You’re not alone
Being your own boss is brilliant but don’t you think that working from home can sometimes get a tad lonely? Do you ever crave someone to bounce a new concept off – a bit of shared excitement about a great idea? Or miss having an informal chat over coffee with a co-worker? If you do, you’re not alone and many are turning to co-working to address these issues.
What is Co-working?
The basic idea is individual workers coming together in a shared place. It can be a formal co-working office space or informal like a coffee shop or someone’s home. The objective is to enjoy greater productivity and a sense of community by working in the same space.
Coworking Wiki says: the idea is simple, independent professionals and those with workplace flexibility work better together than they do alone. Coworking spaces are about community-building, sustainability, openness, and accessibility.
The idea has caught on big time and the number of co-working spaces is growing every year. Small Business Labs, an organisation that monitors co-working around the world, suggests that the number of people renting such spaces will grow globally from just under 1m in 2016 to nearly 3.8m in 2020.
When I first starting looking into this flexible style of working in 2013, there were very few options available in my area, but there has been an explosion of different sorts of co-working spaces becoming available in the last few years. Google “co-working space +your area” for the choices near you.
Personally, I have my business address and postal service at a formal co-working space. I also run workshops and meet clients there. Some of my co-workers rent a hot desk when required and others have permanent and part-time desks. A few even have office space for a whole team. My co-working space runs regular events including a monthly lunch club for all members to socialise and network.
Formal co-working spaces usually offer amenities like high-speed internet, printers, meeting rooms, couches and other places to take a comfortable break as well as kitchens stocked with coffee and teas.
Jelly Working Experience
You might want to try the Jelly model before committing to a more formal co-working space. Jelly UK say “Our aim is to bring home workers, freelancers, small business owners and entrepreneurs together in a relaxed, informal, working environment to maximise creativity and minimise the isolation that being your own boss can bring!”
Groups meet up in free venues, this could be a coffee shop, a conference venue or someone’s home. My local Jelly meets in a coffee shop situated inside a hotel and it runs from 10 am to 5 pm once a month. You can stay and work for the whole day or just for an hour, it’s up to you.
If there is not one near you, Jelly offers a starter pack to start your own.
We are social animals and perhaps the most appealing aspect of co-working is the sense of community you feel with like-minded professionals.