Why Coworking Makes Sense - Tangible and Intangible Benefits

Do you remember how, a few years from now, the Indian metropolitan crowd faced and resisted the concept of shared cabs?

This concept involved sharing your taxi with other passengers, usually strangers, who were headed in the same direction. Initially, travelling with strangers was not a welcome experience. It meant stepping out of one’s comfort zone. So, if someone owned a car, he/ she would prefer using it over a shared cab.

After all, having to step outside of one’s comfort zone is a scary thing. Just as Neale Donald Walsch once said,

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

Some early adopters stepped outside of their comfort zone to catch glimpse of life into shared cabs, and through word of mouth, this concept started selling like hot cakes. Today, it doesn’t make sense to people to hire individual cabs or buy a second one for occasional needs.

Similarly, it doesn’t make sense to rent a complete office if you happen to have a team of only five or even smaller and are just starting up. Further, what if you are a one-man-army or freelancing? Why rent an office or work at home when you can share an office and pay just for your workstation?

Cowork, that’s your answer. A fairly new concept of shared working spaces with independent individual activities going on. Like the shared cabs, you don't need to worry about the directions, getting the tank filled, or pumping the air in tyres or even drive. All you have to do is ride till your destination arrives. Similarly, in a coworking space you do not have to worry a bit about maintenance, electricity, or anything else. You have to arrive at your workstation and just work.

These coworking spaces are different from a typical office environment, and are generally shared by individuals coming from different organizations and professions. These professionals and individuals are mostly strangers to each other, initially, and pay a small fee for the facilities received at these shared spaces.

Coworking Spaces - Do we really need them?

One of the many factors that has led to the sprouting of coworking spaces is the multitude of youth populating the modern workplace. The workplace is more connected than it has ever been before. Employers too, have given ear to this connectivity and heightened amount of human interaction, and have recognized that these factors can actually help foster productivity and innovation.

Let’s talk Benefits

An increasing number of social media groups, WhatsApp groups, cafe meetings, startup meets and conferences, greater use of collaboration options like Slack, Asana, Trello, and such indicate how offices are moving out of the four walls and occupying spaces in places where people want to work at their own comfort and still not lose their motivation.

Trends like these have led us to believe that people are no longer interested in working with a small in-house teams or hiding behind tiny cubicles anymore, nor do they like anything coming in the way of their work, be it commuting or taking care of their offices. Simultaneously, they have an increasing urge to build new social connections with like-minded individuals.

Let us go ahead and see how a coworking space can serve this new breed of workaholic generation.

Freelancing Freely

Perhaps, some of us, as freelancers, are utterly productive and focused to be able to get up every morning and go into the work mode even while staying at home. Yet, the truth is that a majority of freelancers find the idea of working from home a challenging and unconducive way of getting things done. While at home, our mind tends to divert towards many other things, like the laundry, maybe the baby, the cooking, the cleaning, the nagging mothers, and so much more.

This is the reason why we see many freelancers flocking their surrounding coffee houses. But, that too does not save them from distraction as the guilt of taking up a seat for too long catches up on them. So, where can a freelancer go? A coworking office!

At a coworking space, all you get is focus. You can give undivided attention to your projects and not worry about a thing in the world. Having a workstation in a coworking environment is a luxury at a price of a penny. You have the comfort and flexibility of your work and work hours while enjoying the focus a regular workplace offers. Plus, no guilty feelings of occupying the seat for far too long.

And as a bundle deal, you get to expand your connections, learn from others, and bag more freelance projects.

Concentration, Collaboration, Creation

The problem with many individuals of the the new working generation today is that they want to work. However, to find a place where one can concentrate without being distracted, and execute what has been planned is a pain. This same crowd finds ‘working from home’ an isolating experience and their visit to the coffee shops, a distraction. Coworking space offers them the best of both worlds.

The best place to work is one where people are motivated and dedicated towards their work and believe in collaboration as a tool to amplify each other’s strengths. That is where coworking comes into picture.

In a coworking space, you are constantly surrounded by passionate, self-motivated individuals, which positively affects your motivation towards your work. According to a recent study,  coworking spaces have increased by 400 percent in the last two years because they provide community and collaboration which is a much emphasized aspect of working by the upcoming, forward thinking entrepreneurs.

Source:  fundable.com

Source: fundable.com

Real Life Social Networking

A great coworking space engages with its surrounding audience and external community. This space is not renowned because of the pre-existence of  some desks or free wi-fi. Coworking spaces are thriving communities of talented and self-confident people who come not only to work, but also to create real connections that can help them personally as well as professionally. The atmosphere is welcoming, interesting, and beneficial to one, because of the chance to be able to connect and meet with fellow freelancers and entrepreneurs.

Coworking spaces attract myriad members from diversified backgrounds and industries and so, they promote innovation. According to Martin Ruef, a sociologist at Princeton, it was discovered that people who widened their list of contacts from small groups of familiar acquaintances to larger, more loosely-connected networks of people turned far more innovative than their counterparts.

And imagine going on a vacation with your small team of three. How fun would it be if you could team up with other teams, board a big bus and enjoy a hearty gang of guitarists, singers, dancers, card wizards, trekkers, chefs and photographers?! Cost sharing and happiness multiplying - doesn’t that sound fun?

Budget - “Wise”

On a serious note, coworking spaces ease the process of starting a business. Usually when a company is just at its doorstep, it has to focus on many factors like having to hire a workplace, maintaining the employee payroll, cost of facilities, and many more financial expenses which can rip your energies apart in directions that may not be beneficial for the business initially.

Moreover, if you are a startup and the head count of the employees is below five, then hiring a workplace would just be a waste of precious resources. In such cases, coworking spaces allow the opportunity to save up financially, taking into consideration the minimal fee a team has to pay in comparison to the cost of an individual office. Additionally, you get access to enough workspace and other added facilities such as the internet, snacks, drinks, and a lot more.

Again, not just because of the free amenities, the clear benefits of the space is the wealth of human resources present in that space. After all, as a founder of a company that is just at its grassroot level, what would your preference be?

Today, if we can use the  simplified and well devised web tools, a beautiful collaboration can be attained. This way, no one would require to book office spaces or rent residential apartments or work in garage while they are at a premature stage of their business.

Final thoughts

As the saying by Gordie Howe goes -

You’ve got to love what you are doing. If you love it, you can overcome any handicap or the soreness, or all the aches and pain, and continue to play for a long time.

Enjoyment of our daily working culture can have a positive impact on work ethics, well‐being, and productivity. Coworking might be the buzz in India today, but it's sure a buzz for good.

The concept promises more than just the resources and a place to do business. It is a community, and a growing community at that. This is the future of how businesses are going to be carried out. Entrepreneur, startup, or freelancer - no matter who you are, coworking space is the perfect match for you.

Don't forget to tell us what you feel about this new concept in your comments below.

Till then enjoy the following infographic summarizing all the tangible and intangible benefits of choosing a oworking space over other arrangements. Have a look and make up your mind!