What is co-working? Put simply, co-working is sharing an office with people who are not part of your company, project or team. Often used by small businesses and freelancers, co-working presents a great opportunity for people who otherwise may be limited to working in an isolated manner. If you happened to be checking about productivity tips, co-working may also be a good idea since it so so much better to work in such an inspiration-conducive, happy environment. Indeed, the co-working concept is becoming more and more inviting and as practice is growing in popularity and it is not hard to see why.
Co-working provides the opportunity to build your personal and professional networks. Working in a professional setting with other professionals is a great recipe to build your network and this can lead to increased opportunities for your business. But what does “increased opportunities” for your business really mean?
- Collaborate on new projects – Maybe you have a project that is too big for you and you need a partner? Maybe you have a fellow co-worker who needs your help? Opportunities to collaborate on new projects are a potential outcome of co-working.
- Idea Generation – I always find that talking to new people stimulates the generation of new ideas. In a co-working environment, you can challenge yourself by talking to someone new and see what new ideas flow.
- Walking the walk – You just never know, maybe someone in a co-working setting is watching you working at your best. You may just be impressive enough for them to pitch you a new concept, opportunity or partnership. Remember, you are always on display and where better to display yourself than amongst a group of people working just like you?
There are plenty of financial benefits to co-working. For a start, there are no long-term leases that reduce both risk for your business and the impact on your hip pocket. Other overheads such as power, connectivity, equipment (eg. Printers, Fax) are non-existent. Paying only for what you need such as the salaries of your virtual assistants not only results in cost savings though. You may also be able to work with facilities that are of a much higher standard than you may have been able to previously afford. Case in point – a high-end audio and video equipment may be necessary for a presentation meeting and the need to highlight quality has never been so important in order for you to make the deal. Co-working sites can provide you said equipment and the perfect conference room to match helping you ace your presentation.
I find co-working a great tool to “sharpen” me up a little bit. Working from the home office can mean that your work day merges with your after hours and therefore the discipline can slack and slip a little bit. I am talking about working in your underwear as a primary example! Having a regular routine where you need to actually make the effort to shower, dress and switch on at the beginning of the day as opposed to doing after you have already ploughed through 10 hours of work, sharpens the mind. It sets my focus a little tighter and makes sure I am switched on and ready for the day.
Also, let us face the fact that despite all these productivity tips, there is still a tendency to get a little bit distracted when you are within the comfort of your home office. Getting myself into a professional environment, surrounded by professionals increases my focus and helps me maintain professionalism.
Note: As an advice for entrepreneurs who are just starting out, there is nothing wrong with working from home. In fact, I fully endorse and promote it. I am simply suggesting here that when it comes to productivity tips, might as well include co-working as an option that’s worth a try. Sometimes, stepping out away from your comfort zone is all you need to get that spark of inspiration or new idea. Co-working is a great way to complement working from home to keep you sharp.
- Health and Wellbeing
Humans are social creatures and when we are unable to socialise and mingle with others, it can have a direct impact on our health. Isolation has been proven to have a negative impact on people. Check the below links if you are interested in understanding the impact of isolation on people from mental and physical perspectives:
In addition to socialisation, co-working provides the opportunity to work around with others that can inspire you to consider your health and wellbeing differently than you do now. You may be working next to someone who is very health conscious and find their approach something you would like to emulate, or who knows, you may end up working with someone who runs an awesome fitness blog and they are happy to give you some tips over lunch! Or maybe a travel agent who can help you plan your much-needed, well-deserved holiday break after a productive year. Oh, just imagine the possibilities!
How to run a successful business? You might think that finances and people management are the only concerns of every entrepreneur, but take it from me, it’s not. Learning the ropes all throughout these years had taught me that in order for my business to thrive, I have to be willing to try something new, something different. After all the world is constantly offering us with new ways and means as well as new and surprising opportunities to better ourselves. Always present yourself ready whatever’s up in store for you and that includes working outside your home office.