By interviewing coworking space founders as well as coworking space users the author helps us understand why so many small business owners or freelancers who in days gone by may have been happy working from home are now flocking to coworking spaces. The reasons are clear.
The camaraderie, networking opportunities and professional workspaces are impossible to match when working from home.
David Galsworthy is CEO and co-founder of Techspace, a co-working space which specialises in catering to technology start-up and scale-up companies.
“From when we opened our first premises in London in 2012, we’ve seen a significant growth in demand for flexible, co-working environments. One of the biggest reasons for this is that more and more people are have started their own businesses, with 608,110 start-ups being founded in 2015 alone,” he explains.
“I used to love working by myself,” says writer and publicist Valerie Potter, “but as I found my informal support group of female freelance music journalists was diminishing, due to them giving up and getting a job and moving abroad, I did start to feel isolated. I really dreaded the onset of winter because I found it very hard to get motivated to get up and dressed.” Potter now works part-time for a management company and the rest of the time has a desk in their shared space for her own work. “I’m still very happy to be in the office by myself, especially when I have a lot of work on,” she says.
“Co-working can definitely be a cure for cabin fever at home or a respite from the noisy café but it’s some of the hidden benefits of co-working that make it especially appealing,” says Danny Bulmer, founder of the Co Up Creative Hub in Slaithwaite, West Yorkshire.
“The sense of ‘I’m not alone in running my own business’ really helps when you’re just starting out,” says Bulmer. “We are all social beings and whilst we want to be in a space that allows us to get our head down, we still want to be part of a community. Having a chat in the kitchen, going for a pint after work or working on a project together are all possible even when you’re a sole trader.”
The article ends with the reminder that:
These spaces, he says, represent a growing trend towards office design that recognises what he describes as ““our new ‘bleisure’ lives – how fluidly we are moving between business and leisure by bringing the comforts and perks associated with working from home into an office environment.”
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