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In recent years, workplace culture has seen a massive shift beginning with the pandemic that forced numerous employees to work from home. This led to a new approach to working. Post-pandemic, many employees still choose to work remotely. However, they may not want to work alone from home.
This has led to massively underutilized traditional office spaces. Led by the ideas of today’s working population, coworking spaces have become increasingly common. Before we completely dissect this topic, let’s get a solid understanding of what coworking spaces are.
Coworking Spaces Explained
Co-working, as it is spelled out, is a situation where people work in the same space. Coworking spaces are independent spaces where people gather to work together or individually. Such spaces are not typical offices as they include individuals working for different companies rather than just one. This means that multiple different people and companies share a single space.
Coworking spaces offer different amenities based on the type of coworking space. This can range from simply a desk with an internet connection to custodial services to a specialized workplace with industry-specific printers and other equipment. Coworking spaces allow individuals to share an office space where members can enjoy the privileges of an office without its drawbacks, as it allows for greater flexibility.
Moreover, in today’s commercial real estate, building an office can be extremely costly. In such a case, a coworking space can be the perfect cost-effective solution to an office. This is why, in recent years, we have seen a rise in coworking spaces across metropolitan areas such as New York and San Francisco.
Who is it Meant For?
With its spirit of collaborative work and shared office spaces, co-working spaces can be ideal for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and digital nomads.
A digital nomad is a term given to people who travel freely and work remotely from offices on their journey. They can easily access a coworking space by getting a coworking membership, complete their work on time, and also avail of the facilities of that office.
Freelancers who want to set up a base office for themselves can also make the most of coworking spaces. They can meet clients, brainstorm new ideas, and carry out many tasks in-house, such as printing and scanning.
Entrepreneurs and small businesses benefit from the presence of coworking spaces. Unlike large companies, they cannot afford a large office, and thus, coworking spaces become their best option. They can carry out all their required tasks through co-working without splurging on commercial real estate.
Generally speaking, coworking spaces are perfect for any remote workers. This includes graphic designers and web developers as well.
Take a look at the different types of coworking spaces to get a clearer understanding of the term.
Types of Coworking Spaces
Coworking has come a long way since the first coworking space in the world was established in Berlin in 1995. Today, there is a vast variety of different coworking spaces that have various amenities and therefore impact the work environment that they contribute to.
1. Open Coworking Spaces
These are the most common coworking spaces. They were the first type of coworking spaces. They include an open layout where individuals interact with each other. They usually include dedicated desks for employees from the same companies in a cluster as well. This open workspace encourages multiple employees from different companies and projects to work alongside each other.
It aims to build a sense of community among people. While this can benefit many people, it can also lack the much-needed privacy synonymous with traditional office spaces.
2. Private Coworking Spaces
These are quite opposite to the open coworking spaces. Private coworking spaces are dedicated spaces leased to a particular company. They offer private office space more cost-effectively. They are perfect for small companies that are looking at cost savings.
In this manner, they can create their workspace at a lower rate. Such private workspaces also allow more focus on specific projects as the employees can work without distractions.
3. Industry-Specific Coworking Spaces
An industry-specific coworking space creates a designated and hyper-specific space for individuals from the same field. This means multiple people with the same interests and work requirements are brought together to share a space. A common example of this would be graphic design spaces built to cater to freelancers or small businesses that require industry-specific tools.
This allows for highly specialized work to take place without very large investments by individuals in equipment. It also creates a strong sense of community, with many people being able to connect over their shared passion.
4. High-end Coworking Spaces
This coworking space includes a wide variety of high-end facilities, such as a private kitchen and other services that wouldn’t be found at a regular coworking space. This allows for more luxury as one works. It can be useful in creating a brand image as a freelancer or entrepreneur.
5. Corporate Coworking Spaces
A corporate coworking space is tailored for an extremely professional life, contrary to a more open and casual life. This is achieved through creating a more private and somber office.
6. Minimal Coworking Spaces
This coworking space is stripped of the external fluff and is mainly filled with dedicated desks and free Wi-Fi for its members. It contributes to a somber workspace.
7. Shared Coworking Spaces
Simply put, a shared coworking space is one where the office space was designed by and designed for someone else and is now subleased to another party.
8. Lifestyle Coworking Spaces
This is a coworking space where there are a vast number of amenities, which could include coffee shops, gyms, wellness spaces, and other such activities. Many new companies look for places like this to create a more well-rounded work-life balance.
9. Meeting Coworking Space
As the name suggests, this coworking space solely offers meeting rooms. Many small businesses may opt for this as they rent the space by the day or hour. This becomes an extremely convenient alternative to office conference rooms where staff and client meetings can occur as needed.
10. Virtual Coworking Space
These are spaces designated for office management requirements. This becomes a must for virtual offices as it could be used for client meeting rooms or simply be a place for a designated address that the company mail goes to.
Coworking Spaces: The Good and the Bad
Now that there is a more definitive understanding of coworking space, we can see whether it is truly worth its hype.
Take a look at the many advantages that coworking spaces offer.
- Meet new professionals: The coworking space is the perfect opportunity to interact with individuals from completely different backgrounds and careers. It can help broaden your understanding of life and expose you to many new and exciting people. As adults, breaking out of your limited social circle and making new friends is often difficult. A coworking space could give you the perfect opportunity to do just that. This shared space can easily become a community for people.
- Inspiring workspace: Any coworking space can become inspiring for the people who opt to work there. This could be due to other like-minded individuals working on their tasks. This can make people more productive and help them better engage with their work.
- Flexible timings: A large number of remote workers enjoy flexible job timings as well. With a coworking space, this is more convenient as they do not have strict reporting timings. They are also considered flexible spaces because a few coworking spaces are open 24/7 for night owls, remote workers, or digital nomads who work across time zones.
- Networking events: Most coworking spaces organize social events that help people network and make new professional contacts that they can make use of for years to come.
- Work remotely and travel frequently: With coworking spaces all around the world, people can choose to work remotely and discover the world at the same time. This allows for a steady income and the freedom to travel to new places and explore the world, an ideal blend for a digital nomad.
- Encourage entrepreneurs and freelancers: With effective pricing and a wide variety of resources, coworking spaces can become the ideal stepping stone for entrepreneurs and freelancers.
- Multi-city membership: Certain coworking spaces are chains across cities. This again can help you travel freely. The coworking space membership can be affordable for anyone who needs to travel. In this manner, you can visit new places and still hold the comfort of your coworking space as it is a chain.
- Reduce anxiety and loneliness: One of the biggest problems with remote work is that individuals who work remotely from home can find it extremely isolating, leading to anxiety. A coworking space can be the perfect solution for a person facing such problems. By seeing familiar faces daily, remote employees can build a sense of community and routine again, which could greatly improve their mental health.
- Often perceived as a racket: Many people believe that coworking spaces are a scam as they charge people to work in a shared office space simply. Skeptics often call coworking spaces fancier versions of coffee shops. This is, however, subject to your own experiences and desires. Your view on coworking depends on your profession and what you can gain from a coworking space.
- Such spaces can be distracting: Coworking spaces offer a flexible office space that is shared. While this has many benefits, constantly working with other people can be distracting and may cost your productivity.
Tips to Choose a Coworking Space
To choose a coworking space, it is integral to know a few basic principles regarding what exactly it offers.
It would be best if you understood the work environment well. As we have already seen, there are many types of coworking spaces, each with its unique atmosphere. The space that fits your work ethic and style will be the best for you. This is why it is important to understand this before working there.
Try to visit the coworking space and gauge whether it has a laid-back and relaxed atmosphere or a more serious atmosphere with greater privacy.
It would be best if you also had a comprehensive understanding of the space’s different resources and services. Does it include private offices, a conference room, and a coffee shop? These are important details that you must find out about if you would like to work there.
Along with the infrastructural and systemic requirements, it is also extremely important to understand what kind of coworking community you will join. Community managers can help you understand this.
Moreover, a community manager is often a good reflection of the values of the particular coworking space. They could also make the process of working in a coworking space better by helping you understand the workings of the space.
Coolest Coworking Spaces
With the talk of digital nomads and the freedom and flexibility to travel with the advent of coworking space, here are a few of the coolest coworking spaces across the globe
1. Cocovivo, Isla de San Cristóbal, Panama
The Cocovivo, Isla de San cristóbal Panama, a gorgeous location in Panama, can be the perfect blend between vacation and work for anyone looking to get a small break.
2. Hubud Coworking Space, Bali
Bali is a popular tourist destination. Imagine going on vacation and still being able to deliver top-notch work remotely.
3. Crew Collective & Café, Montreal
This is a visually stunning location in Quebec, Montreal. It is a converted bank, so the building’s rich heritage is visible in its beautiful architecture. The design is light and airy, with large windows making it a pleasant place to catch up on meetings.
Crew Collective & Café, Montreal, is open 24 hours, making it ideal for anyone working at odd hours of the day.
4. The Great Room, One George Street, Singapore
The Great Room, One George Street, Singapore location, was once an old bank and has now been converted into a coworking space. It is a classic example of a high-end coworking space as it blends old luxury with contemporary work ethics.
5. Makerversity, London
Makerversity, London, is a classic example of an industry-specific coworking space. It offers common office spaces for brainstorming or carrying out client meetings and specialized workshop spaces. These are equipped with tools to carry out textile work, digital work, and woodwork. It also includes a digital printer in its workshops. This is a one-of-a-kind, unique location.
6. Ministry of New Coworking Space, Mumbai
The Ministry of New Coworking Space, Mumbai, is an eclectic coworking space that focuses on design and creativity. It aims to create a strong professional network of coworking through this location.
7. NeueHouse, USA
The NeueHouse, USA, is a chain of coworking spaces in and around Los Angeles that are some of the most beautiful and creative. They often carry a piece of history that makes them iconic. The NeueHouse in Bradbury is an iconic location that has also been seen in many films. The architecture of the space dates back to 1893.
8. And Work in Shibuya, Tokyo
The And work Shibuya is located inside the Millenial Shibuya. It is beautifully decorated and strikes the balance between comfort and professionalism. It is extremely popular among tourists as well as locals. This makes And Work Shibuya an ideal place to meet new people.
Is it Meant For You?
And finally, the million-dollar question. Are coworking spaces worth it for you? Many believe coworking to be the future of the workspace as it offers a sense of community, a flexible space, and other services that make it the ideal modern office. Moreover, coworking spaces around the globe encourage coworking members to travel more. Coworking spaces are, in a sense, redefining travel and tourism.
With the advent of some of the most beautiful coworking spaces being created worldwide, we can see a clear trend as coworking gains more popularity. It also highlights an upward trend in remote work and points to the rise of the digital nomad. Thus, coworking is seen as a global phenomenon now.
At the end of the day, however, choosing to work in a coworking space is your decision. If you believe that coworking spaces might not be the best for you, then there is always the option of a traditional or home office.
However, if you believe that your ideas match those of coworking, go ahead and sign up for your nearest space and become one of the future members.