Part 5 of our blog article series: "Strategies for business success"
An emerging trend that is gaining wide-spread appeal is the increase in coworking spaces. These work environments step away from the traditional notion of a single company leasing an office space; rather, they are fully equipped, tech-ready hives of activity, wherein entrepreneurs, SME's, start-ups and freelancers spend their time working, learning and collaborating.
So what is the appeal? Here are 6 reasons why coworking may not only be as good as, but perhaps better, than working from home or a traditional office environment:
1. Premium office fit-out
If you are just starting out, setting up an office can be an expensive exercise: a functional work station, printer, scanner, copier, network accessibility, professional meeting rooms - the list goes on. Coworking spaces allow you to walk in, sit down, and have immediate access to these vital business tools without the hefty cash outlay.
2. Access to support and business coaches
Everything can seem very daunting when you don't have the proper support and advice needed to steer you in the right direction. Coworking spaces are filled with business people from all types of industries, and ranging from small start-ups to those with extensive business experience and knowledge. There is always someone available who can offer advice based on their own experiences, assistance from a professional adviser, or even someone who will take on a more formal coaching role, to help guide your business decisions.
3. Community vibe
Many freelancers now choose co-working spaces over the isolation and/or distractions of working from home. The c-working environment becomes a unifier to a community of people who, although working independently on vastly different projects, are working in a space conducive to creativity, camaraderie and fellowship.
4. Networking and collaboration
A natural follow-on from the sense of community that evolves when a group of people spend a lot of time together, is the sharing of information and learning from one another. Discovering that your neighbour at the next desk is struggling with a problem similar to your own leads to organic collaboration and problem-solving dynamics. There have even been instances where collaboration was taken one step further and two or more businesses merged to become one company.
5. Flexible use-of-space options
Depending on the coworking space they often offer a range of choices for the use of the facilities. The Orchard, Northland's own collaborative business and events hub, have a casual "pop-in" hourly rate which is capped to a daily limit, as well as membership plans to suit your requirements – casual "hot desking" for two or more days per week, through to 24/7 access to a "hot desk" or your own designated desk. There is also a ghost plan for the use of meeting rooms only. No matter your level of commitment or workload, there will be an option to fit your needs.
6. Training and learning opportunities
To support the development and success of new businesses and start-up ventures, some coworking spaces will hold workshops and seminars on topics ranging from recruitment basics, to social media marketing, to leadership and team work, and everything in between. Presented by fellow business people "in the know" in their chosen field, these snippets of learning on foundational aspects of businesses management allow coworkers, and the general business community, to learn with, and from, each other in a more structured context. The Orchard, for instance, host fortnightly "Lunch Box Sessions" – affectionately coined as 'bite-sized' learning – held during a 30-minute midday time slot.
The Orchard and Us
As business advisors, Ean Brown Partners Limited are very proud of our association with The Orchard, the brainchild of Northland's economic growth groups Northland Inc and Northland Chamber of Commerce. These organisations facilitate the success of Northland's emerging pool of new entrepreneurs and start-ups, and as strong advocates for our local thriving business community Ean Brown Partners Limited like to walk the walk, not just talk the talk - we "hot desk" once a month at The Orchard, offering free business advice and guidance on either an appointment or drop-in basis. To find out when our next "hot desking" date is, keep an eye on our blog and Facebook pages.
P.S. We also offer biscuits! Come down and have a chat with us – you bring along your business questions, we'll supply the biscuits. See you there!