were not exempt from the high cost of a permanent lease. For these, the cost of their lease often had a dramatic impact on their profit margins, and in some cases, it made the cost of doing business too prohibitive..


Times have changed, and alternatives have become available that have made doing business much easier for many people. One of these is the coworking model of office space: a new way of doing business that reduces overhead and offers a flexible solution to those who need it..


COWORKING SPACE: BASIC DEFINITION.

Coworking spaces are a form of on-demand office space. However, they’re unique in that they possess several distinct characteristics..


First, coworking spaces are built using an open floor plan which facilitates a shared work environment. Rather than discrete offices, or even individual cubicles, the setup more closely resembles a classroom, with those in the space enjoying close proximity to other professionals, and no dividers between them..


Second, the organization that manages the office (whether that’s the owner or the lessor of the space) does not employ the professionals who use the space. Instead, usage of office space and office facilities are rented out on an on-demand basis, and the occupants on any given day may be different from the previous day..


Lastly, coworking spaces are typically characterized by occupants of various employers and forms of employment. Coworking spaces are usually home to a variety of professionals, from freelancers and self-employed individuals, to entrepreneurs and solopreneurs, or to larger organizations that need extra space..


Coworking spaces are far from rare. In fact, they’ve become rather popular in recent years, with providers offering office space around the world. Think of a city that’s a major hub for business, and odds are there are coworking spaces available there..


THE ADVANTAGES OF COWORKING SPACES.

There are a number of benefits that can be enjoyed by utilizing a coworking space, regardless of whether you have a desk in a traditional office or you’re a work-from-home type. If you do work from home, coworking spaces can help you avoid the isolation of working in a home office. It offers you a chance to leave the house, associate with other professionals, and you avoid the temptation of simply crawling back into bed..


Coworking spaces also offer a less disruptive alternative to coffee shops (as well as the danger of an open wifi connection). There’s much less noise, fewer people, and people are much more respectful with their conversations. Moreover, coffee shops tend to be short on office equipment. For those who need a fully functional office while traveling, coworking spaces can provide an excellent solution..


Perhaps the biggest advantage is the reduced overhead. Permanent leases can charge you thousands (or tens of thousands, for larger organizations) a month. Especially for professionals who don’t do all their work chained to their desk, that can be an unfavorable arrangement. Coworking spaces, meanwhile, are much more affordable, and you’re only charged for what you use. If you only spend five hours a day in the office, that’s what you pay for..


Beyond that, there are a couple other advantages. For one, coworking spaces surround you with a community of like-minded professionals—professionals who see the value in flexible office space that meets the needs of their nebulous work schedule..


Coworking spaces also often give you access to on-demand meeting spaces, so you have a professional and functional space to meet with clients, partners, investors, and more. For those who work from home, it’s a dramatic improvement from meeting in the living room..


Uilizing coworking spaces makes a wealth of advantages and benefits available to you. That’s because coworking spaces are an effective way to provide yourself and your business with the flexible and adaptable office space you need, at a price that’s much more conducive to business..


TARGET CLIENTELE OF COWORKING SPACES.

Coworking spaces are designed to offer a more attractive alternative to permanent office space. They’re designed with you in mind. After all, not everyone works a standard nine-to-five. Even for those who do work in a traditional office, sometimes companies need somewhere to put their employees, whether that’s because they’re renovating their office, transitioning to a bigger space, or are struggling to handle some growing pains..


So who stands to benefit from a coworking space? That all depends on circumstance, but typical clientele for a coworking space includes the following:.


  • Freelance professionals
  • Consultants
  • Remote workers
  • Digital nomads
  • Road warriors
  • Legal professionals
  • Tech startups
  • Programmers
  • Designers
  • Advertising professionals
  • Medium-large businesses that either need short-term or long-term space for some (or all) of their team

If any of these describe you or your business, and you’ve struggled with balancing the freedom you need against the office functionality you don’t want to pay for, then a coworking space may be the solution to your problems.