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Coworking: Sharing space, resources and talent

Coworking spaces offer an affordable, professional workspace, complete with office equipment, meeting rooms and even the opportunity to collaborate. Recently, these spaces have been popping up like crazy—each day, 4.5 new coworking spaces open and 245 people join. What’s more, 40 percent of the workforce is expected to freelance by the year 2020, which tells us that this idea of sharing space, resources and talent is likely to continue at a fast and furious pace.

This e-newsletter looks at the growing trend of coworking. It discusses the pros and cons of joint spaces and delves into the culture of the movement.

Coworking: Is it for you?

Coworking has its share of advantages. For example, supporters love the affordability, access to professional meeting spaces and opportunity to network. In fact, many spaces have a community organizer whose primary duty is to introduce members who may be able to help one another out.

However, coworking isn’t for everyone. There is little privacy, limited space and sometimes coworkers may even find themselves sharing workspace with a direct competitor. Before you take the plunge, figure out what will work for you and your business. Here are some key things to consider:

  1. Does the space fit your style? Coworking spaces exist for just about every type of work, but are heavily centered on the services sector. Make sure the space you choose fits your business model and work style. Many coworking spaces are open concept with a collaborative atmosphere, making ear buds, USB wall chargers or power banks necessary tools for mobility and concentration.
  2. Are there places to meet? Most businesses require private meeting space once in a while. Check to see if there is a meeting room or boardroom you can reserve to conduct business. Shared meeting rooms may come with an additional fee to share the expense of stocking beverages or snacks.
  3. Is the technology up to speed? Ensure your technology needs are met. Does the space offer Wi-Fi or other equipment, such as printers, projectors, scanners or a fax machine?
  4. Do the business hours work with your schedule? Although 24/7 business hours are common, that isn’t always the case with coworking spaces. Be sure the space you’re considering has hours that work with your schedule and your clients’ schedules. If you’re planning to keep set business hours, imprint them on a Mobile Pouch or MicroBuff Mini to hand out to clients so they can easily differentiate between your hours and the hours of other businesses sharing the space.
  5. Is it affordable? The cost of coworking can vary widely and is dependent on location, amenities, accessibility and more. Be sure to shop around and ask lots of questions about the fee structure.

Could this type of workspace work for you? For a more in-depth look at coworking and all it has to offer, check out our Blue Paper.

Foertsch, Carsten. “4.5 New Coworking Spaces Per Work Day.” deskmag.com. Deskmag, 04 Mar. 2013. Web. Retrieved 04 Nov. 2014.

Giang, Vivian. “40 Percent Of Americans Will Be Freelancers By 2020.” Businessinsider.com. Business Insider, 21 Mar. 2013. Web. Retrieved 21 Nov. 2014.

“Coworking.” 4imprint Learning Center. N.p., 21 Jan. 2015. Web. Retrieved 29 Jan. 2015.

Walker, Ben. “Coworking Checklist: 9 Point Checklist of What to Look for in a Coworking Space.” Inspirecafe.com. Inspire Cafe, 18 June 2014. Web. Retrieved 21 Nov. 2014.

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