Operating along the lines of on-demand shared services like AirBnB and Uber, the concept of co-working space follows a collaborative model that allows an entrepreneur or a single worker to go, sit at a desk, meet clients, or hold meetings in an office space that they share with like-minded individuals. If you are a budding entrepreneur or a freelance worker, operating in a co-working space is an ideal way for you to work as it maintains an office style environment without the pricey cost of leasing or owning one. Let me share to you the advantages of a co-working space.
Work Life Balance
As a full time mom with three kids and full time business owner for 13 years, I have always adhered to the importance of work life balance in doing work or conducting business. For a typical employee, work life balance would almost always mean having quality time to spend with one’s family or oneself. In the case of entrepreneurs and freelance workers however, this would mean keeping work separate from home. A co-working space allows for this structure by providing you a dedicated working space distinct or distant from your house, where you work effectively, efficiently and productively. It provides the conducive office environment that generates the verve and attitude which allows you to concentrate better and focus at work. In contrast, working at home poses plenty of distractions that can get in the way of your work including the temptation of watching television, resting on your bed or interruptions from your children. Believe me, I have been there, and I know how a co-working space set up helped me put everything in their proper places for to achieve proper work life balance.
Complete Office Amenities
A co-working space is an office with complete office amenities. In availing for a space, I can have my very own desk or office with filing cabinets where I conduct my work and keep important files. It also has a separate room for meeting your clients privately. It has a boardroom where you can hold meetings. It has a pantry where you can dine, get coffee or keep snacks.
A co-working space is also fully equipped with standard office facilities that you will need in the performance of your work or conduct of your business. I don’t have to concern myself with Internet or Wi-Fi connection, desks and chairs, printers, scanners, sometimes even coffee makers and other office tools that I will typically and routinely use or need because they are all provided.
As your brick and mortar office, my co-working space also affords me the advantage of having a business address, which is strategically located at a central business district that provides better proximity to potential clients, as well as to transportation and commercial establishments. Having my own office also increases the credibility, image and reliability of my business and attracting more clients or even talents.
When it comes to business or work, the two basic ways to increase your profits or increase your income is by increasing your sales or work output and optimizing your costs. With co-working space, you are able to significantly reduce your expenses compared to when you own or lease an office. And by saving on costs, you will increase your profits.
Working in a co-working space saves me from maintaining a regular overhead such as the fixed term lease, maintenance costs, regular utility bills, reception staff and the like, that you need to pay regardless of whether you use the office or not. Co-working space provides more flexible terms where you can rent space on much shorter times. And similar to any office, it can provide you 24-7 access to the office space or building thereby providing you complete autonomy, which is especially important for freelance workers and nascent entrepreneurs who do not usually adhere to regular office working hours.
Moreover, you also save money from infrastructure and other capital expenditures such as fixtures, furniture and equipment (installation of Internet, office network or LAN, etc.) Not only would you spend money for their maintenance, but you also free yourself from the losses derived from their wear and tear and obsolescence.
In short, I get to enjoy all the benefits of having an office by demand without the customary costs associated with owning or leasing an office.
A network is an integral component of any business. It is your source of clients, partners, suppliers, or talents that you need to drive or expand your business. Working in co-working space allows you to join and meet a community of people from similar or different fields of work with whom you can collaborate, partner, or ask for help. You get to meet new people hence allows you to expand your network in community. Moreover, surrounding yourself with people who share the same entrepreneurial spirit with you bestows you with the much need emotional support in times of momentary flops in business. Your colleagues in the office can be your free source of counselling, advice or even innovative ideas to spruce up your endeavors.
Meanwhile, one of the major drawbacks of being a freelancer especially if working online is the inadvertent isolation that you may experience. Because all your transactions are conducted online, you will be working in isolation and may be deprived of real personal social network, which in turn can negatively impact your wellbeing. And this situation creates a hindrance between you and others who could potentially help your work or business. Working in a co-working space prevents you from working alone as you get to be with other people with whom you can interact and talk. And in most cases, you will be meeting people that shares and complements a self-supporting lifestyle compatible with yours. Being connected is vital because it serves as the primary basis for building or creating a support network for clients, partners and friends especially for independent freelance workers or new entrepreneurs.
Finally, in order to foster the sense of community within co-working spaces, providers usually organize and hold community events where co-workers can better interact among themselves and provide channels for deeper or stronger communication and social exchange.
If you are interested in working in a co-working space in the heart of the Columbia Valley and enjoy all the benefits that I have mentioned plus free coffee or tea, kindly visit the site www.mountainhub.ca. The rising sharing economy is the way of the future.
Below is a little sneak peak at the Mountain Hub co-working space in a Invermere, BC with Samantha of Clarity Marketing & Design.