Coworking is a style of work where people share a common office for their independent activity while using the same resources but for different companies. It is an alternative to working from home where people do not feel isolated and can keep away from distractions.
This concept of coworking has helped millions of people around the world to increase productivity and network with like-minded people.
Due to less space available in Asian countries, coworking fits the bill aptly. Working alone at home can be tiresome. Moreover, distractions can hamper your productivity, so coworking spaces come to the rescue that offers remote workers the opportunity to work how and when they want to.
The Pros and Cons of Coworking
There are many great benefits of coworking however there are also many concerns that you may wish to explore further before committing yourself. Coworking spaces that offer free trials or no commitments to try first are a great way to see if the concept is a good fit.
-Dedicated/business-grade high-speed internet access and other standard office amenities.
-Daily opportunities to mingle and interact with other freelancers and entrepreneurs.
-Constant learning environment based on the variety of workers from diverse professions and backgrounds (i.e. graphic artists, bloggers, copywriters, writers/journalists, digital marketers, independent real estate agents, startup founders, business consultants, social media managers, accountants, etc.).
-Very short “commute” time as many are in neighborhoods or at least easily accessible by public transport or bike in the city center.
-In-house networking events and happy hours.
-Gives you the opportunity to interact with people of various ages (from students/recent grads to mid-age career consultants to retirees who happen to run their secondary income/lifestyle business from the internet)
-Some costs can be confusing so you need to read the fine print before signing-up (i.e. sometimes there may be “add-on” charges for printing/copying or coffee).
-Lack of weekend availability or 24/7 private key-code access.
-Language barriers (just because the owner may speak English doesn’t mean that the workshops or events are in English).
-Some can be rather quiet where networking, sessions, and general interaction are not the priority (think public library but with coffee). Not necessarily a bad thing if you are there to work and not mingle but may be alienating to those just starting to strike out on their own.
-Can be initially lonely since you will basically be the “new guy” and workers can be quite transitory (for example a friend you meet one month may no longer be a member the following month).
The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the adoption of new ways of working and is expanding office optionality. With more than half of the employers offering remote work options, the lessons learned from this global remote-experiment are now being used to reimagine how work is done, and the role that the office should play.
If you are one of the millions that are trapped in an office cubical the good news is coworking can be a break from the office and an opportunity to try something new.