Startups and Coworking

coworking and startups

The emergence of a ‘Coworking space’ provided a great networking platform that balanced independence of self-employment with involvement in a community of working with others. This appeals to entrepreneurs and freelancers, leading to a widespread adoption.

According to a report released by Deskmag, 70% of coworkers felt healthier than they did while working in a traditional office setting.

It also reported that 40% of workforce will be freelancers, temps, independent contractors, and solo-preneurs by 2020. These findings signify the growth of a coworking culture in future.

Is Coworking a Great Idea for Startups?

Stephen Whiting, Director of Marketing at Streettext, expressed that the choice for startups to join coworking spaces is a balance of practical and personal.

“Most of the advantages to us are the shared amenities like coffee, foosball, the printer, etc. And of course some great conversations, and the feeling of a nicer environment than just a stand alone office.”

This not only cuts down your office space budget but also opens up the possibility of bringing forth innovations with other likeminded people.

Coworking Space or Traditional Office Space: What is Right for You?

As Jules Galloway, CEO and Principal Consultant at evolve design | build shared her views on the advantages of coworking for startups in a recent interview.

“Yes, there is no question that there is a huge advantage to working in a private office space.  The buzz, the interaction, the availability of sounding boards, the conversations that happen — the collaboration projects and the seemingly endless flow of ‘services’ that are on tap. It has undoubtedly helped move my business into a higher gear and allowed me to set my bar higher based on the successes I see around me.”

Jules had the following to say when asked for tips that a startup company evaluating office space options might consider.

“As a company who constantly assesses our Client’s needs in terms of culture, space, where they are and where (and more importantly, who) they want to be, we are also in tune with that aspect of our own organisation. I would recommend any company look deeper than the stereotypical ‘Tech Solopreneur’ and realise that a co-working space is a great hub for any type of small business looking for a ready-made vibrant, lively atmosphere for their team.”

However, if you prefer control over your work environment or crave for a personal space, a traditional office space is a better option for you.

When it comes to cash flow, coworking spaces become an attractive option as economy and resources are shared. Unlike traditional startup costs, like office furniture, Internet and telephone bills, utility and service charges; in a coworking space, you are not required to spend a lot of cash upfront. It lets you focus on your growth.

Benefits of Opting for a Coworking Space

1. Affordable office space in prime locations
For a small business, one of the biggest challenges is getting an office space in prime areas while they are still bootstrapping. Saving this trouble, coworking spaces provide affordable in-demand spaces, the types of offices and locations that you couldn’t otherwise afford to have.

Once you have chosen the place, you can get to the work right away as the amenities and utilities are already set up.

2. The flexibility and scalability for startups
Another major benefit of opting for coworking is the flexibility of accommodating changes to the size of the team. Whether your business expands or contracts, you can easily upgrade or downgrade your space requirements anytime as needed without requiring a yearlong commitment from you.

In most coworking spaces, you can opt for a one-time pass, monthly, or yearly membership plan accordingly. You can also opt for a private office or an open coworking space.

It also gives you the flexibility to change your location as you please since your leasing terms are not binding.

3. Collaboration: all in one place
It gives you the opportunity to collaborate with a community of  talented people from different professions who you otherwise might have never necessarily interacted with. It provides an opportunity to trade skills to get a project done, or outsource projects to other teams when they are more specialized than you.

Coworking gives you the opportunity to tackle and solve problems from a variety of angles.

How do You Know Which Coworking Space is Right for You?

With the boom in coworking spaces, you can choose one that focuses on a particular industry or varied ones. A focused space gives you the benefit of working with people who are thinking about the exact problem that you are thinking about and thus, leading to a greater productivity.

In a coworking space that is open to varied industries, you are surrounded by professionals coming from different backgrounds, where you get more ideas for running your business successfully. This diversity in turn promotes your creativity by giving you a perspective on things each time.

To find the right working space for you, here is a to-do list for you:

  • Make a list of things that you would like in your workplace and the things you would hate.
  • Visit the workspace and find out the things you like about it. Ask yourself if they will make you more productive.
  • Find out if their work culture fits yours. For example, if you are looking for a more focused space, then you should opt for one that has the flexibility of private work stations.
  • Find the coworking space that offers simple registration, billing and leasing terms.

Most importantly, while you are shortlisting coworking spaces to work in, remember to choose the one where members are complementary to each other and not competitive.

According to Deskmag’s annual Global Coworking Survey, 71% of professionals reported a boost in creativity since joining a coworking space, 62% in an improved work quality.

Therefore, if you are an entrepreneur with a small team seeking to lease a private office, you should consider leasing a coworking space before you sign the final contract.

For more information on coworking opportunities, available workspaces, meeting rooms and events facilities in Kelowna, visit Okanagan co+Lab memberships at okcolab.com