Co-working offices work like your PGs; only here, you get to share your workspace with other corporates.
Bored of executive suites, business lounges and conventional office cabins? Here’s a new venture that will promise to go one step beyond a regular office environment. A venture that will provide an opportunity for employees to work in an informal and dynamic environment, a venture the world calls co-working offices.
Co-working, a concept that is popular in the United States, is a technique of work that involves sharing a work environment or an office, yet remaining an independent activity. Unlike a conventional work environment, a co-working office comprises people from a vibrant set of backgrounds. Normally, a concept like this is adopted by work from- home professionals, consultants or start-ups, who choose to move beyond the traditional coffee shops and isolated places to work in a social gathering with a group of people who share similar interests and provide a means of value addition for each other, within that space.
The concept of a co-working office sparked off in the United States in 2005. Brad Neuberg, a software engineer, who was keen on achieving the benefits of self employment without loneliness, introduced the idea of co-working offices to his clients. He rented space in a non-profit organisation, established a temporary office setup and awaited a response from them. To his surprise, nobody seemed too keen on the venture even after two months. However, five years down the lane, a failed attempt became a massive success when major cities in the United States and across the world rapidly began adopting the concept, listing their office on the Google Group’s website. It was then that consultants and businessmen began to realise that there are co-working “remixes” that fit every niche, from green business to working mothers. Co-working is not only emerging as a rich work community for the self-employed but also as an efficient platform from which to build a business.
So, how can an entrepreneur take full advantage of a co-working office?
- Taking up a co-working office definitely requires an initial membership process. However, the very idea of working in a social gathering with similar interests and viable business opportunities is not reason enough to sign a deal; think about all the additional perks you will avail of. Co working offices provide a 24-hour Internet access, fully furnished conference rooms and work spaces, and of course, the all-time favourite, freshly brewed cups of coffee in a well-set pantry.
- It provides the perfect environment to be at ease with those around you. Co-working office providers definitely understand people, especially those who are used to occasional moments of witty repartees among colleagues while researching on their case studies or projects. To work in an environment like this, which encourages business as well as ensures making the person feel at ease with his surroundings, is something that every employee or independent freelancer would dream of!
- Most co-working offices are taken up by start-ups as they get a corporate setup at Competitive prices and also get to interact regularly with VCs and investors who see such offices as a breeding ground for start-ups.
- Co-working offices across the United States strongly believe in Going Green. The moderators insist on minimal usage of paper and maximum usage of technology. They provide all the tools necessary for a worker to save his documents on a MAC or PC while allowing access to the files on any other system with a USB drive.
- All the independent freelancers and consultants would readily agree with the fact that being their own boss has its own limitations. Submitting an assignment or completing a project on time requires utmost motivation and determination. In certain other instances, while in isolation, brainstorming for ideas and exploring new ventures becomes a Herculean task. A co-working office provides the right platform for such people to interact with a vibrant set of workers from different work backgrounds, who will not only share their business knowledge and expertise but also be prospective business clients.