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Coworking spaces offer a unique environment that fosters creativity, collaboration, and community. They provide a space where professionals from different fields can work together, share ideas, and collaborate on projects.

The purpose of this blog is to use our expertise at Strive Workspaces to provide insights into:

  • The meaning of coworking and its core principles.
  • The benefits of coworking.
  • The types of coworking spaces.
  • How to choose the right coworking space.

After reading this, you will have a solid understanding of whether coworking may be a fit for your business. Let’s dive in!

Coworking Meaning

Coworking is a modern concept that has evolved over the years. It started in the 1990s with a group of independent professionals in Berlin, Germany, who shared a workspace to reduce costs and social isolation. The first US coworking space opened in San Francisco in 2005.

Today, coworking spaces are a booming industry that provides a flexible and collaborative environment for entrepreneurs, freelancers, and remote workers.

The four core characteristics of coworking include:

  • Shared Workspaces

Shared workspaces are physical spaces where individuals work together, share resources, and collaborate on projects. This can include open desks, private offices, meeting rooms, and event spaces.

  • Diverse community

The diverse community includes people from different backgrounds, industries, and professions who come together to work and socialize. This creates a dynamic and stimulating environment where individuals can learn from and grow from each other.

  • Flexibility

Flexibility is one of the key benefits of coworking. Members can choose their schedule, workspace, and amenities based on their needs. This allows them to work efficiently and effectively without being confined to a traditional office setting.

  • Collaboration

Finally, collaboration is a fundamental aspect of coworking. Members are encouraged to share ideas, skills, and resources to solve problems and create new opportunities.

In contrast to traditional offices, coworking spaces provide more than just a place to work. They offer a supportive community, networking opportunities, and access to resources such as mentorship, events, and workshops.

Coworking also provides a more affordable and flexible alternative to traditional office spaces, which can be costly and require long-term leases.

Additionally, coworking spaces are designed to be inclusive and welcoming to people of all backgrounds and identities. Overall, the coworking movement is a modern solution to the changing nature of work and provides an environment that fosters creativity, productivity, and collaboration.

Example of the exterior of a coworking space (courtesy of CityCentral):

The outside of CityCentral, a coworking space.

The Benefits of Coworking

Coworking spaces offer a wide range of benefits, including:

Increased Productivity

Coworking spaces provide a structured work environment that eliminates distractions and encourages productivity. By working in a space with like-minded individuals, you can stay focused and motivated to accomplish your tasks.

Cost-Effective Solutions

Coworking spaces are a cost-effective solution for entrepreneurs and small business owners who cannot afford to rent a traditional office space. By sharing the cost with other members, you can reduce your overhead costs and enjoy flexible rental terms.

Networking Opportunities

Coworking spaces offer an excellent opportunity to build your professional network and make new connections. You can collaborate with other members, share your skills and knowledge, and get feedback on your projects.

Work-Life Balance

Coworking spaces help you achieve a better work-life balance by separating your work and personal lives. By working in a professional environment, you can avoid the distractions of working from home and enjoy wellness initiatives such as yoga classes or meditation sessions.

Access to Amenities

Coworking spaces offer a variety of amenities that are essential to your work, including high-speed internet, meeting and conference rooms, and shared office equipment. This means you don’t have to worry about setting up your own office infrastructure, which can save you time and money.

With increased productivity, cost-effective solutions, networking opportunities, work-life balance, and access to amenities, coworking spaces offer a range of benefits that can help you succeed in your business or profession.

Interested in a coworking space? Check out Strive Workspaces to learn more about coworking and redeem a FREE day pass!

The center of a coworking space.

Photo courtesy of CityCentral.

4 Types of Coworking Spaces

To understand the meaning of coworking, you must also understand the different types of coworking spaces:

1) Traditional Coworking Centers

Traditional coworking centers are the most common type, and there are a number of coworking spaces, such as WeWork, that they tend to offer a wide range of amenities. These include shared workspaces, private offices, conference rooms, and community events.

They are typically open to anyone who needs a space to work, and they often attract freelancers, entrepreneurs, and small business owners.

2) Niche-Specific Spaces

These coworking spaces are designed for individuals who work in a specific industry or have a specific interest. For example, there are coworking spaces that cater to writers, artists, tech startups, and even lawyers. These spaces often offer specialized equipment, resources, or programming that is tailored to the needs of their members.

3) Corporate Coworking

Large corporations and businesses are increasingly turning to coworking spaces as a way to provide flexible workspace options to their employees. These business centers are often located within or near a company’s headquarters or offices, and they may offer exclusive amenities or services to employees of that company.

4) Virtual Coworking

Virtual coworking spaces are a relatively new concept that allows individuals to connect and collaborate online. Members of virtual coworking spaces can access shared resources, participate in online networking events, and connect with other professionals in their industry, no matter where they are located.

Two people working in a coworking space.

Photo courtesy of CityCentral.

How to Choose the Right Coworking Space

With so many options available, it can be difficult to know where to start when choosing a coworking space. However, by considering the following factors, you can make an informed decision and choose a coworking space that will meet your needs.

Factor #1: Location and Accessibility

The location of a coworking space is an important factor to consider. You will want to choose a space that is convenient for you to get to, whether that means it’s close to your home or your clients.

Additionally, you should consider the accessibility of the space. Is there ample parking or public transportation nearby? Is the building accessible for individuals with disabilities?

Factor #2: Amenities and Facilities

Another factor to consider when choosing a coworking space is the amenities and facilities that are offered. This can include things like:

  • High-speed internet
  • Printing and scanning services
  • Conference rooms
  • Kitchen facilities

When evaluating a space, consider which amenities are important to you and whether they are included in the membership fee.

Factor #3: Community and Culture

The community and culture of a coworking space can also play a significant role in your decision-making process. Some spaces are more focused on networking and collaborating with fellow members of coworking spaces, while others may have a more relaxed atmosphere.

Consider what type of community you want to be a part of and whether the space aligns with your values and goals.

Factor #4: Pricing and Membership Plans

Finally, you should consider the pricing and membership plans of the coworking space. Some spaces charge a flat fee for unlimited access, while others may offer different tiers based on usage. Make sure you understand the pricing structure and whether it fits within your budget.

By considering these factors, you can choose a coworking space that meets your needs and helps you achieve your goals.

Want to Try Out a Coworking Space?

Flexible office space offers a cost-effective and flexible alternative to traditional office spaces, allowing individuals to work in a collaborative and supportive environment.

Coworking spaces also promote productivity and creativity, as well as provide networking opportunities and access to resources. Moreover, coworking brings a sense of community and belonging, which can combat the loneliness and isolation that often come with remote work.

Overall, there are numerous benefits of coworking space that make it an attractive option for those looking for a modern and dynamic workspace.

If you would like to try out a coworking space, check out Strive Workspaces to learn more about coworking and redeem a FREE day pass!

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