Coworking, what is it?
In the past 2 years we have experienced a MASSIVE shift in how and where we work, thanks to COVID-19. Many companies are switching to hybrid working letting their employees work from home and the office.
As much as I love working from home, sometimes it is hard to focus on what I need to do for my business, because there is always something around the house that needs to be done, like laundry.
My husband is now working a hybrid of working from home and then on site. There are days when he has zoom calls all day! We don’t have the space for him to work so when he is on those calls it is super distracting for me (mainly because he talks super loud on the calls or the phone).
This is why I have decided to start a coworking space for mums and female entrepreneurs. Sorry men, we love you but sometimes we need a space/sanctuary to be able to focus on our passions/businesses.
So what exactly is coworking?
The term coworking has been around since the mid-late 1990’s when it was mainly used by European hackers.
It didn’t really gain traction in the business world until 2005, when entrepreneur Brad Neuberg created the first coworking space in San Francisco.
The definition of Coworking according to Merriam-Webster dictionary is…
: being, relating to, or working in a building where multiple tenants (such as entrepreneurs, start-ups, or nonprofits) rent working space (such as desks or offices) and have the use of communal facilities
There are two main types of coworking, in person and virtual.
Since COVID-19 virtual coworking as become popular and there are may ways to do this. We will discuss it more in the “Virtual Coworking” Post (INSERT LINK)
Gaining popularity again since all the restrictions have been listed is in person coworking. The rest of this post will be looking at in person coworking spaces.
Based on the extensive research I have done on coworking, it is my opinion that some coworking space owners are more interested in profit and bums on seats. These spaces are often lacking in character, they have a ‘corporate’ feel to them.
Other spaces however develop a community. These space usually are full of warmth and life and try to create a relaxing welcoming environment. Thought has been put into the workspace and how it flows and will be used. They will offer workshops and networking events.
It is something to bear in mind when choosing a coworking environment, you need to select the space that will suit YOU the best.
Some coworking spaces will mention Hot Desking as part of their offerings.
What is Hot Desking?
You might have heard the phrase Hot Desking before (especially if you have worked for a large company with various sites). Large companies usually have “hot desks’’ for people visiting from other offices belonging to that company.
Coworking spaces offer the ‘hot desk’ experience for small business owners, freelancers etc. This means you can turn up and a desk will be ready for you to use, set up with internet, electrical plug in points. So you can simply sit down, connect to the internet and get started.
It means that you won’t be assigned a desk, you just take what is available when you arrive. So you might end up sitting in a different space each time you work somewhere. Much like if you were to go to a coffee shop and work for a few hours, you take the space available.
What can be expected?
What is on offer varies from space to space and will depend on the size of the venue.
- Most spaces offer at a minimum 9-5 access Monday – Friday; some spaces will offer unlimited access for a fee; or opportunities to go and work on a weekend or to hire the venue for the evening.
- Internet access; free coffee & tea
- You can expect well kitted out kitchen and bathroom facilities.
- Clean workspaces
- Area to chill out, if you need to step away from your desk.
- Daily desk hire options
- Dedicated desk hire with small storage options
- Monthly ‘hot desking’ options
- Flexibility on the hours that you work
- Meeting rooms, zoom rooms or phone booths or podcasting/recording room
- No contracts – unless you are signing up to a dedicated workspace or a long term space
- You will be expected to be respectful of others using the space and of the space itself
This is just a brief intro into coworking, the next post Benefits of Coworking will dive a bit deeper into the reasons why coworking is so great.