Curious but not convinced? We’ve got seven reasons coworking may just be your next new thing.
1. Find Business Essentials at Your Fingertips
For many independents, freelancers, small business owners and startups, renting an office is an expense that is beyond their income. And even if you can afford the rent, four walls does not an office make. Internet, utilities, furniture, printers and more are essentials that can add up.
Sure, you could scour Craigslist for an office chair that won’t wreck your back or save up for a quality printer. Or, you know, you could cowork. The founders of spaces are keenly sensitive and aware of workers needs. It’s not just their job, it’s their passion. Communal sharing like refilling the printer and not leaving dishes in the sink aside, you’ve got a support team buying, maintaining and upgrading equipment and tools as needed.
2. Don’t Be the Slacker in the Room
While there are ample chances to chat around the coffee pot or over lunch, there’s something magical about the hum of productivity in coworking spaces. Maybe you’ll stay on task because the money you are spending is an investment in your productivity.
Or maybe, like Deskpasser Matt Mansuetto, you’ll be inspired by the people around you. He said, “Being in a coworking space means group accountability. I’m not on Facebook. When I’m working, I am working. There’s an urge to keep working because everyone around me is working. I’m mindful to not slack off.”
Because you can choose the plan that works for you and the space that works for you, you decide when you want to have that accountability. Coworking mean freedom, not being monitored in your cubicle.
3. Up Your Legitimacy with Potential Clients, Investors, Partners and Collaborators
If you’ve ever had to hide a pile of laundry from view in a video conference or clear your dining room table before you welcome a client in, you know that the perks of working from home can become pitfalls if you aren’t careful.
Coworking spots are often casual and comfortable. They’re also completely professional, offering a space to meet anyone who may help your business. Whether you gather in a brightly lit common space or reserve a conference room, you can show your business is serious business at a coworking space.
We all saw the professor whose kids came sauntering in during his live TV interview. Yes, this one.
It’s hard to remake a first impression. We all laughed. And those of us who worked at home cringed, knowing it could happen to any of us.
We know not every day is a high-stakes international TV appearance. Leverage a Deskpass plan that lets you look super professional when you need to and skip the pants on other days.
4. Access Location, Location, Location
Whether you want to be closer to home or closer to a meeting or closer to an after-work event, coworking spaces are everywhere.
For folks looking for an alternative to working home but not willing to compromise on a long commute, hard-to-reach location or want to leverage public transportation or access nearby amenities, it’s hard to beat the prime spaces and convenient locations coworking spaces pick to call home.
5. Expense It Easier
Sure, a home office is something you may be able to deduct on your taxes. But did you know it’s not that easy? It’s not just the space you work in. It must be space that is exclusively used for work. So that couch or dining room table don’t count. Sorry.
A coworking membership, on the other hand, is an easily identified expense that is exclusive to your work. You’ve got the paper trail to show where the business costs went. You can read more about all that and the other things you may be able to expense because of coworking here.
6. Get More Spaces for Less Commitment
Rent an office and you are locked into that office for the length of your lease. If your business grows, if you needs change or you move residences, you may be stuck with a long commitment, a crappy commute and a drain on your finances.
Coworking means finding a space that is right for you and your business. But that need can change based on any number of factors. You may want a quiet spot one day to deep dive into strategy. You might want a space with a buzz and energy when you’re feeling social. You may need a spot close to home, your kid’s school or a later meeting.
7. Enjoy Everything Besides Work
In both formal and informal ways, coworking is about continuing to grow, as people and as workers. Formal learning opportunities like panels, workshops, lunch and learns, speakers and more are common at most coworking spaces. Often, they’re sponsored or organized by the space but it also happens that individuals or organizations with great ideas
One example? At the monthly Chicago Deskpass Member Meetup, a lunchtime workshop is almost always part of the fun.
Informal opportunities also abound. Whether it’s hearing about an emergent industry trend over the first cup of coffee, the best local places to hike over lunch, asking the person next to you how to do something in InDesign, asking the space manager to show you how to work that 3D printer or a group chatting business development over a beer at the end of the day, the more open you are to learning at a coworking space the more you’ll realize what limitless chances exist to keep growing.
Networking. For many of us, it’s the lifeblood of your business. And, like learning, there are endless ways to network in a coworking space. It is hard to strike up a networking conversation in a coffee shop. Because coworking spaces are inherently communal and connective, you can be pretty confident the people around you are eager to network too!
Many spaces offer member networking opportunities. Some are standing get togethers, some one-off. Some are industry focused and others more general and about good people and good connections.
Many spaces offer opportunities to relax and be more than your job. Happy hours happen on the regular. Events, programming and opportunities about. Beyond member meetups and other planned social events, grabbing lunch with someone new who could be, beyond a business connection, a good pal is easy.
The question isn’t why should you try coworking. The question is what’s taken you so long!