Coworking has been a big hit in the US for a fair few years now, having seemingly grown exponentially overnight. We are now seeing these coworking spaces popping up everywhere.
I recently went to trial one of these spaces at Signature Works in Liverpool which inspired me to look further into the concept to see whether it’s all smoke and mirrors or if it’s as legit as it seems.
What is it?
Coworking space is a shared environment where people from different companies work under one roof. Even though these people will often be working independently, the majority of the office will often have shared values which can create a unique social aspect unlike anything else out there at the moment.
What’s so good about it?
It’s cheap – Coworking is much less expensive than renting out a whole office, which can be crucial for start ups who need the space but don’t have access to the larger funds of big companies.
Everything is included in costs such as electricity, water, refreshments, cleaning, Wi-Fi, upkeep, furniture and so on. It is all covered by one payment which not only makes it cost effective, but easy to budget for.
It creates community – Everyone is there for the same reason, meaning that everyone in the office is open to each other’s ideas and feedback. This can create a sense of community among coworkers and builds a fantastic network of talented individuals.
There will also be a massively diverse pool of talent at your fingertips when it comes to coworking. Instead of having to outsource work to a faceless organisation that may take weeks to get back to you, you can walk across the office and give someone a job – which not only makes them money, but gets the job done for you quickly and at a standard you trust.
It can energise unused buildings – A lot of coworking spaces have been built in disused buildings in big cities. This means that they haven’t been purpose built – adding yet another skyscraper to the city’s landscape.
They are effortlessly blended into the existing backdrop and can bring old, wonderful buildings back to life. Not only is this good for the local community but it can be a motivating and novel experience for those who are working in the space.
Every productivity marker improves – I found some very interesting stats about coworking – 71% of people said that their creativity increased after joining a coworking space and 62% said that the actual quality of their work improved too. Those are huge percentages of workers validating the effectiveness of coworking space.
There are often unique benefits – Most coworking spaces offer memberships that come with unique benefits to those who are signed up. These can come in the form of discounts at stores, gym memberships, social events or even just free coffee and tea.
Some places have a huge list of benefits to their members and offer exclusive, luxury memberships which is more akin to a society than a coworking space – something which I believe will start to catch on in the coming years as clients look for an increasingly exclusive service.
There are now more coworking spaces in London than any other city in the world – showing that the UK has adopted this trend with some serious Gusto. Coworking is expanding all over the UK, along with the rest of the world which definitely warrants some attention.