What Is Coworking and Why You Should Know about It

By on January 30, 2013

What is Coworking?

Working from home can be great! You can get up when you want, work when you want, and even wear your pajamas. Your kitchen is just seconds away. Your television is right there. Actually, the comfortable couch in your living room is only a couple steps away. You can probably get some laundry done between emails. See where we are going?

The Problem

Homes can be incredibly distracting environments for really anyone. Not all of us are able to have a dedicated home office in which we can retreat during the week. Maybe you have family that doesn’t respect your business hours. Sometimes even friends can assume that since you are home, you must be available.

The numerous benefits of working from home can easily become lost for even the strictest individuals due to distraction. How do you keep that flexibility to work when you want without working in a typical office? The answer is coworking.

Coworking 101

Simply put, coworking is a creative style of work in which you share a workspace environment with others. Coworking centers offer desks, “work bars”, or cubicles in which workers can set-up their computer (or rent one) and focus on their own individual tasks. Along with workspace, almost any office amenity is available for use. Usually a kitchen, lounge and meeting rooms are available.
Many entrepreneurs miss the community of an office environment but not the drama and competition. Coworking allows you to work around others and have that sense of community while still focusing on your own project. Aside from the feeling of community, coworking offers numerous other benefits.

Advantages of Coworking

As an entrepreneur, collaboration and partnerships are important. Unfortunately these are both difficult to accomplish at home. Coworking can allow you to kill two birds with one stone by offering the opportunity to meet with like-minded individuals and allow for networking. Those who opt for coworking are usually astounded at how this type of work environment can improve their own businesses.

Another advantage to consider is the availability of a meeting room. Nearly any type of business will require regular meetings with partners, outsourced employees, mentors, etc. Even with a nice home office, it’s unlikely you could cram more than 5 people into your home for a meeting. Coworking buildings often have an ample meeting room available for this purpose.

Is Coworking for you?

Getting out of the house (or coffee shop) and being able to work around other like-minded folks can be incredibly beneficial mentally and physically. It’s easy to forget how important being around people is if you’ve made working at home a habit. Talking around the water cooler or in the lounge can greatly boost your own morale and productivity.

You may be pleasantly surprised with how great this style of work environment can be and the doors that it can open. If you haven’t yet considered coworking, why not find a local group and try it out for a few weeks?

Follow Matthew on Twitter: @matthewtoren

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Matthew Toren

About Matthew Toren

Matthew Toren is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, investor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com. He is co-author, with his brother Adam, of Kidpreneurs and Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right (Wiley). He's based in Vancouver, B.C.