Is Coworking Right for You?

coworkingCoworking is a growing global trend that gives professionals who work from home an opportunity to work in a group setting. According to Wikipedia, while each individual is still working independently, members of a coworking group typically share values and are interested in the synergy that can happen from working with talented people in the same space.

Coworking spaces are usually informal, and they are frequently described as an office in a café, although they shouldn’t be confused with office space you can rent. The main difference is the setup – office rentals have separate offices and isolated work spaces, while coworking locations focus on community and togetherness.

Some of the more established coworking spaces have started expanding to meet the needs of their workers. Take Cubes and Crayons, for example. They have successfully combined coworking with childcare facilities and have two locations in California.

At its core, coworking can be an excellent way to get away from distractions at home, while getting work done in a social, collaborative and informal environment, alongside other local professionals.

The Benefits of Coworking

One of the primary benefits of coworking is being able to leave the walls of your home office and get out into the community. If you face work-at-home isolation, as many of us do, coworking can be a terrific way to break the monotony.

But there are a number of other benefits of coworking. Here are a few:

  • It creates accountability, which can help prevent procrastination.
  • Coworking inspires creativity by giving you an opportunity to work in proximity to other like-minded professionals.
  • It provides social benefits that are typically absent when working from home.
  • It gives you the opportunity for professional networking while you work.
  • Coworking can help you learn from others, collaborate and grow.
  • It develops a community-like atmosphere where you can find support and encouragement.
  • It fulfills the basic human need of working side-by-side with others, and can help you enjoy your work more.

Where to Find Coworking

There are coworking facilities all over the world, and the quickest way to find one in your area is to reach out to other local professionals or through a Google search. You may also be able to learn about local coworking establishments through social media, business networks and local organizations.

Here are some links to other coworking recources that may help you in your search for a coworking group to join:

Do you cowork or have you considered coworking? What has been your experience?

Image credit: Eddie Codel. Photo of Workspace, a coworking space in Vancouver’s Gastown district.

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  • StevenHu

    First thing that comes to mind – Artist’s Colony! They did it first.

  • Abhisek

    Wow, interesting article. Thanks for the links. But, don’t get me wrong, the benefits of coworking is a little bit inflated. Many points have been said more than once.

  • FunkBunk

    Co-working is definitely the way forward. We’ve seen such success stories here… and in the UK it is still in it’s infancy. http://www.funkbunk.com

  • Mary Rogers

    Hey,

    Great points. And one thing that is being added to in the coworking world that I think might be even the biggest point is the additional workshops and events. They really bring in interesting people. A new place in San Francisco (Outside the Cube http://www.otcsf.com )is doing membership only (regardless of working in the space) where you are a member for the year and then you can go to all the events at no extra charge. Great events too and then you don’t plop your money down on random events that some times you get nothing out of. Frankly, if 2 out of 3 a month work well, I am happy with that. They have a smaller version in Silicon Valley but I haven’t seen it.

  • Felicity at Cubes

    Thanks for the mention of Cubes&Crayons. We try and really love being part of the coworking community. Great article. Check out our just for professionals community as well – Outside the Cube; very cool events for the freelancer and entrepreneur.

    Felicity
    CEO/Founder
    http://www.cubesandcrayons.com
    http://www.otcsf.com