What is Coworking?
As freelancing and remote work continues to gain popularity, more and more people are taking advantage of coworking and coworking spaces.
But what exactly is coworking? In this blog post, we’ll talk about the basics of coworking and explain who uses coworking spaces, what are the pros and cons of using a coworking space and how can you find the most suitable one for you.
What is coworking?
Coworking refers to an arrangement in which people gather in a designated space to work independently on different projects, or in small groups on the same project. Even though coworking spaces might resemble a typical office environment, the people who use these spaces generally do not work for the same company.
Coworking spaces offer similar amenities you would find in a traditional office, like Wi-Fi, printers, desks, and meeting rooms. One of the biggest differences between coworking spaces and a traditional office is the flexibility since you normally don’t need to sign a long-term lease to use the space.
But coworking is not only about providing physical office space, it’s about bringing like-minded professionals together to share ideas and create communities.
Who uses coworking spaces?
Coworking spaces can be used by anyone who performs work on a computer, but they are mostly used by freelancers, remote workers and startups.
Coworking space is not only great for providing a safe space to work, but it’s also a great place to network, find like-minded people or find someone to help you out when you’re stuck on a task.
These types of spaces are also becoming more and more popular among digital nomads, who tend to use coworking spaces while they hop around the world and work online. Are you curious to know more about digital nomads? Learn what a digital nomad is and how can you become one, check the best locations for digital nomads and learn about the digital nomad visas around the world.
How do Coworking spaces work and how do they make money?
Coworking spaces normally offer the use of their amenities for a certain fee. They make the majority of their revenue by renting out desks, meeting rooms and event spaces.
Similar to gym memberships, coworking spaces offer membership for their customers, either on a weekly, monthly or yearly basis. Most of them also offer the pay-per-use model, for people who do not need to use their space for long-perm but perhaps just once now and then.
What types of Coworking spaces are available?
It seems that nowadays there are coworking spaces available for everyone, catering to every need and every occasion.
But how can you choose the one that would suit you best? Let’s take a look at a few different types of coworking spaces and help you decide.
Open coworking spaces
Open (conventional) coworking spaces are what usually come to mind when people think of coworking. They provide an open and collaborative environment where everyone is welcome to use the space whenever and however they want.
Those spaces are normally equipped with desks, designated places to socialize, with a kitchen or a coffee corner and small meeting rooms.
Full-service coworking spaces
These kinds of more high-end coworking spaces typically provide nicer amenities and have extra benefits for their customers, like food, beverages and different meeting or conference rooms. They are more convenient and also luxurious than open coworking spaces.
Corporate coworking spaces
Corporate, more professional spaces are less luxurious than full-service ones, but they offer a more professional environment than open coworking spaces. They are more private and better for small corporate teams.
Accelerators and start-ups love these kinds of coworking spaces. People who work in IT (especially software developers) tend to enjoy this kind of office because they can collaborate with others in a more relaxed and collaborative environment. These spaces are normally also more budget-friendly than professional ones, which is great for class-conscious start-ups.
Virtual offices are places where companies can register a physical address, receive mail and have meetings when necessary. They are gaining in popularity as more and more businesses expand internationally and do business abroad.
Advantages of coworking
There are many benefits of coworking and using a coworking space. It provides a change of environment which can lead to an increase in productivity, it can increase motivation, and it is less expensive than renting a private office.
Since coworking spaces are usually populated with people from various backgrounds and expertise, it means that it’s an ideal place for sharing ideas, brainstorming and using the knowledge from your co-workers.
Plus, it’s always a fun place to socialize and many coworking spaces are known for organizing fun, educational and inspiring events.
Disadvantages of coworking
Even though the advantages of coworking definitely outweigh the disadvantages.
There can be certain noise and distractions from the people around you, which can often lead to reduced productivity.
Without a private office, there’s also a lack of privacy, which can be problematic whenever you are dealing with sensitive or confidential data.
Tips to consider when choosing a coworking space
Once you’ve considered all the benefits of working in a coworking space, it’s time to choose the best one for you. But there are a few things and details you might want to consider before you commit to a certain spot.
You should consider committing to a coworking space in a location that you like. For example, if you like quiet and green areas, then maybe you don’t want to decide on coworking downtown. Make sure to think about the time it will take you to commute there, or check if the coworking space also offers parking spaces.
Are you looking into more budget-friendly options, or are you happy to pay a higher price and get work done in a nicer space with better amenities? As we already explained above, there are different types of coworking spaces, depending on your budget and needs.
Are you looking for a more serious and quiet space where there are plenty of meeting and conference rooms available, or are you happy enough to work in an open space where there’s more hustle and bustle?
If you have many meetings, if you’re often discussing sensitive topics or if you’re sensitive to noise, then make sure to find a coworking space that has some private meeting rooms or corners available.
Community & events
One of the cons of working remotely or working from home is definitely the loneliness. Especially if you’re more introverted, meeting new people or socializing can seem like a challenge if you spend most of your days at home.
And that’s where coworking spaces come in! If you’re looking for a great place to socialize and meet fellow remote workers, then choose a coworking space that has a great community and is known for its events.
How can Native Teams help you to get access to coworking spaces around the world?
Native Teams is a global platform offering payment and employment solutions for freelancers, remote workers and their clients in more than 30 countries around the world.
We have partnerships with many coworking spaces around the world, so if you need a helping hand in picking the right one for you, let us know.
Are you just getting started with freelancing? Check out our tips on how to become a freelancer in 2022.
Should you try coworking?
Coworking has been on the rise in recent years, with new coworking spaces appearing everywhere and all the time. There are definitely a few things to consider before you commit to a coworking space, but if you’re curious to just try it out, the best thing to do is to give it a shot.
Who knows, you might meet amazing new people, get a helping hand for your project or get that boost of motivation and productivity which could be exactly what you need to get things going again.