Co-working spaces are a concept that’s been around for a while. Yet its popularity has been exploding in recent years due to the increasing number of remote workers. Freelancers, entrepreneurs, and self-employed workers go to co-working spaces to gain more stability, clarity, creativity, and even productivity. In this article, we will talk about the main pros and cons of sharing the co-working space.
These spaces have enjoyed growing popularity since they first appeared back in 2010. According to Statista.com, the number of workers that will use them will reach 2.27 million people in 2020. It is almost 128 times higher than in 2010. Traditional offices have lost a significant number of workers in favor of home offices and co-working spaces.
What is co-working anyway?
Co-working is the best option for people who want to leave the comfort of their homes or traditional offices. This type of workplace has benefits and flaws that we will cover in this article.
Workers choose this option to work in a friendly place where they can interact with dedicated professionals across all industries. Workers from several companies have selected this option because it’s cheaper, and it enhances productivity and communication. Some are afraid to work among people they don’t know, but that’s not something to avoid but to embrace with curiosity.
Five benefits of co-working spaces
The co-working place is a space where people from all industries come to work while they network and even collaborate. A worker can lose the feeling of solitude and loneliness when spending time near other professionals who work in similar or proximate industries. This is not the place to encounter competition, but the perfect place to cultivate equality, freedom of speech, and friendship. Co-working spaces are the ideal “garden” in which to develop a sense of community, learning, collaboration, and sustainability.
When it comes to co-working spaces, they offer much more than a traditional desk. This is the moment for all workers to understand that co-working premises often include workout facilities, conference rooms, food services, and much more. In a co-working environment, the freelancer can create a balance between work and personal life so that his lifestyle will not suffer.
Have you ever considered meeting your clients and discussing mutual concerns over coffee or other refreshments? Your home office is not the best location for this, so the co-working concept steps in to solve your problem: you can meet your clients at a co-working space where you can even have a drink. The atmosphere is pleasant, the people there are comfortable with observing meetings, and the location is accessible for everyone from all over town.
At a traditional office job, your work schedule is usually on that ancient 9 to 5 program; but when you go to a co-working space, you can create your individual work schedule. If today you decide to work early in the morning and tomorrow you must work late into the night, that’s perfectly fine. Nobody will bother you or be offended by your messy schedule. It’s all up to you!
Using a co-working space gives you the type of power and also the flexibility that made you choose to become a freelancer in the first place. You can decide when and where you work as long as you pay your month-to-month membership. Under the co-working paradigm, you have the option to work from a desk or in a private suite depending upon your budget and work needs.
By working from a co-working space, you can meet a lot of like-minded people. You can make friends and seek out aid, support, and even new clients. Be friendly, be polite, be respectful of others’ space and point of view. We are different, but when we work remotely, we desire the same things: a friendly atmosphere, a cozy place, and space for creativity to thrive.
Working from your home is not the best idea in terms of productivity and efficiency. Workers need a dedicated workplace to increase their productivity and work smarter, faster, better. The co-working place is the best arrangement, because it gets you out of your home or that boring, stiff office that you call “workplace.” Here workers have no distractions, and they are surrounded by people who work hard, which makes for a great external motivator.
Studies have shown that 77% of co-working employees are content with their shared office space, according to Clutch report. Yet 88% of the 500 co-working employees from the US have shared that they experience challenges in their co-working space. More than one-third (33%) of the people interviewed prefer working in a co-working space; 39% would rather work remotely; while only 28% would like to work from a traditional office. In conclusion, a significant share of these workers love co-working spaces, and they will continue using them because it helps them be more creative and more productive.
Here are five things you need to consider before going to a co-working space
Everything has a downside. This is why we will talk about the challenges of a co-working space too.
Noise and distractions
Studies have revealed that more than half of all high-performing workers need a quiet workspace to be productive and efficient. Co-working spaces are not the most tranquil places to work. Almost half of co-working workers say that noise and distraction are the most significant challenges when it comes to co-working spaces.
Lack of privacy
Most workers have a strong preference for privacy, even when the hiring company requires working in an open space. Almost half of the co-working workers surveyed (48%) state that co-working spaces don’t offer them the privacy they need at work.
A 2019 Fast Company article states that privacy at work is essential for four reasons:
- Privacy helps ideas gain traction: conversations between collaborators should remain private.
- Privacy fosters creativity: creative people need private moments to reflect on their work.
- Privacy encourages focus: workers think, concentrate, and reflect better in privacy.
- Privacy increases employee engagement: employees are more engaged when the office offers them a balance between private workspaces and noisy spaces.
Workers need personal space to do their work, and the co-working environment can’t offer as much space as most workers want. This is a factor that leads to decreasing productivity and satisfaction. Thirty-nine percent of all co-working workers state that limited space is a significant challenge when it comes to using the co-working concept.
Even though a co-working space can offer workers the latest office trends such as coffee, game rooms, snacks, and so on, the workers don’t necessarily get access to the all the equipment. Thirty-one percent of the workers surveyed state that they don’t get sufficient access to the equipment in their co-working space. All of them need the fastest internet connection. Some of them need electrical outlets for several devices; others require a comfortable chair if they have back problems, and the list goes on.
No personalization of the workspace
Almost all employees (98%) have a designated space at their traditional office, while at a co-working space, the workers feel the need to have “their own.” This is a luxury that is not possible at a co-working space, and many workers consider it the fifth most important and disturbing challenge (31%).
If you want to know more about the most famous co-working spaces in the world, please visit these links:
- The Work Project – Hong Kong
- Agora Collective – Berlin
- Dojo – Bali
- NeueHouse Hollywood – Los Angeles, USA
- Work & Co – Cape Town, South Africa
Over time, you can overcome the challenges by using patience and perseverance. A freelancer can test more than one co-working space or talk with the owners to get some things straight. Some challenges that the workers are experiencing may not be visible or evident to owners, and a well-expressed, polite discussion may clear matters up and reset the situation.
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