We get a lot of assumptions made about coworking. It’s fine, we get it. For a lot of people, working in a shared space is very different from how they have worked in the past, and that leads to this idea that it’s somehow for ‘other people’. Despite the explosion in recent years of different ways to work and different environments to work within, all kinds of coworking misconceptions have built up around shared workspaces.
So, let’s debunk some of the coworking myths we hear the most.
“Coworking is only for freelancers and start-ups.”
A look around any shared workspace will throw up all kinds of people, doing all kinds of jobs in all kinds of situations. There will be freelancers and startups – mainly because shared workspaces are the most affordable and accessible way to reap all the benefits of a modern working environment without any of the complications. There will also be employees from all types of businesses, from a small local company to a vast global empire – because ‘floating’ employees tend to be happier, spend less time commuting and cost less than those in a central office. There may be groups of people from the same company, or an entire company running its day to day operation from a shared workspace – because they have a ready source of collaborative professionals and are keeping their overheads down and productivity up.
Some people worry that they may outgrow a coworking space when their business gets bigger but in fact, coworking spaces, especially with Areaworks, are almost always a lot more adaptable than traditional office spaces, allowing your business to evolve and grow.
“Coworking is too expensive.”
This is a misconception that is usually raised by those who are comparing the cost of rented workspace to working from home. It’s a fair point. In money terms, it’s free to work from home. However, the actual cost of working at home can have much more of an impact than just the financial; the work-life balance can easily become skewed, productivity can suffer and many home-workers report feeling isolated.
Space in a shared office environment with a creative atmosphere can benefit workers by boosting productivity and offering opportunities for networking and collaborating. Sure, for a startup or home-worker, embarking on a full-time place in a shared workspace could work out too expensive, but the beauty of coworking is that it is flexible. Areaworks offers a range of membership options so you can tailor the time you spend in the office to your schedule and your budget until you reach the point where you’ll never want to leave the space! Productivity is so much more than keeping overheads low or working long hours. It’s all about finding a place and a way of working that works for you and enables you to get the most out of your working life. If like us, productivity is something you are passionate about, then check out our post on Productivity Theories.
“A coworking space would be noisy, I would get distracted.”
Everyone in a coworking space is there to work. Each person is accountable for their own work, and each person knows that everyone else is there for the same reason. Mutual respect comes naturally when everyone has chosen to be part of a coworking community. Each coworking space has been designed to create the most productive working environment for the widest possible range of people.
So no, a shared office won’t be too noisy or distracting to work in; it has been tailor-made to make working easier. This is achieved through zoning. Zoning helps to make the space as productive as possible because it gives you options to meet your every need. Need a quiet space to get your head down and get some serious work done? There’s a place for that. Need a space to meet with a fancy new client? There’s also a space created for that reason. Fancy a coffee and a chat? Yep – you guessed it, there’s a zone, and it can be a good thing – read more on when it’s good to procrastinate in a coworking space. Compare that to a traditional office. When you need to take a break, move around, relax for a bit or grab a decent coffee, many traditional working environment offices don’t offer you the opportunity. This is what distracts you – the need to move, the need to eat, the need to break away from a frustrating task and refresh your mind. Freedom eliminates distractions and promotes productivity.
“Coworking is a trend, it will soon be out of fashion again.”
Time is proving this one wrong, and studies show that people are embracing new ways to work and leaving behind the traditional office model in favour of flexibility and creative working solutions that fit around their lives. Gone is the ‘job for life’ idea and gone is the nine to five (unless you get the song stuck in your head, then there is no shifting it). Look at the difference in how the people around you work compared to the previous generation. Compare your own working life to that of your parents. Chances are you will see that the trend towards more flexible working patterns started long before the coworking revolution began. Coworking didn’t begin the change in how we work, it evolved to meet a need that was already there, and this need is only increasing. For more on this, check out our blog on why collaborative spaces are here to stay.
“Coworking seems unprofessional, I’m worried it gives the wrong impression to clients.”
A shared workspace does give a certain impression to clients, so let’s deal with how it looks to a client, or potential client when they realise you run your business from a coworking space. It tells them that the person working there – and potentially working with them – is self-motivated, forward-thinking and understands the benefits of a collaborative community. It suggests that this is someone who finds creative solutions. It proves that this person has ready access to a wealth of resources and opportunities for collaboration.
What is unprofessional about all of that? Sounds like the dream to us. For more on how a shared workspace can actually build your professional profile and make your business look great to potential clients, check out our post on why coworking offices are the best choice for startups.
Coworking is popular because it meets people halfway; it provides solutions for real lives. If you’ve been working from home, spending even just part of your time in a coworking space is a great step forward for both your business and your wellbeing. For employers, coworking spaces offer flexible, collaborative spaces that are a hive of productivity, resulting in happier employees. For startups, coworking spaces provide the networking that is so important with the adaptable space that is so valuable. For established companies, coworking provides a community of creative minds that can only take your business further.
The real reason why people believe certain misconceptions about coworking is that they have yet to experience it. Flexible workspaces can seem like a completely new way to do things, and that can be daunting. To get a proper feel for coworking and how it could work for you, whatever stage you are at, then get in touch with us or come in for a tour. Bring those misconceptions with you and leave them behind.