With start-ups popping up across the country and the freelance workforce growing exponentially, modern office space is taking on a new form. We have heard of billion-dollar companies that started out in a garage in Seattle or in an Ivy League dorm room, but most entrepreneurs need a space that falls between those humble digs and an elegant downtown office. Enter the coworking space, which allows multiple businesses to operate out of the same location. If you are in need of a base for your operations, here are six benefits to joining this movement:
1. Lower office costs
The most obvious benefit of sharing an office space with other companies is a break on monthly rent. While you can expect to pay several thousand dollars to rent an office space in any major U.S. city, dedicated desks at a shared space in New York's fashionable Soho district start at just $450 per month. You will find the numbers to be more than palatable as you start out with a handful of employees. Printing, coffee, conference rooms, and 24/7 access are usually included in the price.
2. The ability to work in peace
Never underestimate the lure of your living room couch or the impact of your children in the next room when working from home. Even if you are comfortable working at home, the reality for many small business owners is that the system does not work. Busy home environments can distract you in both good and bad ways. In order to work in peace, you need a space where you can sit and talk with your team without your private life interfering with the plan of attack.
3. Positive peer pressure
Peer pressure can be a good thing when it engages your competitive spirit and encourages you to aim higher. In a coworking space, you will feel this type of pressure on a daily basis. Across the room, you may notice a rising technology company with an owner who has an effective management style. While you will most likely feel inspired by the company's early success, you may also get some pointers on how to manage a growing team. This positive impact is easily worth the monthly costs.
4. The chance to network
If you need a web designer for a site overhaul, you may be sitting across from the best in the business for your budget at a communal work space. You could even be neighbors with someone who offers you your next big client as a referral. When you are surrounded by hardworking people who know what it means to rise from the lowest level, you have the opportunity to network and grow your business in several ways. After a short period, you might consider a shared working space to be the best investment you ever made for your business.
5. A healthy work-life balance
What would you pay to not have a big project staring you in the face after the end of a 12-hour day? Divide the monthly fee for a coworking space by 30 and see if that number works. By avoiding working out of your home, you have the chance to live a more conventional life that consists of doing your work at another location and leaving it there when you return home to relax or be with your family. This benefit is priceless to small business owners.
6. A path to your next big idea
You might find more than the spirit of healthy competition when sharing a work space with other companies; you could find your next venture. Seeing another company operate with a good idea but the wrong execution tends to get entrepreneurs thinking about what they could do with such a business under their control. You will have to differentiate your own company from anything already in existence, but by sharing a work space, chances are that you will find inspiration and ideas from others in the room.