The coworking space model has come into its own over the last few years. As we radically alter the way we think about working, moving away from the traditional 9-5 treadmill and into more flexible, adaptable working patterns, the concept of a coworking community has blossomed. Embraced by both young start-ups and more established businesses, the drive hasbeen to build coworking communities that generate a positive, efficient and dynamic working environment.
But what makes a coworking community? This article will examine why coworking membership works for individuals and businesses, the strategies for building a thriving community, and how to choose the right space. Directed at everyone from entrepreneurs and freelancers working remotely to companies looking for more adaptable and reactive office space, we'll also discuss how to develop a real sense of community within a shared office space.
Coworking refers to working in a shared space and a flexible working environment that embraces professionals from several organisations. The key to successful coworking is choosing a workspace that allows a free flow of cooperation, innovation and the sharing of ideas. It enables individuals and businesses to interact in an environment that encourages creative thinking. It's the new way to work in the 21st century.
Coworking spaces also provide the amenities, facilities and practical, everyday necessities of business life. Everything you need, from copy machines and fast internet connectivity to conference facilities and meeting rooms, is under one roof. A coworking community can take advantage of this without each business having to put substantial investment into creating their own individual workspace as in the traditional office format.
By sharing these facilities with other businesses within the community, you are saving money and have the potential to build strong relationships with other companies and individuals.
The principles of starting a coworking space are not particularly complex or, to be honest, particularly new. A space can be adapted to any coworking environment. But what makes it a real success is the community that you build up within that space.
Coworking culture is at the heart of a successful coworking space. This focuses on collaboration and integration of like-minded workers. The idea is to be in an environment where individuals can 'bounce' off one another, formulating new ideas, networks, and connections.
As we come out of enforced isolation after the Covid pandemic, the idea of returning to a workplace environment is appealing to many who found remote work to be a little too isolating. Workers, especially innovative entrepreneurs, those in the creative industries, and those inspired by working within a team need that connectivity to thrive.
If you’re looking for coworking space membership, there are certain factors that you need to consider.
· Joining like-minded people – If you're looking for a coworking space, think about the type of people you want to work with. Are you in the creative industries? Look for spaces that not only offer the facilities you need to grow your business but also have a robust creative community already in situ.
· A welcoming environment – While you’ll need a certain amount of personal space and the ability to close off from the group to focus on your tasks, you’ll still want an open space where you feel a tease. Coworking space membership is all about finding the right balance between integration and privacy.
· A sense of connection – During the pandemic, homeworking may have been popular with some, but it engendered a sense of isolation for others. A coworking community removes that isolation and allows you to reconnect and return to a working environment on your own terms. Connection builds stronger links between businesses, which is easily achievable as everyone in the space has the same goals, direction and aspirations.
· A better chance for new business success – There are also some practical advantages of joining a coworking membership. Becoming part of a coworking space community reduces your business' overheads. You are not renting or leasing your own office space, just a small part of a much larger area. Business running costs are kept down – particularly important if you’re a new business or freelancer.
There is a multitude of advantages to taking out coworking space membership, but the three big ticks that make them particularly appealing are:
· Connecting in a collaborative environment – Coworking communities allow like-minded people to come together and collaborate. For example, if you’re in the middle of creating a brochure for a client but need some help putting together a colour palette that will make your final design really zing, why not ask the graphic or digital designer in the next booth for some advice?
· Inhouse network opportunities – Having a collective of creative people all under one roof inevitably builds up a network of connections. Networking opportunities happen daily, or your community could also expand these further by organising special events showcasing the talents within the community to external businesses.
· Grow your business – Because the logistics of running a business (such as office maintenance) are taken care of by an in-house support team, you have more time to focus on growing your business.
· Networking events – As most coworking spaces have the facilities to host conferences or events, it can be easy for the community to set up a special event.
· Community blogging – A perfect opportunity to get to know your colleagues within the community and tell them a little bit about yourself. A community blog can be as formal or informal as you want, offering a space to share views, make connections, or sell your services.
· Get to know your neighbours – All work and no play can make anyone dull. Social events such as a happy hour at the end of the working week allow everyone to let their hair down and meet on a more social level. Alternatively, organised team events are a great way to build stronger bonds between different members of the community.
To answer the question, "What makes a coworking community" you simply need to look around you. It is the individuals within a that make the community a success. The logistics of a coworking space membership benefit everyone, whether it's access to amenities such as individual offices, meeting rooms, or conference facilities.
A coworking community also enables individuals to build strong connections with like-minded professionals, particularly within the creative industries. The chance to network, grow and develop a business without the usual logistical worries of running an office makes it easier for new companies, entrepreneurs and freelancers to expand their horizons.
If a community works well together, it can develop a space where creativity and innovation flow effortlessly. This can be achieved by simple things such as community activities, blogging and developing newsletters, and ensuring everyone feels involved.
The benefits of a coworking community demonstrate how flexible working is the future of the work environment, leaving behind the restrictions of traditional office setups and encouraging individualism and personal development within a robust community.