Coworking is certainly a hot topic these days in any discussion of office planning. It seems to be here to stay, as we see both the number of coworking spaces and the number of people who work there continuing to grow continuously. Is it right for you or your company? Before you decide, let’s address of few of the myths and dispel some misconceptions about coworking.
Myth #1: Coworking is not for seasoned professionals
Much of what we hear about coworking seems to focus around two major groups of workers: those in startups and freelancers. In reality, it’s not just those people who can benefit from a coworking space. There’s no reason that contract workers or employees of companies of any size can’t make good use of a coworking space. In fact, a number of large corporations, including IBM, KPMG, and Microsoft have already begun to jump on the bandwagon.
Myth #2: Coworking is only for tightwads.
If you’re thinking that coworking is only for companies on a tight budget, you couldn’t be more wrong. While it’s extremely cost-effective, coworking is certainly not a bargain basement solution. In fact, it’s an ideal solution for companies that need to scale their staff up or down quickly or frequently. Need to bring on a contract worker for a urgent project? Take an extra desk at the coworking center. You can do the same if you need to ramp up quickly due to a growth spurt. And you can accomplish it easily and painlessly, without having to make changes to your infrastructure. And you’ll be saving some money.
Myth #3: Coworking spaces are too noisy and distracting.
In comparison with a traditional office setting with private cubicles or offices, or with working from home, a coworking space is a bustling hub of activity. It may seem a bit distracting at first, particularly if you haven’t worked in an open office setting before. But once settled in, most people find the buzz of interaction and conversation to be an advantage. Being around other professionals who are hard at work on their particular projects provides great opportunities for networking and business development. And it’s good for your productivity as well. Surrounded by people hustling at their work tends to motivate us to work harder too.
Myth #4: Coworking is only for big cities.
It’s true that coworking has established itself firmly in major metropolitan areas like New York City, Chicago, and the SF Bay Area. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t coworking options available in small towns. If you think there are no coworking spaces near you, chances are you’re mistaken. And the collaborative environment can give a great boost to a startup based in a more remote location, where networking opportunities are limited. Working in such spaces gives you a chance to develop a sense of community and interaction with peers that you might not find so easily in a small town.