Coworking is a fast-growing corporate work culture, practiced by entrepreneurs, freelancers, and emerging or newly-founded businesses popularly known as start-ups.
What is a Coworking Space?
As the name might suggest, it is a space where you work with your co-workers; however, you are not exactly co-workers at the same company.
Simply put, coworking is an office space or environment, where people (which could be the workers of different companies or organizations) and freelancers work together. It is not a company’ office.
Rather, a coworking space is developed and maintained in a way to offer office-like set-up and environment to professionals whether self-employed or employed by different companies. The people working on the work station next to you might not be from your company or team. They might have different projects, clients, or skills, and still working under the same roof.
The space owners often offer amenities like coffee, cafeteria, restroom, meeting room, conference room, and clean and comfortable work area available at nominal monthly charges.
The very aim of these spaces is to relieve companies and freelancers with a limited budget to have an office, however, without having to bear all expenses of an office.
A Growing Work Culture!
The number of coworking spaces is expected to reach 26000 by the end of 2022, and that would be a whopping 42% growth from 2019. As per another estimate, about 2500 new coworking spaces come into existence worldwide every year.
This work culture is rising at a fast pace, and the reason for that is, it helps companies and freelancers save thousands of dollars every month – as you don’t have to build or rent an office. You just have to rent your space (or the space for the number of people on your team).
At least 38 million individuals were coworking patrons in the tear 2020. Of which, about 13% of professionals were from the Asia-Pacific region.
Top Advantages of Coworking Space –
Increased Productivity –
Many coworking spaces are equipped with high-end shared amenities and resources that help professionals work with more focus and dedication without any kind of disturbance and interruptions.
When you get desired environment to work in, you tend to work more and better. Some coworking spaces use this psychology lesson to customize the theme of their workspace. This allows them to offer professionals a space they feel comfortable in, so they can work with full potential.
Better Work-Life Balance –
The importance of work-life balance cannot and should not be overlooked. What we work has a crucial role to play in our life. But our life should not be about work only. There is more to life!
About 72% of people agree when they look for a job they consider work-life balance, while 94% of professionals work more than 50 hours a week. And interestingly, a work week is about 40 hours.
However, when you work at a coworking space, you sign a contract with the space owner that you will stay in the office for the agreed duration. They rent their space, so you will need to vacate the space for another professional after your agreed-upon work hours are over.
One way or another, they promote a healthy work-life balance. And you can’t find this level of work-life balance even while working from home!
Cost Saving –
This is the best part of working at a coworking space. Establishing an office costs a fortune without a doubt. And if you are a start-up or a small team of professionals, it would be quite a challenge for you to build (or buy or rent) and run an office.
Coworking spaces are already established modern and modular spaces, which allow you to work from an office-like setup without actually paying big. Ideally, you pay only for what you use.
If you just need a workstation, you don’t need pay for the entire office; you will pay only for that one workstation. You can always scale up as you add new members on your team.
Coffee, internet, and AC will be added bonuses! Apparently, they are a cost too!
Professionals on Your Network –
At these workspaces, you co-work with professionals from different companies, niches, and industries. And this way, you get to know and add many new friends and professionals on your social network, friend list, and phone book.
While working at these spaces will often give you a chance to participate in networking and community events. It feels like you are a part of a big community! That feel great, doesn’t it?
Initially, when you start working, you work with full focus. But gradually, some professionals struggle to maintain that focus.
They complain there is no privacy at coworking spaces. Crowd and noise are major distractions at these workspaces. These factors are among the ones that have an adverse impact on your concentration level and output.
And the solution?
You can still improve your work productivity while surrounded by people at coworking space. Here are a few tips to boost your productivity and increase your output –
Choose the Right Coworking Space –
Many coworking spaces are like a giant umbrella where people from different industries work together. For some, it is an attraction especially if you want to work with likeminded professionals, and for many others, it is a distraction if you are looking for a peaceful environment.
For example: if you are a freelance journalist, you would like a corner in the office where you can discuss your findings with people from the same profession without fearing about the possibility of story leak.
Likewise, if you are a writer, you would prefer a peaceful cabin or cubicle where you can think, think, and think, and write, write, and write over 7-8 cups of coffee, and where no one – literally no one, is bothered about that!
So, before you choose a coworking space, you should discuss your work style, requirements, and expectation with the space owner. This will help him/her suggest a better-fit workstation or area for your needs.
Use Earplugs or Headphone –
If you are concerned about the noise at your workplace, it would be wise to use ear plugs or on-ear headphones. They will block the noise and help you gain and maintain focus on your work.
It’s perfectly normal that you develop friendships with some people at the office. But work is work, and to stay focused on your work, these utilities can help you a great deal.
Ear plugs cancel all the noise, while headphones block the noise and play music to keep you in the rhythm.
Play Music That Helps You Focus or Concentrate –
For some people, music is their soul. If you belong to that breed, soulful music can help boost your productivity. Play it loud to disconnect from your surroundings and focus on your work!
Turn off your phone, if you are not expecting an important call. If that’s not possible, silent your phone and put it in your pocket, so notifications don’t pull your attention.
Keep all your music on your laptop, so you don’t have to check your phone frequently to change the track.
Keep a Table Clock –
Well, if you are trying to avoid distractions, you will need to give yourself some deadlines to follow.
For an instance, say you have to complete a task and report that over an email by 10:00 AM, task yourself to finish it half an hour before by setting an alarm for 9:30 AM. This will give you enough time to cross-check your work and write and send the email.
You should set a target for each task you work on.
If you fail to meet deadlines, skip one coffee. If you achieve that, don’t forget to reward yourself with an ice cream or dessert on lunch!
Plan Your Day –
This would be the most helpful way to make your day work as per your expectations.
You should keep a notebook (a pen and paper) with you while at work, and use it to note down all you are trying accomplish.
Plan your day a day before! Write down the tasks you aim to complete the next day. This will help you know what’s important and what’s not. Tick or label each task done after it has been accomplished.
Alternatively, you can prepare a time table and work on it accordingly. For example: the most difficult or important thing in the morning after you hit the floor.
Staying disciplined helps boost work productivity.
Personalize Your Space –
It will make it feel like your own space and you can work the way you want. For this, you can use custom designed stickers and labels from iCustomLabel.com. From your laptop skin, mouse pad, and bag to coffee mug and water bottle – there are so many things you can add personal touch to.
Apart from these, you can put your or loved ones’ photograph on your desk and inspiring quotes from your guru or favorite motivational speaker.
Personalizing your workspace makes you feel and work better.
Bottom Line –
Consider coworking space as your office. Don’t forget to take breaks, refresh yourself, and speak to people around you and call your loved ones over phone or video calls. These are the things that would give you loads of motivation to work!
But remember your deadlines!