Coworking can become profitable for your business when you are just starting up. Working outside the box is becoming more and more the norm, people are leaving the traditional office behind in their search for better work/life balance, but the lure of the home office sometimes misses the mark. Depending on what you do, the need for meeting spaces that are not coffee shops and collaboration that is not via the telephone may still be a key element of your business day. Sometimes you just need a place to meet that is a professional, business neutral place to discuss your proposal or just meet a client for the first time. And sometimes you just need a change of scenery! This is where coworking spaces enter the equation.
Is there such a place where you can actually speak and be heard without distractions? As business needs have changed, so have office environments. Coworking could just be the networking edge you need to make your home-based business more profitable.
COWORKING COMES OF AGE
Coworking spaces have been slowly evolving over the past few years and is expected to continue its upward trend as over 2000 have appeared around the country. These spaces fill a need for collaborating on your own terms. By 2020, 40% of the workforce will be freelancing in some way shape or form (according to Intuit survey done by Emergent Research). There are over 100,000 people working in coworking spaces today, that number is expected to grow to over a million by 2018.
Creative people thrive in coworking environments….they share a common language and work ethic. But for the most part, these environments tend to lean toward specialized industries and provide an excellent networking forum for work from homers in industries like technology, medical sales, and market research. But like anything, there is a spark that comes from diversity. Anyone seeking more variety in their workspace can benefit from coworking, the open plan office creates the sense of community in a non-traditional office environment. There are quiet spaces, meeting rooms, louder spaces, the coffee is brewing and there can be a start and end to your day just like in a traditional office. But unlike a traditional office, you choose the distractions.
Coworking can also be a way for your business associates to collaborate more effectively by taking them outside the box of your office and parking them in a vibrant neutral space. A change of scenery can often benefit team collaborations because it takes them out of their element so to speak. Just the drive there can often spark creative discussions and put the team in a more creative vibe. Although some consider collaboration as a “soft” skill, studies have shown that it can produce “bottom-line consequences.” Financial outperformers were 57% more likely to use collaborative and social networking tools to enable global teams to work more effectively together. Yet, only one-third of organizations are regularly applying collaborative tools and techniques to enable global teams to work more effectively. Your three o’clock planning session might get a much-needed boost in an off-site meeting space.
Austin has such a place! If you want to know more about hip coworking spaces check out Link Coworking. And if you are worried about routine, think about this! Liz Elam, the entrepreneur behind Link, rearranges the office every week to keep it fresh and produce a great energy for collaboration. This avoids territorial tendencies and it vicariously increases networking through collaboration opportunities. This is something rarely done in a home office or any corporate office I know of!
Office spaces are coming of age in some surprising ways and we think this is an exciting trend! For some exciting design ideas, visit our Pinterest board! Have you liked our updated Facebook page yet?
MEET TERESA ALVAREZ: Teresa is an office furniture specialist who helps clients to select the best value from Office Furniture Now’s “Good, Better and Best” selections. With 12 years experience in the office interiors and office supply business, her goal is identifying clients specific needs. Her email is email@example.com or give her a call at 512-203-7223, x139.