Coworking spaces are changing the way people work. And if you’re someone who works from home or is an independent contractor, freelancer, or entrepreneur, it’s a phenomenon that you’ve probably already heard of.
But for those new to the game, here’s a rundown of what exactly coworking spaces are.
What Is Coworking?
Coworking, in essence, is a concept, loosely defined as the idea of a free-wheeling, innovating environment that allows independent employees – or groups of employees – a place to work. It provides the structure that comes with the old-fashioned “going to the office,” while simultaneously eliminating the pressure and cumbersomeness of doing so.
In practice, it’s an innovative office space filled with comfortable, clean, stimulating workspaces that are available to be used by paying customers – either one a subscription or walk-in basis. It’s not a building for rent or lease that a company is looking to buy, but rather somewhere anyone could walk into and start working for a day, week, month, or longer. Most often, people in coworking spaces do not work together or for the same company, but rather are just two independent workers looking for a place to sit down and get stuff done.
It typically has all the amenities of the best office spaces – including but not limited to WiFi, kitchen and break rooms, cafes, and other comfort factors. It’s also typically open 24/7, giving subscribers the luxury of working at their convenience.
Working from home is a growing trend, as the inconvenience of wasting time – and money – sitting in traffic or using public transportation to get to work is replaced by the instant gratification of the internet and the simplicity of the tools workers need.
For example, many employees need is a personal computer, WiFi, and a phone connection to do their work. Gone are the days where one needs to trudge into an office, sit at an assigned desk, and log into a server located in the employer’s building. Cloud-based technology, storage, and servers allow simple access from anywhere and give employees the freedom to save time for themselves and be better workers.
And if you think it’s just a fad highlighted by a pop group’s hit song, think again: According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, an estimated 65 million Americans will be freelancers, temps, independent contractors or entrepreneurs – all occupations that allow the freedom (and have the personality types to desire) to work from home – by 2020.
Call it “a millennial thing” if you’d like, but whatever you call it, it’s here to stay. And it makes sense! According to a study done by the Harvard Business Review, employees who worked in coworking spaces performed better than those who worked in traditional offices for their employer, and the commonalities revealed three main predictors of success.
Those three traits? Employees in coworking spaces felt their work was more meaningful, like they had more job control, and like they were part of a community.
What That Means
Because employees working from coworking spaces all generally work for different companies and employers, they get to explain what they do more often, which makes their job seem more important to them – especially when there is no underlying corporate structure or organizational chart for someone to look at and make preconceived notions of how important (or unimportant) you are.
It also gives them a loosely based routine – wake up, get ready, go somewhere for work – and provides less distraction and comfort than home (your own personal couch, bed, TV, chores, children, and other common home distractions are not present). And with the 24/7 schedules, workers know they don’t have to cram everything in before the lights go out and the doors lock – they can go grocery shopping, to the gym, take a nap, pick up the kids, etc. and come back to (or start) work on their own time, not a building schedule’s.
Finally, they feel like a part of a community. Most coworking companies aim to be as much a hospitality service as anything else, so comfort is at the forefront – however you define that for your working experience. There also isn’t the pressure of competition or office politics when no one you work with is someone you actually work with. It breeds a community atmosphere and makes people feel more fulfilled – a key ingredient to productivity.
Ready to bring this exploding phenomenon to your area? Contact Venture X today to speak with a franchise consultant.