The Impact of Coworking in Shaping Professional Identities

Working from home has some definite benefits; it’s flexible and it’s cheap. However, as lots of people who have worked from home will tell you, it isn’t as perfect a solution as it may have first seemed.

For a start, it’s isolating. Working alone can get lonely, and it requires a lot of discipline and motivation to avoid the temptation to procrastinate. It’s all about work-life balance. By working and living in the same space, there is a tendency to let things all meld together so that there is no real boundary between work and, well, everything else. This means that either work or everything else suffers.

Secondly, there are the hidden costs; a super-fast internet connection, IT support, office equipment and maintenance. Then there’s the stuff you really can’t do at home; meeting clients, engaging with potential colleagues, and so on. Meeting in a café might be convenient, but it can be difficult to get anything productive done, and it doesn’t exactly scream professionalism.

We have discussed in previous blogs how homeworking compares to coworking. Coworking aims to offer you the flexibility and affordability of working from home, without any of the isolation or facility-related stress. As a result, coworking advantages include increased productivity, more collaborative opportunities, and faster business success. One of the most valuable things that comes with working in a shared workspace is the way it shapes your professional identity. Let’s take a look at the professional impact of working from a coworking office; we call them the Four ‘C’s.

Credibility

It isn’t hard to work out which looks best to someone judging you and your business; a meeting in a café or a meeting in a purpose-designed private meeting space at a state-of-the-art coworking hub.

Coworking doesn’t just look good, it sends an important message to potential clients, customers and collaborators; it tells them that you’re fresh, modern and forward-thinking. It suggests you’re on top of the latest trends (yes, coworking is an incredibly popular phenomenon today!) – and it shows them that you’re capable of finding creative solutions.

Coworking isn’t just for freelancers anymore; some of the biggest companies in the world are getting in on the act, and the result is shared workspaces that are built around functionality and flexibility. What could be better when you’re trying to give the right impression than a thriving hub of creative and talented professionals; a pool of talent that you have ready access to all the time? If all of that doesn’t sell the idea of a private meeting space in a coworking hub, then it might help if we tell you that our coffee is just as good as that at your local café!

Collaboration

Coworking spaces become collaborative spaces. It happens naturally! Simply put a bunch of talented people in a shared workspace and before you know it, they’re working together on all kinds of creative projects.

Being exposed to new ideas, new ways of working and meeting new people is incredibly motivating and can inject your business with a much-needed boost. Even more importantly, it enables you to promote what your business has to offer to others in a natural way.

The coworking network that builds up through the simple act of sharing a workspace is one of the most valuable benefits of coworking. It brings more connections, more opportunities, more referrals, and more collaboration. This not only benefits you directly, but it also gives a fantastic impression to potential clients. They see you as someone who has the connections you need to get the job done and who is actively working in a collaborative space with other like-minded professionals who each have skills to bring to the table.

Culture

The culture of a coworking space is an important aspect of how people work within it, and this has a huge knock-on effect on your business and how it develops. A coworking space with an open, friendly culture fosters more opportunities for collaboration.

A coworking space with an emphasis on creative industries can bring you into contact with the type of people you will be inspired and motivated by. Perhaps, it’s important to your professional identity that you work somewhere with solid eco-credentials, or maybe you feel strongly about the aesthetics of the place and how they will impact any potential clients you bring into the space.

Choosing the right coworking space with the right culture, and then forming good coworking habits, is essential for shaping the professional identity that you want to promote. Abiding by any rules, encouraging friendly relations, taking part in events and joining in with the social aspect of the shared workspace are just some of the ways that your habits can influence how you function within the space and how you’re perceived. You get out what you put in!

Control

Coworking spaces are often the perfect option for professionals who want to have control over their working lives. This might mean having flexibility on when and where they work. It could mean having the freedom to take less space or more space as time goes on. It often means being free from the hassle of all those things that take up time but aren’t necessarily part of the actual work such as setting up IT deals, managing insurance or thinking about security.

Coworking offers maximum control and autonomy so that you can shape your business your way. You aren’t limited by the often crippling overheads associated with a private office, nor are you held back by trying to look professional when running a business out of your own home. You have all the benefits of freedom, with the positive impact of a professional image.

This shapes how other people see your business. They can see that you’re independent, that you know where you’re going and how you want to work. Your professional image becomes one of autonomy, and this makes you stand out from the crowd. You’re able to show other people what matters to you, in a way that’s difficult in any other working environment. If you believe in something like great design, environmentally-friendly living, health, and wellness or creative communities, then show the world that it’s important to you. Helping other people to see who you are, what you’re about and what your business aims to do is easier in a coworking space; in fact, this is one of the key objectives of a coworking space. Not only does it give the impression that you choose to put out there, but it also gives you the power to shape your professional identity in whatever way you choose.

At Areaworks, we create spaces for professional identities to thrive. It’s our aim to empower everyone, from freelancers to established businesses, to shape their own business personality, and carve out the niche they want. If you want to be part of it, are looking for a workspace to rent, or simply want to pop in for a cuppa and a chat – book a tour and let us show you what we do. 🙂

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