Last year, I did an internship in a coworking space in Hong Kong (the Hive). I enjoyed the entrepreneurship mind I felt there, and I really think it was a great workspace for entrepreneurs and startups. For the same reason, I’m about to start a 6 months internship in another coworking space in Toronto (Foundery), in few weeks.
I discovered that most of entrepreneurs have never heard about these spaces, even though they might be interested in. So I decided to explain in this article what they are, to whom they are dedicated, and what they can offer.
What is a coworking space?
It is a working space, designed as an open area where entrepreneurs and startups can work. Workers can rent a desk for a day, a week or a month for a lower price than a traditional office. These workspaces are designed to inspire and to improve creation, productivity and sharing. Some of them can also offer dedicated and locked office, as if it was an office rental.
Who might be interested in?
These spaces have been created to offer an affordable area to work for entrepreneurs, startups, small companies, punctual workers, freelances, artists… As there are more and more coworking spaces, they start to be focused on special communities: some of them are targeting artists, or workers in digital medias, or startups…
8 reasons to work in a coworking space
What coworking spaces offer them?
If they didn’t have coworking spaces, where could entrepreneurs work? Home? Coffee? Imagine yourself working at home, there is so much distraction and temptation around you so that it is almost impossible to have your work done: cleaning, children, TV, cooking, and so much more. At the coffee? There is so much noise, people coming in… Moreover, you would have to buy some time to time, even you don’t want anything, which costs you a lot at the end of the month.
Nobody can work 10 hours in a raw. If you are at home, you have nobody to talk with. If you work from a coffee, there is only some strangers. In coworking spaces you avoid this risk of loneliness. You meet people like you who are also working on challenging projects. Coworking spaces have also re area with kitchen, magazines, and sometime some cools stuffs (tennis table, table football…).
Professional tools and services
Coworking spaces provide to their members professional tools and services such as: mailbox, meeting rooms, business address, printer, high speed internet…
This was the first reasons of these workspaces: an affordable price. It is still true, but it is not the only argument anymore. Usually, there is no long-term contract and the longest agreement is one month.
Coworking spaces know their customers and their needs. As most of them are creative people, working area are designed to inspire. Coworking spaces can offer very creative and different environment.
Usually, coworking spaces are based in city centers. That gives a good image for companies registered there. Meeting a customer in a full equipped meeting room in a skyscraper downtown in a famous city give you much more credibility than meeting him at your messy home or in a coffee.
In a coworking space, people are working on a wide range of project and usually don’t have all skills or competencies, to run it smoothly, which is totally normal. But the strength of these spaces is the experience sharing. You are encouraged to ask for help to more experienced colleagues, and to share your expertise with them if needed.
I won’t explain the importance of the personal network, which is particularly true for entrepreneurs. In a coworking space, you have the opportunity to meet a lot of different people with a wide range of skills. You even might meet a future provider or customer.
Events, workshops and cocktails
Most of coworking spaces organise regularly events to give the opportunity to their members to meet and share. These events are generally open to everybody, even non-members, and it is also a way to make the space known. Events organized might be workshops, conferences, cocktails, or even small trade shows. Events can also be private and organized by companies. Anyway, these events are always work related, and give you the opportunity to share some business cards and do networking.