In New York and other urban areas we have lots of options for coworking. What I like about coworking is the free or low cost environment, the others around you (human to human connections) and collaborative environment.
CoworkCT, a network of coworking communities whose members include small businesses, entrepreneurs, freelancers, and contractors who share space, resources, and ideas, recently announced the results of a national survey intended to better understand how familiar Americans are with coworking. Nearly two-thirds of Americans (63%) said they would consider working in a collaborative work environment once they understood the concept, but 60% said they had never heard of it.
“Coworking has reinvented the way people work,” said Marcella Kovac, cofounder of B:Hive, Bridgeport, Conn.’s first coworking and retail space. “These work environments allow freelancers, artists, entrepreneurs and even small businesses to create, collaborate and grow in a space where they share amenities and ideas with others.”
The demographic groups most inclined to consider a coworking environment were 18 to 34 year olds (75%) and residents of the Northeast (72%).
I asked Marcella to give us a bit more insight into co-working and how to do it right
How to do it?
It’s as easy as showing up to the space! Simply reach out to a coworking space about availability, determine what commitment level makes sense for you, and then show up and grab a seat.
Who is it for?
Anyone who wants to be productive, build meaningful relationships, collaborate with passionate and like-minded individuals, brainstorm new ideas, increase access to resources, and expand networks! Coworkers come from all backgrounds, industries, and experiences. Think entrepreneurs, telecommuters, freelancers, startups, writers, artists, designers, developers, marketers, consultants, tinkerers, and so on.
Who is it not for?
Like most things, coworking isn’t for everyone, especially those who may prefer (or require) privacy and quiet. Coworking spaces are known to be collaborative and dynamic, so there’s generally a lot of activity happening. If you are are easily distracted by others or need privacy for your job, coworking may not be the best option for you.
What are the NEGATIVES of coworking
Depends on the individual—what one person likes another person may not like. For instance, some people like working in an isolated environment. Those people would find it difficult to work in a coworking space since you’re always around other people and share almost everything, from bathrooms and kitchens to resources and ideas.
Working from a home office v. coworking
At a coworking space, you won’t encounter as many distractions as you would when working from home, unless you’re an incredibly strong-minded person who can say “no.” Think television, Facebook, house chores, children, pets, and so on.
Coworking spaces help those who suffer from procrastination to become more focused and motivated to get work done. Coworking spaces are also helpful for those who like to be around people (and not in an isolated environment). Plus, you get access to events, training sessions, potential collaborators, and even future clients when you work out of a coworking space.
Working in a traditional office v. coworking
Coworking spaces mimic the traditional office, but bring together people from all sorts of backgrounds and industries. It’s a new way to work where people think outside the cubicle in an open, collaborative, and dynamic environment. You get the same amenities as a traditional office (such as WiFi, kitchen, bathroom, office supplies, etc.), but also enjoy access to people from various backgrounds, industries, and experiences. In a coworking space, you may be working for yourself, but not by yourself.
Having several staff – could that work in a coworking environment?
Of course! Once a company becomes too large, however, it might make more sense for them to finally get that private office whether for financial reasons, space constraints, etc.