Consider these trends: A large percentage of Corporations are used to the mentality of letting go employees or cutting costs…or at least they were last I checked (I’ve been consulting for over a year now though). Internet access and high-speed connections are becoming normal around the globe. Growing up close to Mexico (San Diego) I never used to be able to connect on my trips south. Last month I went to Los Barriles and after a day or two or lounging by the poolside bar : ) I figured it was time to see the connection and check on clients. Just like that I was connected quickly to basecamp listening to reggae and colloborating SEO tasks. As this movement grows and office workers/skilled professionals seek more freedom and meaning in their lives alternatives like co-working provide a solution. Back in the day many freelancers worked out of their own home, but now coworking offices are florishing – here’s some of the reason…
According to a recent study coordinated by Wix and Officevibe, coworking continues to grow rapidly. Look at these eye-opening statistics:
- 40 percent of working people will be some sort of freelancer or solopreneur in the next five years.
- 70 percent of freelancers surveyed said their working location made them healthier than working in a typical office.
- Almost 70 percent reported they had better focus in a coworking situation.
- More than 90 percent said they were satisfied with working in a coworking environment.
- Nearly 80 percent of coworkers are younger than 40 years old.
- Half of respondents say they make more money than when they worked in an office.
- Only 30 percent like to work traditional business hours.
Registering For A Coworking Space
Now, I will be the first to admit…I have no experience in the hard costs your co-space owner or company is paying so please take this with a grain of salt. However, it interested me in how to fund or go about starting the idea so this is just what online research yielded. Co-working startup costs vary tremendously depending on your goals and budget. The co-working space needs the office space itself, computers (possibly – I bring my own laptop to work), tables, desks, chairs, internet connections, and various items like trash bins and coffee machines (kind of essential to grind and wakeup..). Also, don’t forget the monthly energy bill becomes a major factor. Now that you understand the costs associated with running the space here’s typically the range I see for monthly registration. Of the spots I reviewed you can pay anywhere from $60 a month to north of $500 here in San Diego (I highly recommend 3rd Space). Again, it will vary on ammenities and location as well as private space or more open space. Most co-working spaces are open to walk-throughs before starting so just go check them out and get a feel..
It is About a Culture Or Community In My Opinion..
Co-spaces are best when they connect like-minded people & try to leverage skills, creativity and contrast specialties to keep the energy in a growth mode versus stale. The co-space I work from nails this on the head. There are monthly inventors meetings, kickstarter events and collaborative opportunities to connect both internal members and the community. Part of the reason you should join or go is to create bonds with others who have similar working styles and workplace goals. I work with various clients and can easily share my knowledge or traffic and conversions with a social media consultant who is experienced in the latest advertising or engagement strategies.
– Mobility. Since much of today’s business can be handled over the internet, all a mobile freelancer needs is an internet connection. This frees them up to travel the world, working wherever they can hook up a laptop. Many freelancers report mobility is a major benefit.
– Independence. Some people bristle under close supervision and do better work on their own. Others want to avoid the inevitable drama of an office environment.
– Creativity. Independence gives freelancers another type of freedom — creativity. Creativity needs room to grow and flourish.
-Tax Incentives. Freelancers can write a tremendous amount of their expenses off their tax bill. Each situation is different, but many workers are able to deduct software, fuel, office supplies and more from their taxes.
Co-working is a positive development in an economy that increasingly relies on temporary workers and freelancers. It allows workers to share the overhead of office space, high-speed computers and supplies. Perhaps just as important, it creates synergies and comradeship that helps keep freelancers from the isolation that comes from working at home alone for weeks on end.
The world of coworking continues to innovate new ideas and arrangements. One of the most creative approaches is that taken by WebWorkTravel with their “workations.” Entrepreneurs gather for “working vacations” at beautiful spots such as Tarifa, a town on the coast of Southern Spain near the Strait of Gibraltar. Participants can work with their computer on a sun-splashed patio, taking in ocean views while sipping on a cool drink. The entire setup is organized by a friend of mine Johannes. “Workations” such as these are more indicators of the healthy, constantly evolving world of coworking spaces. Changes in technology, workplace environments, and the desire to create more freedom and meaning in life is – basically I don’t envision these slowing down anytime soon.
Photo Credit: The Surf Office