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By now, you must have heard about or come across the concept of Coworking. What do you think about it? Do you think it can work for you or your business? An increasing number of people are asking themselves this question which is a testament to the growing popularity of this concept. By definition, Coworking is the sharing of office space among various people typically independent self-employed professionals who wish to work together in a collaborative and communal setup rather than a traditional office. A Coworking space where professional across different fields and industries work under one roof offers a unique set of advantages to entrepreneurs in particular – some of which are not so obvious.
Self-Employment Is on the Rise and Co-Working Fits the Bill for Many Freelancers
Statistics published by Yahoo Finance Canada show that 45 percent of the Canadian workforce will consist of independent contractors, freelancers and on-demand workers by 2020. This rise in self-employment has triggered an explosion in demand for shared office space. Majority of this demand is from millennial in tech industry start-ups and other small businesses who prefer not to work from home. Based on circumstances, some people may find working from home advantageous. However, you are prone to more distractions and/or leave you isolated both of which can negate your productivity. If working from home is not for you but you cannot afford a traditional private office, it might be time to consider the benefits of a Coworking space.
Co-Working Space Is Ideal for Low Cost Start-ups
Renting a traditional office space can be very expensive. You will typically be required to sign a lease of averagely 5 years and provide a deposit on the same. In case of anything and you need to terminate the lease, it is also very expensive. Coworking space on the other hand works like a club membership. The space is rented out on flexible plans including monthly, weekly, hourly or even pay as you go. For an entrepreneur, shared office space is more financially feasible as it avoids extended commitments and high upfront costs. The cost of shared workspace varies according to the following factors;
Location. This is nominal with real estate.
Building Amenities and Space. If the building offers more space and additional amenities such as gym, security, cafe and parking, you can expect to pay more.
DeskSpace. The cost of a reserved seat is higher than the normal desks while a private office will cost you much more.
Extra Membership Benefits. If the provider offers additional benefits such as conference rooms, 24-hour access, showers, receptionist and admin services, workshops corporate engagement and speciality snacks, you can expect to pay a little bit more.
In all consideration, the pricing of Coworking spaces in Canada varies from a few hundred dollars to thousands per month dependent on the factors above.
Co-Working Facilities Are All-Inclusive
A Coworking space is always ready for use. Upon paying your membership, you do not have to worry about any setup costs such as furniture utilities etc. The pace will come equipped with;
- Desk and chair, shared, dedicated or in a private office depending on membership level.
- High-speed internet
- Shared scanner, copier and printer
- Free break room facilities including a microwave and fridge
- Shelf space
- Access to a conference room on reservation
Co-Working Offers Collaboration and Synergy
Isolation is the main downside of being self-employed since working from home does not offer the same synergy and social interaction that working in a group does. A Coworking space overcomes this by offering;
- A flexible, distraction-free and professional work environment that inspires productivity
- A balance and separation between work and social life
- Positive social interaction and a sense of community.
Gaining New Business and Valuable Contacts
Coworking spaces offer an ideal platform for different professionals from different fields to collaborate, interact and build professional and social relationships. It exposes you to different people offering different services some of which you directly need. Conversely, it also allows you to sell your products and services to a ready market without any marketing. It also provides a reliable feedback loop among businesses in relatively the same stage of growth.
Top 5 Benefits of Coworking Spaces
ACCESS TO A DEDICATED WORKSPACE
Working from a Coworking facility allows gives you distraction-free environment free from distractions and interruptions. It also offers a professional setting to meet partners and clients while making a good impression.
ABILITY TO GROW A TEAM
As more Coworking facilities continue to open outside metropolitan areas, more businesses are now getting a chance to bring their team together in central locations where they can work side by side, improve their productivity and promote a sense of togetherness.
Coworking spaces offer businesses the opportunity to only pay for the space they need when they need it. This allows you to grow at your own pace with fewer fixed costs. No more being tied down to long-term leases.
FOCUS ON YOUR BUSINESS
The provider of the Coworking facility and service handles all the administrative details of the facility. You never have to worry about stocking the break room, replacing a cartridge or paying utility bills. All you need to do is pay your monthly membership fee and continue focusing on your business – it deserves your full attention.
It is expected that as businesses grow, they will want to have the security and privacy of renting their own office space. However, for solo entrepreneurs and start-ups, the affordable and flexible nature of Coworking space makes it an alluring option that also offers unique benefits to entrepreneurs.
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