If you aren’t yet familiar with the term ‘CoWorking’ we think you will be. It is already one of the fastest growing parts of the business centre market and set to get bigger still.
So, what is CoWorking?
CoWorking is the use of a working space by people involved in separate businesses in order to share equipment, ideas and knowledge.
Who is it for?
This type of space typically attracts young creatives and freelancers especially start ups. But CoWorking can be suitable for any one of the thousands of people who have set up on their own in the last couple of years.
A recent report in the Guardian revealed that the number of new businesses jumped 28.5% last year to 346,000. These people, and the estimated 3.7m people in the UK who already own their own business, need a place to work.
Many of them work from home. But home is a place to relax not graft and it doesn’t work for some people. It can also get boring and lonely. If someone is used to the hum and chatter of an office, they may struggle to motivate themselves when alone.
That’s why coffee shops have become such popular places to work. They have their drawbacks though. You can’t always find a table, especially one with a socket. Then there’s the noise; a lively table next to you can make it impossible to focus.
CoWorking gives people a place to turn up to and ‘switch on’ for work.
Charges are usually cheaper than a single serviced office. Plus they get to share resources such as WiFi, meeting rooms, printers even kitchen facilities. All they need to do is pitch up with their laptop and they’re off and running.
More than that though they can feed off the energy and creativity of the people around them. CoWorking is a way for someone to run their own business but within a supportive community. This community side of CoWorking, the socialising, networking and sharing of ideas is a key part of its attraction.
A great example of CoWorking space is Google’s Campus in Bonhill Street, Shoredicth EC2.
Their mission statement neatly sums up the CoWorking philosophy:
“Campus offers an environment that encourages innovation through collaboration, mentorship, and networking. Everything we do is to ensure that our entrepreneurs have the resources they need to change the world.”
This idea of collaboration and networking can also be seen from the amenities offered by some operators. WeWork, who are about to open in Sheraton Street, Soho – their second London centre to follow their first on the South Bank – offer free beer, a games lounge and weekly events. (There’s coffee, WiFi and conference facilities too, of course.)
WeWork’s aim is “to provide the space, community, and services you need to create your life’s work”.
CoWorking a new way of working and a new way of using space that has keyed into what a large chunk of the working population needs, especially in cities.
Some CoWorking centres also cater for people that want their own office. These clients have the benefit of having their own private space but are also able to tap into the centre’s community when they want to. For some people this is the best of both worlds.
We think CoWorking is here to stay and will become huge in 2015. Tell us what you think.