One of the effects of the changing work environment is the increase in coworking spaces. Coworking spaces are a mix of shared office space, business centre, and café. They offer a fresh alternative to the restrictive rents and leases of traditional office spaces and commercial real estate. They are increasingly popular with about 17,000 coworking spaces across the world.
Benefits of coworking spaces
Coworking spaces are more cost-effective, saving startups and small businesses from restrictive rents and expensive lengthy commercial leases. Other costs like furniture, fast reliable internet, and even toners can begin to add up. All costs that are part of the payment. The deals are also flexible so you can terminate the relationship far easier than you can with a lease.
Community and collaboration
One of the biggest benefits of shared workspaces is the opportunity to connect with other individuals. Coworking spaces value collaboration, community, and learning. Most of the shared spaces have people from a wide range of fields. Working in proximity to others allows for quick collaboration to occur. The culture of collaboration and teamwork fostered in such spaces along with people of diverse specializations leads to better more creative problem-solving as people from different fields seek each other’s input and help.
Shared spaces also offer more opportunities to network compared to working isolated from home. They make an effort to organize networking and community events for members. These events are an easy way to find fresh collaborators, build your skillset through educational workshops and also just make friends. The camaraderie and somewhat shared experience make it much easier to make friends which becomes increasingly difficult as we age.
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Reduce loneliness and increase connection
Working from home can be very isolating. Research shows the importance of human interaction to overall happiness and mental health. Human connection, no matter how small or seemingly irrelevant increases our sense of belonging. It also reduces anxiety and loneliness. Loneliness is one of the biggest issues affecting entrepreneurs, small business owners, and other people working from home. Loneliness can lead to depression, poor sleep patterns, compromise the immune system, and even impair cognitive function.
Working from home can be filled with all manner of distractions. Going to another workspace where other people are also working can solidify your work mode and increase productivity. A regular routine boosts productivity. This benefit is felt largely by small business owners working from home.
Separating work from personal life
Working from home has the negative effect of always feeling like you’re at work. This is even worse for startups who may feel the pressure to always keep working. Coworking spaces allow you to leave work at work and take a break when you go home. It can help you focus when it’s time to work and disconnect when it’s time to relax. It can help you achieve the ever-elusive work-life balance.
Professional environment to meet clients
Holding meetings in your house is likely not feasible. A lot of coworking spaces offer an incredible range of facilities and amenities including conference rooms and boardrooms. They also have adequate seating arrangements, comfortable and spacious work desks, air-conditioning, dining areas, a soothing and peaceful environment, and even a receptionist to receive guests and forward important calls.
New business opportunities
Working with diverse people from varied fields sparks new ideas and offers lots of opportunities to learn. This can spark new business ideas altogether, opening your eyes to things that you previously couldn’t see around you. It provides an opportunity to learn so much and gain new perspectives.
Cons of coworking spaces
The movement of people and all the activity generated by the other people around you can be distracting.
Lack of privacy
Most shared spaces are just big rooms with office furniture. Working in such an open space can lead to a diminished sense of privacy. In most coworking spaces you can pay slightly more for an enclosed room.
Making and receiving phone calls
If your job involves making and receiving a lot of phone calls, you may be forced to walk out of the office too many times to avoid distracting people or making private phone calls in public.
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