In the past two years, the number of coworking spaces has skyrocketed. Studies show a 400% increase in these hybrid spaces all across the globe. WeWork is the one of the largest and fastest growing players in coworking. Since their inception in 2008, WeWork has built 221 global offices and has amassed a market valuation of as much as $20 billion.
The steady rise in coworking spaces has attracted many entrepreneurs and freelancers. For those still on the fence about coworking, the question remains: can you actually run a business from one of these spaces?
The short answer is yes.
Coworking Spaces Help You Thrive
Whether your business is a one-man-show or a decent-sized operation, there are a multitude of reasons why a coworking space might be a good idea.
For starters, a recent study showed that people who work in coworking spaces report levels of thriving that approach a 6 on a 7-point-scale. As a small business, you already have an edge in creating a happy work environment, but why not take that edge one step further by enabling you and your employees to thrive?
Thriving employees are not only happy or content, they’re also satisfied, productive, engaged, and energized. Thriving workers show:
These numbers are a result of the dynamic work environment inherent in coworking spaces. So what makes these spaces so effective?
Coworking Environments Foster Collaboration and Allow for Flexibility
Take a look at the Coworking Manifesto and you’ll discover an emphasis on collaboration, community, and friendship. These tenets guide the day-to-day function of coworking spaces.
People who use coworking spaces see their work as meaningful. This is because the coworking atmosphere consists of professionals from a multitude of fields, so there is little direct competition or internal politics. Running your business from a coworking space also gives you and your team the opportunity to bounce ideas off other professionals. Having those extra sounding boards can help you expedite the growth of your business.
For you or your employees, the flexibility of a coworking environment can be crucial. Many coworking spaces are open 24/7, allowing workers to tailor their schedules to fit their needs. Workers can also choose to tackle projects in a collaborative room, quiet room, or at home. This freedom actually helps motivate workers to work harder and smarter.
When you and your workers feel like you’re doing meaningful work in a flexible and collaborative environment, you’ll wonder how you ever got on before coworking.
Before you reap the benefits of coworking, however, you’ll need to find the right space…
Finding the Right Coworking Space
Many coworking spaces have board rooms available for conducting business meetings. Some spaces can accommodate larger parties, while others can only accommodate smaller groups. Before you go out looking for a space, take some time to figure out what you’re looking for.
You may want to put employees in multiple coworking spaces so they can collaborate with more unique identities. You may be a one-man operation looking for other committed professionals. If that’s you, you may want to browse spaces for individuals that have skills and attitudes you want to bring into your business.
Whatever you’re looking for in a coworking space, one thing is certain: when you find the right one, you’ll never want to walk into a corporate office again.