What is Coworking? (Part2)

In THIS POST, we started discussing what coworking is all about.  We started to dissect if a coworking space was a place designed for people who don’t have an office.  After examining some data, we discovered how the community (at the space) was more important than the office amenities offered.  Today, I wanted to take a look at the types of people who use coworking spaces.

There is an assumption floating around that the majority of people who use a coworking space are freelancers; people who do not work for a specific company.  I assumed this was true.  Who else needs a coworking space?  Surely traditional office workers do not have a need for coworking spaces, right?

Let’s look at what GCUC has to say about it:

If you pay close attention to the left side of the infographic, you will see the job status of 51% of people utilizing a coworking space in the USA is employee.  That’s right, over half of the people who use a coworking space work for a company.  Only 32% of members are freelancers.  Less than 1/3!!! It seems I was wrong about expecting to have a space full of freelancers.

The reason for this is traditional corporations are starting to see the value in remote working. According to research conducted by Gallup, “Working remotely increases employee engagement, but in moderation, because there is still value in the relationships nurtured when colleagues are face to face. The most engaged employees are those who work off-site three to four days out of a five-day workweek.”

But being at home can be distracting.  There are babies to deal with, dishes left undone, and the temptation to tend the ever-growing pile of laundry than bang out the report you know is due Friday.  Friends dropping by, a TV show catching your eye, or just plain sleeping in too long can all be a huge downside to working from home.  Enter the coworking space.

Being a member of a coworking space offers the opportunity to take advantage of remote working and removing yourself from the distractions of working from home.  These spaces offer a professional setting with just enough of a playful atmosphere to keep your mind working.  Plus, if the space is designed to be, there are plenty of opportunities to take off your headphones and play a quick game of checkers with a stranger while you talk over a problem with a project you are working on.

I think it is pretty clear we all have some big misconceptions about coworking spaces and the people who use them.  What are some other common assumptions you have about coworking spaces?  Send me a message and we will tackle them together.

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