05 Mar Everyone Is Talking About Coworking Spaces, But What Is Coworking?
Coworking spaces have become increasingly prominent as the number of freelance, self-employed, and independent professionals increases. They are springing up all over major cities and allowing independent and small businesses to develop with the flexibility they need to adapt to the needs of the workforce in the 21st century. But what is coworking?
In order to better grasp what coworking is, let’s define coworking and look at why so many people have moved to sharing coworking offices.
What is coworking?
Coworking can easily be defined as sharing an office space with people who are mostly independent or self-employed professionals.
Having a shared space allows people from many different professions and specialties to all work in the same place on their own individual projects without sacrificing the benefits of communal atmosphere that an office provides.
In a traditional office setting, groups of people work together in the same building for the same company. However, a coworking space brings people from many different companies and backgrounds together to work under the same roof. Graphic designers, lawyers, small agencies, accountants, and smaller tech start-ups can all be working next to each other and benefiting from being exposed to different ideas and perspectives without having to leave the building, though their reasons for choosing a coworking space may be different.
Why do people cowork?
Let’s look at some of the reasons why people choose to cowork instead of renting another type of space:
1. Coworking gives you a space for work
Before coworking spaces began to pop up all over the world, many self-employed professionals worked “from home”.
Taken loosely, this could mean anything from renting another space to serve as an office, to working in a coffee shop, to actually working from home.
While these spaces have their own pros and cons, working from your home as a self-employed person can often serve as an obstacle to being productive–whether it’s the compulsion to clean the stove or the allure of a television break.
People choose to cowork because it provides them with a space that is separate from the rest of their lives, a sense of work-life balance that helps them be productive and focus on the task at hand.
2. Coworking helps you focus in a professional environment
Additionally, people are moving away from the coffee shop model of freelance work as they have more control over the atmosphere of their work.
When you go to a coffee shop, there may be other independent professionals working on their own things in a pleasant atmosphere, or it could be filled to the brim with people chatting loudly and distracting you from valuable work time.
In a shared office, people are going to be focused on their own tasks and contributing to the atmosphere of productivity.
3. Coworking gives you flexibility in planning your day
People may choose to share an office because coworking spaces allow the flexibility of working from home, but with all of the amenities that a standard corporate office can provide.
In fact, along with being the most affordable coworking space in Houston, North Houston Executive Suites’ flexibility and multitude of free amenities (including being open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) are the reasons so many coworkers are happy to work at North Houston Executive Suites.
This is of the utmost importance to modern freelancers and self-employed professionals as their hours may not be as regular as a standard 9 to 5 job would and their workload may vary from one week to another.
Our coworking spaces are located close to many nice attractions such as gyms, cafés, restaurants, and other types of needed breaks that allow you to flexibly manage your day and workload. If you need to do a quick workout at the gym or just take a break and have a coffee to get focused again or if you need to run some errands at the bank or even get a haircut, there are many opportunities and possibilities near North Houston Executive Suites that can help you round out your day.
4. Coworking provides the services of an executive office for cheaper
Finally, people may cowork because of the simple fact that a membership in a coworking space is cheaper than a traditional office. Much cheaper.
If you choose to rent a private office it can be very expensive or perhaps very far out of the way. Our coworking spaces are some of the most affordable coworking spaces in Houston and you don’t have to pay for the separate benefits that can come with a coworking space such as parking, security, a secretary etc. like you would have to for a private office.
Specifically, at North Houston Executive Suites your coworking package includes: janitorial services, phone services, high speed internet, a lobby receptionist, mail and package handling, parking, fully furnished offices, a mailing address, and last–but certainly not least–a break room stocked withgourmet coffee. These additional free services are some of the reasons why people choose to share an office and have moved away from the traditional corporate office.
What can you get out of coworking?
1. Sharing an office connects you with others
Even though most people’s first thought when they look for a work space is “work”, coworking spaces can help develop connections.
Office spaces are not only places for individual work, they are a place to exchange ideas. People get up, go to the break room, talk about their work, exchange ideas, and make connections with others.
The late Steve Jobs found this aspect of work so important that he made sure that Pixar’s offices had bathrooms that encouraged interaction between employees, or what he called “serendipitous personal encounters”.
In coworking spaces, you can encounter people from many different disciplines working at all different times of the day. Graphic designers can make connections with business firms and collaborate on projects when they share an office, start-ups can work with accountants just a few desks away from them–the possibilities are limitless.
There’s no need to go to another large office block and painstakingly search for a new partner or contractor, you could just ask around your office and find someone who is willing and able to work with you.
These connections are an invaluable part of coworking and help develop your projects in concert with other people and groups.
2. Coworking helps people find meaning in their work
Because of the flexibility that coworking provides, sharing offices has helped people thrive in ways that they haven’t in a standard office.
In a coworking space, most people are freelancers or independent contractors working for themselves or small agencies. They’ve taken the time and put in resources to get a coworking space and take their work seriously.
They find meaning in their work which allows them to focus on their tasks and work with a vitality that they may not have if they were working for a larger company. Being your own boss can be difficult, but it does mean that your work is not the normal drudgery that it may seem if it were handed down from somebody above.
3. Ability to be yourself
All of the potential mishaps and politicking of a traditional office where a large company is housed is a foreign concept to the coworking world.
Since these workers are freelancers and independent, there is no need to impress the boss to choose one person over another for a promotion. Freelancers have the freedom to choose their projects and small start-ups are closely-knit groups that don’t have to compete with their fellow employees to get a leg up.
Additionally, being yourself in a coworking space means being different, which allows you a unique perspective on what you do. Other people who want to collaborate with you may not know exactly what your work is or how you do it, giving you the opportunity to describe what it is you do.
Sharing an office in this way can lend more meaning to your work if people are interested in it.
Coworking is the future and it is here for good
Now when someone asks “what is coworking?”, know that coworking is not another trend in that will disappear in the next couple of years. It is here to stay and it has many benefits that have been shown in studies.
Coworking spaces have never been more available and the prices of our coworking spaces are a fantastic opportunity for those who are interested in working in a collaborative, supportive, and multi-faceted environment.
Coworking has clearly shown that it is here to stay and that the 21st century’s innovations in work environments have just begun.