What Is Co-Working?
May 11th, 2018
Have you ever heard someone say that they work in a “co-working environment” and not know what that meant? It’s cool, because so have I. Never fear, to enlighten all of us, I checked into what exactly co-working is and the following is what I’ve come up with.
Over the past few years, co-working has really gained some steam as an alternate to working from your own office or even from your own home. Besides productivity benefits, co-working offers networking opportunities, and maybe the most alluring of all, flexibility. Let’s take a peek at the actual definition of “co-working” and why you might see some benefit from it.
“coworking” or “co-working,” with a lower-case ‘c’, is a generic word that’s generally used to describe any situation in which two or more people are working in the same place together, but not for the same company.
As a telecommuter, independent professional and/or others who can work from anywhere, have the choice of working remotely in separate offices/places, or they can share one collaborative working environment, such as a co-working space. This can be on an occasional basis or for regular full-time work hours, depending on your preferences.
In terms of what a co-working environment may feel like, it all depends on where you go. For example, a co-working space could be a cafe-like collaboration space, or it could also be an office-like setting. A co-working space could even be someone's home or loft. The main idea is that individual workers come together in a shared place to enjoy greater productivity and a sense of community.
Now I’m going to get into a few things that might be of benefit to you with choosing a co-working space. Beyond just creating better places to work, co-working spaces are built around the idea of community-building and sustainability. Co-working spaces agree to uphold the values set forth by those who developed the concept in the first place: collaboration, community, sustainability, openness, and accessibility.
The creative environment and the sense of community from like-minded professionals may just be the most appealing aspect of co-working. There’s nothing quite like being around those who nurture your creativity and think the way that you think. That’s something that no secluded office could give you.
Another benefit of co-working is the potential for networking. The people that you meet at a co-working space could be looking for your kind of work and/or they could be great resources down the road.
Finally, many co-working spaces not just offer collaborative work spaces, but they also offer things like high-speed internet, meeting rooms, couches and other places to take a comfortable break, as wells as kitchenettes stocked with snacks and beverages. So, instead of hitting up the local Caribou Coffee or Starbucks to get some work done, check out if you have any co-working spaces near you to enrich your productivity.
Luckily, if you’re reading this, you’re probably near a co-working space and you probably don’t even know it. If you’re interested in co-working and want to check one out for yourself, take a look at the new St. Croix Valley Business Innovation Center in River Falls.
For more information or to set up a tour, feel free to contact us!