As the business sector continues to proceed into the direction of telecommuting, the use of coworking spaces is becoming more and more popular for small businesses and start-ups.
According to Forbes, over 30 million Americans telecommute for work. Despite its convenience, the ability to perform work from home has created new problems. Some of the biggest problems include loneliness and a lack of an interactive work environment. Fortunately, with new problems come new solutions.
To provide a workspace that telecommuters crave, coworking spaces have been popping up all over the United States. Coworking spaces have been designed to help to create an enjoyable work environment that allows for collaboration and convenience.
An article published in the 2015 September issue of the Harvard Business Review found telecommuters who use coworking spaces tend to see their work as more meaningful, feel a greater sense of control over their work, and enjoy the community aspect that coworking spaces provide.
How Do Coworking Spaces Work?
For a fee, telecommuters are able to have a physical work location with everything needed to get their work done. Many telecommuters crave a sense of community and a workspace that helps to limit distractions and give structure, which is exactly what coworking spaces are designed to do.
Most coworking spaces have amenities such as kitchens stocked with a variety of snacks and drinks, high-speed internet, printers, rooms to have meetings, and even communal areas with couches where workers can take a break before heading back to work.
Coworking spaces tend to be great for networking. As people come together to work, they are able to form relationships that help to improve, not only their business life, but their personal life as well. Some coworking spaces provide events to promote engagement as part of a community, exchange ideas, and have some fun!
By using coworking spaces, telecommuters are able to limit distractions that come from working at home, such as pets, kids, television, books, delivery drivers, and more. Having a coworking space also helps to limit stress, as workers are able to have a space for work that is separate from their personal life.
Many coworking spaces are open 24/7 so that members can come and work whenever they please. This is essential for many telecommuters who have odd working hours and need a work environment that is flexible.
Are coworking spaces a good fit for a small business?
It depends, but in most cases, the answer is yes.
It is often really important for small businesses to keep costs down. Having a private office can be very expensive and its associated costs can really cause a problem for start-ups. Fortunately, coworking spaces are extremely affordable and costs are substantially lower than having a private office.
Many small business owners use coworking spaces as it does not make sense for them to have a private office. Typical office-leasing can take months to get set up. Even when a small business owner finds a place, they’ll need to negotiate a lease, design a layout, buy furniture, and get all the equipment set up before being able to use the space.
With a coworking space, however, it is already set up and ready to use from day one, complete with desk space, internet, meeting rooms, and more. And if something goes wrong, such as the printer jamming, the coworking space has people there to fix it. With this perk, however, customization is often not allowed, and small businesses must be okay with the setup of the coworking space.
Another thing that small business owners tend to love about coworking spaces is the community that is formed. This is the perfect setup to allow for networking. This allows business owners to help each other out, exchange ideas, and grow their businesses.
Many business owners, however, prefer privacy. Thus, many coworking spaces offer glass walls to meet this need.
The convenience of a coworking space is another perk that can really benefit small business owners. Some workspaces come with assigned desks and equipment, so workers do not have to worry about taking their belongings home every night, or using their personal cell phones.
In conclusion, coworking spaces provide a sense of community, convenience, reduction in expenses, and a great place for telecommuters to come together to collaborate and network in a positive work environment. Each coworking space comes with different pros and cons, so it is important that small business owners do their research to find a coworking space that fits their business’ need.