In recent years, a new office and work concept has established itself – especially in the metropolitan areas: the coworking space. After the pandemic years, many are longing for a collegial, friendly place to work without having to rent a permanent office. A coworking space could be just the thing for them. In this article, we answer all questions on the topic.
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What is a Coworking Space?
Literally translated from English, “co-working” means something like “working together” or “working next to each other.”
The coworking space (or coworking space) is a space specially created for this purpose; basically, a shared large office space where people from different companies or projects can come together to work together in one place.
The concept comes from the USA, where the first coworking space opened its doors in California in 2005. Since then, the concept has first spread to metropolitan regions, but now, there are also many coworking spaces in more rural areas.
Unlike a typical office environment, employees in a coworking space are typically not employed by the same organization. Coworking spaces often offer a range of membership options, which can include both open public access and private spaces.
The concept envisages that there is not a permanent separate workplace but that a workplace can be occupied by different people as required. You usually only have to pay a small fee for this. In addition, you are not tied to a fixed location and can, therefore, work from anywhere since you do not have to rent the office permanently. Third, you share the infrastructure with other coworkers, giving you access to more resources.
How is a Coworking Space Structured?
The infrastructure that coworking has differs from place to place. However, most coworking spaces usually have the following facilities:
- Reception / Reception
- Meeting rooms
- Coffee kitchen (usually with a fully automatic coffee machine, drinks, and fruit or small snacks)
- Printers, scanners, copiers
- Lounge/relaxation area
- Phone booths
- Foosball table or similar
As a rule, there is a free work area in which users can freely choose a workplace at any time (so-called “flex desks”). In addition, most coworking spaces have an area with fixed workspaces that are rented out for a longer period (“fix desks”). In addition to the fixed desks, there are lockable drawer cabinets or lockers in many spaces to store work utensils securely.
Those who are permanently based in the coworking space can also use their address as a business address.
Some coworking spaces also offer closed offices outside of the open-plan area, which can also be rented over a longer period.
Social Events and Specialist Events
Since coworking spaces should not only serve to work together but also to exchange ideas, the regular organization of so-called social events is also an integral part of the coworking culture. These can strengthen the sense of togetherness of the community. The mix of people creates an ideal breeding ground for new ideas and business models. The contacts made here can advance your own business or lead to new orders.
Many of the events start in the late afternoon and invite you to start the evening together, which is why most of the events are more casual in their presentation. Be organized, for example
- Foosball tournaments
- Cocktail nights
- Pizza parties
But many coworking spaces also offer events for professional development. Regular events such as networking events, mentoring programs, learning lectures, and workshops ensure that the potential of the individual is promoted in the long term.
Also Read: New Work: Working Digitally And Modernly
This is How the use of the Coworking Space works
There are different concepts for using coworking spaces. What all modes have in common is that the use of the infrastructure (kitchen, copier, meeting rooms by prior reservation) and participation in the regularly held events are usually included in the price.
Use with a Day Ticket
So there is the possibility of using the space on a daily basis. This is particularly useful for companies that need to outsource employees, people on business trips to a foreign city, or those who normally work from home but need a change of scenery.
A day ticket can cost between 10 – 30€. Some spaces also offer hourly usage (morning to afternoon/afternoon to evening).
It is also possible to rent the office on a monthly basis. This is even a requirement when using a permanent workplace. With a flexible workplace, costs can be saved here compared to the day ticket.
The costs can vary greatly from location to location, but they are usually around €100 to €300 per month per workplace.
Pros & Cons of Coworking Spaces
Working in a coworking space has some advantages and disadvantages that need to be weighed against each other.
The following factors are advantageous:
- Optimum adaptation to needs: the number of booked workstations can be quickly adapted to actual needs. So the office is not “too big” or “too small.”
- Networking opportunity: working in a coworking space offers a fantastic basis for meeting interesting people! A wide variety of industries, age groups, and Many coworking spaces offer after-work events that invite you to chat and network.
- Less organizational effort: You save yourself the organization that requires maintaining the infrastructure of your own office – you don’t have to worry about cleaning the office, providing Internet and printer paper, or the availability of drinks.
- Workation: Wherever there is a coworking space, there is a potential workplace – places with coworking offices are, therefore ideal for a workstation.
There are the following disadvantages :
- Distraction: While it can be inspiring and fun to meet new people, the abundance of potential interviewees and the collaborative atmosphere also offer a high level of distraction. Discipline is required in this regard!
- Little opportunity for customization: especially when using a flex desk, there is little opportunity to set up and design the office and desk according to your ideas
- Little privacy: Under certain circumstances, a coworking space may not offer enough privacy. When you need to make confidential calls or work on sensitive projects, you may not feel comfortable in a common room.
For Whom is the work in the Coworking Space suitable?
There are certain sectors and professional groups for which working in a coworking space is particularly suitable:
- Startups / Founders
- self-employed and freelancers
- workers during their workstation
- digital nomads
- Web-based activities
A coworking space is less suitable for those whose office work mainly takes place on the phone. A coworking space, at least in a larger area, offers too little peace and too little protection for any confidential information that may be exchanged.
You should pay attention to this when looking for a Coworking Space
When considering coworking, the first thing you should do is determine your needs and goals. Consider what type of work environment best suits your needs and what amenities and resources you would like to have access to. Once you know your needs, you can start looking for coworking spaces that match your criteria.
There are a few key factors when evaluating coworking spaces:
- Location: The location of a coworking space can be important for both convenience and access to resources. If you need to be close to a specific resource or client, make sure the space you’re considering is nearby.
- Amenities and Resources: Coworking spaces typically offer a variety of amenities and resources, from conference rooms and event space to on-site childcare and gyms. Make sure the space you’re considering has the amenities and resources you need.
- Cost: Coworking space costs can vary widely, from free or low-cost options to more expensive memberships. Consider your budget and what you are willing to pay for a membership.
With good reason, coworking spaces have experienced real hype in recent years: they offer the amenities of a normal office. Still, they are usually much cheaper and more flexible than renting your own office.
For many people, the attraction of a coworking space lies in the opportunity to work with other professionals in a shared environment. This can provide a sense of community and collaboration that is often lacking in traditional workplaces. However, coworking spaces are not without their downsides. The impersonal nature of the environment can be off-putting to some, and the ever-changing presence of people can raise safety concerns. However, for those willing to rise to the challenge, coworking spaces can offer a unique and inspiring place to work.