Is Coworking Right for You?
Coworking 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:
- Coworking Community Blog: An informational site about coworking with some coworking locations listed.
- Coworking Google Group: A support and discussion network for people interested in coworking.
- Coworking Office Directory: A new directory with a small collection of international coworking groups.
- Coworking Wiki: A collection of coworking resources and local links.
- Wurkspaces: A coworking facilities directory.
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.