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. Co-working as practice is growing in popularity and it is not hard to see why.
What are the benefits of co-working?
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 – 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 reduces both risk for your business and the impact on your hip pocket. Other overheads such as power, connectivity, equipment (eg. Printers) are non-existent. Paying only for what you need 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.
Co-working is a great tool to “sharpen” 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 slip a little bit. We are 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 focus a little tighter and makes sure you are switched on and ready for the day.
There is also a tendency to get a little bit distracted when you are within the comfort of your home office. Getting yourself into a professional environment, surrounded by professionals increases your focus and helps maintain professionalism.
Note: There is nothing wrong with working from home. In fact, we fully endorse and promote it. However, co-working is also a great way to complement working from home to keep you sharp.
Health and Well-being
Humans are social creatures and when we are unable to socialise, 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 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 to someone who runs an awesome fitness blog and they are happy to give you some tips over lunch!