Coworking spaces grant workers access to shared workspaces, dedicated desks, and offices. These venues have exploded in popularity over the last decade partly due to the rise of remote work. But what do coworking spaces offer freelancers, startups, and entrepreneurs?
Coworking spaces are a relatively new phenomenon. However, there are some compelling studies on the subject. One paper released this year praised coworking spaces’ efficiency, flexibility, and social aspects.
Additionally, they suggested that coworking spaces could help disrupt the status quo. Real estate rents are a roadblock to entrepreneurs. The study suggests these spaces can give women and minority-owned businesses and startups the chance to flourish by dramatically reducing overheads.
But these are just some of the benefits that coworking spaces offer. Let’s explore why they’re so popular.
What Do Coworking Spaces Offer for Freelancers, Startups, and Small Entrepreneurs?
Real estate is a major business expense. For many entrepreneurs and startups, traditional office rentals aren’t practical. Budgets are limited, and committing to a five-year lease is tough due to the unpredictable nature of new ventures.
New businesses and startups need flexibility. Around 90% of startups fail, which makes signing long real estate contracts very risky. On the other hand, if a business succeeds, it often needs to scale by employing new team members quickly. Finding that extra space isn’t always easy.
For these reasons, we often hear stories about startups beginning life in garages, dorm rooms, or kitchens. Starting a business from home can relieve pressure because of low overheads. However, there are several drawbacks.
Homes aren’t perfect working environments. Work-life balance becomes hard, space can be an issue, and they’re not an ideal setting for a team or meetings.
Independent and freelance workers have understood these issues for years. During the COVID-19 pandemic, traditional workers felt these effects. Working from home is doable, but it can be lonely, isolating, and detrimental to wellness and mental health.
Coworking spaces offer a solution to this problem. They provide a way for freelance workers, startups, and entrepreneurs to rent the office space they need to support them in their ventures on a month-by-month basis.
This flexibility alone would be enough to justify their existence. But coworking spaces offer so much more. They also act as a hub of creativity and a community of like-minded people.
Amenities of Coworking Spaces
What do coworking spaces offer in terms of amenities?
The best coworking spaces offer 24/7 access. These allowances are perfect for helping workers have more options and control over their working hours.
When a deadline is looming, you might need to pull an all-nighter. Alternatively, you might be a night owl that only kicks into gear once it gets dark. Whatever your type, 24/7 access means that you can fit work around your life and achieve that elusive work-life balance.
Remote and freelance work is more tied to producing results than keeping to a timetable. A coworking space that offers flexibility can help workers adjust to the ebb and flow of busier and quieter periods.
One reason why people believe they need to rent an office is that it gives them access to a conference room. These spaces are great for team meetings, brainstorming sessions, and client visits.
However, coworking spaces can provide these amenities without the high costs of paying for extra square footage. Depending on the type of membership, coworking spaces provide you with a set amount of conference room time and guest passes per week.
If all your team is based in a coworking space, you can book it for your meetings. If you’ve got a big client in town, you can tell them to meet you at your office and impress them with your slick surroundings.
Modern, stylish decor
Environment affects productivity and creativity. Great coworking spaces are built to provide beautifully designed, modern, ready-to-go offices at a fraction of the cost of traditional business premises.
Coworking spaces are up-to-date, clean, and visually appealing. For freelance workers, it’s a chance to work in an inspiring place. For businesses, it’s a way to show your workers you care.
The Little Extras That Add Up
Great coworking spaces also offer lots of small perks that really add up. Free coffee or tea, kitchen facilities, and on-site parking can make your day that much easier and even save you a lot of money.
A mailbox service, printer access, and phone booths are a few of the other amenities that contribute to creating a workspace where you can be at your most productive.
Finally, some workspaces are dog-friendly. That can make a massive difference for people who need to put in long shifts at the office but don’t want to leave their pup alone in the apartment.
Benefits of Coworking Spaces
What do coworking spaces offer in terms of benefits? We’ve touched on some benefits, but let’s consider some of them more specifically.
Renting on a month-by-month basis provides a great deal of flexibility. Additionally, the best coworking spaces give workers and teams additional room to maneuver by offering different subscription levels.
If you only need a desk a few days a week or between fixed daytime hours, you can save even more money. This situation can really suit freelance staffers whose workload varies from month to month.
Coworking space is a great way for businesses with uneven workloads to augment their existing offices. For example, you can take on contractors during busy periods and house them in a space while you need them. This sort of agility is essential in times of economic uncertainty.
RELATED: BENEFITS OF A FLEXIBLE OFFICE SPACE
Networking is one of the most significant advantages of coworking spaces. Doing your job at a shared desk brings you in contact with a diverse range of people from different backgrounds, cultures, and professions. This situation can lead to meaningful and valuable connections.
Because coworking spaces house staff that work in different organizations and industries, they don’t suffer from the same level of competition. Freed from internal politics, they can instead concentrate on creating a supportive environment that encourages learning and sharing ideas.
Each member has different skills and background. They can help each other by bringing different approaches, teaching each other new things, and swapping expertise.
Of course, coworking spaces provide more traditional types of networking too. Workers can meet people with similar projects or aims and pick up tips, insights, and a few helpful connections.
A Sense of Community
One of the worker’s most common complaints during COVID-19-related stay-at-home orders was the feeling of loneliness and isolation. While this was exacerbated by not being able to socialize or spend quality time outdoors, it’s something that entrepreneurs and freelance workers have experienced for years.
A coworking space gives even independent workers a feeling of being part of something bigger. Meeting people, learning new things, and attending workshops, conferences, and talks, can all contribute to a sense of belonging and fellowship.
Coworking spaces foster human connections and relationships. The best coworking spaces are well-designed offices with lots of natural space and beautiful furniture. The rooms and offices are set up to encourage creativity and innovation by mixing natural elements, art, and a beautiful design.
Renting traditional office space is expensive — especially in desirable downtown locations. But the costs don’t stop there. You also need to factor in utility bills, furniture and equipment, maintenance, taxes, cleaning, security, and more.
On top of that, leasing an office that allows you to scale means wasting money on unused space as you wait to expand.
Coworking space offers everything under one monthly payment. This arrangement is great for freelance work and startups. It also works perfectly for businesses that subsidize their workers in coworking offices.
Coworking Spaces: a Place for Workers to Thrive
Remote working will continue to increase each year. Employees like the flexibility, but that doesn’t mean they want to work in their kitchen. Instead of doing work from home, modern workers prefer to work near home.
For businesses, this creates an opportunity to cast their net wider in the pursuit of talent. Instead of being restricted to staff that live in their city or their part of town, employers can concentrate on the best candidates and house them in a coworking space that only requires a short commute.
Additionally, many workers see remote work as non-negotiable. Missing out on great hires because you can’t offer them this benefit could be a huge mistake.
A More Efficient, Flexible, and Productive Way to Work
The pandemic led many of us to reflect on the nature and meaning of work. Less commuting and more flexibility were some of the big upshots. However, working from home also brought into focus the importance of operating in a productive environment.
Vuka offers two outstanding coworking spaces in Austin that are home to a wonderful community of creatives, freelancers, remote workers, and entrepreneurs. Additionally, we run regular programs, talks, workshops, and community events to inspire the next generation of leaders and innovators. Sign up today to tap into the amazing benefits of beautiful and inspiring surroundings that can support the growth of your startup or independent venture.