Coworking: What Is It And Is It Right For You And Your Team?
By Bond Collective Staff
Though the practice is almost 14 years old now, many people still ask us, “What is coworking?”. When they understand the concept and begin to see the benefits, their next question is, “Do you think coworking is right for me or for my business?”.
Regardless of the situation, we can answer yes to this last question — it is right for you and your business — but that doesn’t always convince everyone. They need more than just our word for it.
So, in this article, we’ll answer the question, “What is coworking?”, tell you everything you need to know about the revolutionary concept that is changing the way companies work, and show you why coworking is ideal for your business.
What Is Coworking?
Though the word itself has been in use for almost 200 years, coworking as a concept is relatively new to the American workforce.
An intrepid entrepreneur introduced the modern iteration of coworking space in San Francisco back in 2005. And like most revolutions, it went unused for the first few months it was open. But as people came to see what coworking was all about, the concept gained traction and quickly spread to parts far and wide.
As of this writing, there are coworking spaces in Bali, Nicaragua, Egypt, the UK, Hong Kong, Vietnam, South Africa, India, Mexico, and everywhere in-between. It truly is a worldwide phenomenon.
While not all dictionaries contain a definition that tells you what is coworking yet, there is a general consensus amongst those in the know. Here’s the official un-official definition of coworking:
The use of an office space or other working environment by people who are self-employed or working for different employers, typically so as to share equipment, ideas, and knowledge.
Coworking spaces go by several different names, including:
Some even refer to it as a virtual office.
Within each coworking space, you’ll find community spaces, hot desks (available on a first-come, first-served basis), dedicated desks (i.e., reserved), private offices, conference and meeting rooms, private phone booths, and much more.
Whatever your workspace needs, you’ll find it in a coworking environment.
Who Uses Coworking Space?
Freelancers And Digital Nomads
Working on your couch or at your kitchen table, in a hostel room, or in a busy cafe can be isolating, uninspiring, distracting, and difficult. That’s why many freelancers and digital nomads use a coworking space as their office.
There, they can work, network, socialize, brainstorm with others, and enjoy the perks of an office environment without the expense of building their own.
That’s because coworking spaces keep overhead costs low at a time when that money is desperately needed for research, development, and marketing.
Small businesses often use coworking spaces because of their centralized location with easy access to transportation, dining, shopping, and other amenities. And certain coworking spaces — like those at Bond Collective — are the epitome of luxury, class, and professionalism.
Most small businesses wouldn’t be able to afford on their own what they can get for a low monthly fee in a coworking space.
Small, Medium, And Large Enterprises
Enterprises and corporations of all sizes are using coworking space to their advantage.
While many of these businesses have their own space, they use the luxury and modern conveniences of coworking space to entertain clients, expand their teams, establish offices in new locations, and help their employees stay motivated.
What Are The Benefits Of Coworking?
1) Low Overhead
Overhead — recurring costs that sustain your business but don’t contribute to income — is one of the largest expenses most businesses contend with. But with a coworking space, everything is taken care of.
You and your team can walk in, do the work, and leave — without having to worry about who’s going to fix the copier, clean the kitchen, or restock the snack bar.
Infrastructure is all those disparate elements that make work easier but aren’t obvious at first glance. Things like the internet, technical support, heating and cooling, cleaning, storage, and supplies. Without those bits and pieces, work comes to a screeching halt.
But in a coworking space, like those at Bond Collective, infrastructure details are handled for you. That allows you to focus on the work at hand, not the day-to-day operation of your office.
Comfort may not seem like an essential consideration for an office space, but it can mean the difference between a focused, engaged employee and a distracted, unproductive employee.
In a coworking space like any one of Bond Collective’s six locations, comfort is built in. We decorate and appoint all of our environments with the finest that luxury and technology has to offer.
4) Professional Image
With a coworking space, you get a professional image from day one without having to suffer through the stress, strain, and expense of doing it yourself.
For example, at Bond Collective, all members benefit from guest reception and greeting, mail service, 24/7 access to multiple locations, beautiful decor, and luxurious accommodations.
When we answer the question, “What is coworking?” one of the main benefits for any business, large or small, is flexibility. Coworking spaces give you the agility to expand or contract the amount of space you use (and what you pay for that space) on a month-by-month basis.
So, you can start with a hot desk for one in September, upsize to a private office for five in November, and downsize to dedicated desks for three in January. You can’t do that with a conventional lease.
And this is just the tip of the benefits iceberg.
Businesses and employees alike enjoy the collaborative atmosphere of coworking spaces. They find value in the inspiration, community, and networking that happens naturally when people from varied and diverse industries come together.
Is Coworking Right For You?
If you’re a freelancer, a digital nomad, an entrepreneur, a startup, a small business, a large corporation, or anything in-between, then, yes, coworking space is right for you.
Even if you already have a place to work or lease your own office, there are so many ways to use coworking space to your advantage. Here are just a few scenarios:
Setting up a satellite team
Expanding your business to a new state, coast, or country
Hiring seasonal or project-based employees
Outgrowing your current office
Working while traveling by utilizing a day pass
Meeting with investors
Utilizing temporary office space during construction or renovation
Housing your business while moving
Renting conference space
Hosting an event
Don’t worry about lost progress and revenue when one of these situations affects your business. Find a coworking space near you, and get back to work.
Bond Collective Is The Coworking Space For The Way You Work
At Bond Collective, we’ve designed all of our coworking spaces with your happiness and productivity in mind.
Each of our shared office environments incorporates inspiring design elements like natural light, open floor plans, vivid colors, and multipurpose workspaces — plus a whole host of other factors that will motivate your team to greatness.
In addition to gorgeous surroundings, every Bond Collective membership comes with:
Private meeting & phone booths
Guest reception and greeting
Daily on-site cleaning
Access to small and large conference rooms
Rooftop lounge area
Photo & sound studio (at Gowanus location)
Complimentary fresh fruit
Complimentary beer, coffee, and tea
Weekly warm cookies
Tasty eats and beverages for purchase
If you’re looking for spacious, well-appointed coworking space that gives you the professional look you need, take advantage of any one of our many Bond Collective locations.
Call us today and we’ll answer the question, “What is coworking space?” in more detail. And while you’re at it, schedule a tour at any one of our five New York and Brooklyn locations — 55 Broadway, 60 Broad, Gowanus, Flatiron, or Bushwick — or in Philadelphia at The Station House.