With predications from Office Vibe that approximately 40% of the workforce will be a combination of freelancers, temps, independent contractors and solepreneurs by 2020, it’s no surprise that co-working has seen a significant rise among businesses in recent years. It is a viable alternative to both the traditional office and working from home and it thrives on its ability to offer highly flexible arrangements.
But the question is, does co-working really work?
For many co-workers, the advantages go beyond just having a space to do business: it creates a valuable community and it is that community which provides the foundation for many of the reasons why co-working is so successful. So without further ado, here’s why we think co-working really works…
1. Reduced Stress
Getting the right work life balance is a lot easier when you can literally separate work from home and the easiest way to do that, is by having a separate workspace. Sometimes just being able to leave the office and close the door behind you is the best way to keep the stress away from home. It provides perspective and the ability to compartmentalise.
2. More Collaboration & Networking Opportunities
The community fostered by most co-working environments provides the opportunity to do more networking and collaborate with your co-workers. This has a number of benefits in itself, from improving problem solving and sharing knowledge to actually gaining new business.
3. Improved Time Management
One of the pitfalls of working from home is the number of distractions: pets, children, deliveries, televisions, kitchens, the list is almost endless and it takes an incredible amount of self-discipline to ignore them all and avoid the interruptions. Co-working simply removes these obstacles and therefore helps improve your time management.
On top of this, the ability to work alongside other professionals can also reduce the time you spend researching the answers to problems or shopping for new tools and software to help you get your job done. Instead you can simple ask and learn from the people working around you.
4. More Social Interactions
Working from home can be isolating. Even more conventional office spaces can make social interactions difficult despite there being people around. Co-working actually encourages socialisation to help build the community and this can help to improve mood and reduce stress. What’s important to note though, it that this socialisation is voluntary so you can be as involved as you want to be.
5. A Professional Setting
Meetings in coffee shops are great, but perhaps not suitable for every type of meeting or indeed every kind of client. Co-working spaces provide access to professional meeting rooms or even just quiet corners where meetings and private conversations can take place.
6. Low Maintenance
Many co-working spaces are similar to and often based in serviced office spaces, where the owners or management teams assume the responsibility for the office itself and the shared equipment within it.
7. More Job Control
With traditional offices, unless you’re a key holder (and even then there can still be restrictions), chances are there’ll be a limit on how early you can access the building and how late you can leave. Even with working from home, work hours can be restricted by the needs of others in the household.
With many co-working environments, access is 24/7 and that provides the flexibility to put in longer days when deadlines are looming or to take a break when the pressure’s off. You’re also not obligated to go in every day, working from home when you need to.
8. Higher Moral
Last but by no means least, co-working can lead to higher moral and more job satisfaction. This comes from the diversity of professionals using the space, who will often work for different companies, in different market sectors, on different projects, delivering different services. This reduces the competition between workers and removes the internal politics that are often rife in traditional offices.
Equally, that lack of instant familiarity with each other’s job roles provides the opportunity to strengthen your work identity by describing what you do to the people around you.
We think you’d have to agree that with so many advantages and its rising popularity, it’s safe to say co-working really does work.
So what are the co-working facilities available here in Leeds?
At Bracken Business Centres, our three offices: Albion Court, Calls Wharf and The Tannery all offer high quality meeting rooms that can be rented for those all important business meetings and breakout spaces provide the opportunity for co-workers to get collaborative and enjoy a more relaxed working environment. Why not speak to us today to find out more about our available workspaces and offices?
Or, for even more answers to the question “does co-working really work”, take a look at this blog post from Forbes