Coworking spaces are all the rage these days. Just go to any major city and you can find a coworking space in every neighborhood.
From small spaces above coffee shops to massive international chains, there is certainly no lack when it comes to a startup finding some office space. This begs the question, are coworking spaces worth it?
In short, the answer is a resounding, “heck yes!” As someone who has been a member of a coworking space for about 18 months, I can honestly say it’s one of the best business decisions I’ve ever made.
Whether you’re a creative freelancer or the founder of a hot new startup, here are four ways your business can improve by joining a coworking space.
They are designed to help you be more innovative
If you’ve ever walked into a coworking space, you may have noticed a common theme: the interior design and floor plan is always exceptional.
From open floor plans and social space to art-filled walls and industrial settings, you’d be hard pressed to find a coworking space that looks like anything remotely corporate.
This isn’t a coincidence.
Harvard Business Review has reported on the emerging evidence that what a physical space looks like actually affects workplace productivity.
For example, one thing the study noted was how office spaces that reflect how people actually work in the 21st century (meaning fewer barriers to communication and lots of digital work) leaves room for interactions that lead to new ideas and innovation.
Based on my own experience, I have found that I sometimes need a change of scenery to get work done. If I’m feeling a creative roadblock at my home office, packing up my supplies going to my coworking space usually helps me bust through it.
Related: Coworking the American Dream
It forces you to interact with people and network
Part of the beauty of coworking spaces is that it forces you to stop hiding behind a computer and actually talk to people. This not only helps you come up with new ideas, as we mentioned previously, but it can also help you make more money.
Several of these spaces host events for their members so people can get to know each other. The idea is that members can end up doing business with one other and help each other reach new heights in their respective companies.
And you know what? It works. I have found sources to quote for my columns, got my first live TV appearance thanks to someone I met at my coworking space and have even gotten consulting gigs with FinTech companies because I met them through my coworking space.
It’s not as expensive as leasing office space
You can’t expect a financial writer to talk about the benefits of coworking spaces without talking about money.
If you’re just starting a company, it’s unlikely that you’ll need a lot of space. Truth be told, that’s a lot of overhead when you’re just trying to get off the ground. With coworking spaces, you can grow your space as your company grows.
For example, I pay about $200 a month for a flexible plan. This means I can work from any of the community spaces available pretty much whenever I want.
This is about the same amount of money I was spending working from coffee shops a few times a week. In fact, I’d argue coffee shops could be pricier because you keep buying coffee, snacks, etc.
Seeing as how I’m a writer and my entire team is virtual, it’s unlikely that I’ll need any more space than what I currently have, but if I did, I could upgrade.
The energy is amazing
Anyone who has transitioned from a corporate setting to a coworking space can tell you that coworking spaces have great energy.
It’s not just hearsay, either. The Harvard Business Review found that people are generally in better spirits and are far more productive than their corporate office-dwelling counterparts.
The same report also found some common themes of those who conduct their working hours from coworking spaces: they view their work as meaningful, have more job control and they feel like they are a part of a community.
It’s really no wonder why people who work from coworking spaces are in a better mood than most people. It’s because they like their work and feel like they are a part of something bigger.
This type of energy is infectious and does actually help you to be more productive. Not to mention, meeting cool people is always fun, beneficial for networking and adds to your quality of life.
Final thoughts on coworking space
It would seem that the reason why coworking spaces are such a trend is because they actually do help entrepreneurs get more done. Not only that, but they certainly fit into a startup’s budget. If you’ve been considering moving from your garage to a coworking space, then take this as your green light.