Location, Location, Coworking Station
Where or where to develop a startup dream? At home? A traditional office? Barnyard? Increasingly, startups are turning to co-working spaces to incubate their companies.
Based on the 2nd Global Coworking Survey, co-working spaces should expand considerably this year. 36% of participants in the study said they planned to open at least one new location during 2012. Newer spaces are looking to add locations, and existing sites hope to expand their capacity. Optimism in the industry is strikingly high. 81% of co-working space operators anticipate a significant increase in revenue, and 85% predict their membership numbers will rise.
The Advantages to Co-Working Spaces
You’ll Go Crazy if You Continue to Work Alone
Working from the couch in your pajamas everyday sounds so appealing until you notice you can’t tell whether you’re awake or asleep and the term “front door” begins to have the exotic ring of a foreign locale. Maybe you are your company, and locating it anywhere outside your own personal surrounding will help you actualize your idea out in the world. For solo founders, co-working spaces can also provide the opportunity to network with potential partners, clients, or helpful colleagues.
Co-working sites offer entrepreneurs great flexibility. Depending on the size of the team, most areas rent desks, common areas, or private offices to meet different needs. Hourly rates, full or part-time membership plans allow for creative scheduling.
My co-worker space has a small jar of cookies, and my mental dexterity has increased tenfold since I’ve launched a reward plan linking tasks completed to the contents of that jar. Many spaces also host classes or informal gatherings on topics of interest to members. They may even have affiliations with business, universities, or startup accelerators, which can all be tremendously helpful.
I’m waiting for a study to measure the average amount of caffeine required to launch a viable startup. Seriously though, co-working spaces offer coffee makers, refrigerators, storage space, computers, printers, faxes–all the standard office fare. The essentials.
By nature, the shared office environment tends to be casual. An informal atmosphere makes it easier to meet, socialize, and bounce ideas around. Everyplace is different, but the energy of creative, friendly strangers can be inspiring.
Of course, when good fortune smiles, the business might prove too large for co-working space. Or, the very features that make these locations attractive might not appeal to everyone.
It’s not always easy to get along with neighbors. Before choosing a co-working space, it’s important to know who you’ll be working alongside. Loud, inconsiderate, undisciplined individuals rarely assist productivity.
My co-working site plays jazz every day. I love jazz, so I’m in luck. Thelonious Monk isn’t for everyone though. While my eyes are closed and I’m typing-mystically inspired– others have head-phones on and bear the look of disgust.
If you’re considering a co-working space for your business, you may want to visit these websites for recommendations: