I’m not going to bore you with the dictionary definition of coworking, so here’s mine instead: coworking is a great way for SMEs, freelancers and other self employed individuals to work “together” (in the same space) without necessarily “working together” (collaborating). It gets work from home types out into civilisation (let’s face it, it can be lonely working from home – been there, done that) and allows them to work shoulder to shoulder with other people from many different work backgrounds, something they couldn’t have done previously. It’s also cheaper than renting an entire office space if there are only one or two in the business, or if you’re just starting up.
Ok, so you get the idea about what coworking is. Now, why should you do it? Yes, it’s all the rage in some countries with new spaces opening up every day, but here in Northern Ireland, people are still a little dubious. Maybe you’re an introvert, like your own space, don’t want people talking to you while you’re working, interrupting you. Maybe you imagine that with so many people from different companies in the same room there’ll be a lot of noise and maybe even some stealing of ideas? Well, in my (albeit limited) experience of coworking so far, I can assure you it’s quite the opposite!
Coworking for us has meant we’ve been able to keep working with fast internet connection (essential in our line of work) and a listening ear if and when we need it. It’s given us inspiration for new ideas and services. It’s given us access to a network of other connections we wouldn’t have had otherwise. It’s allowed us to further separate work life from home life. It’s even meant we can work 24/7 if we need (or even want) to!
So maybe, rather than ask “Why cowork”, the question should really be “Why NOT cowork”? The benefits are huge and the expenditure is minimal. So get in touch with your local coworking space to see what they can offer you. You won’t regret it.