Co-working » first came into being in Germany about ten years ago. Today, workspace sharing is a real revolution in the world of work and a phenomenon that is gaining in popularity. Demand is growing year by year. It is even predicted that there will be more than 30,432 coworking spaces and more than 5.1 million coworking members by 2022 (Coworker.com).
What is co-working?
It is a type of work organisation that encourages exchange and openness. In fact, co-working spaces make it possible to set up a community of workers, thus making these spaces an incubator of professional opportunities. Co-working is by definition a grouping of self-employed workers who share the same space. However, each one devotes himself to his respective tasks and organises himself as he sees fit. As a result, it attracts many self-employed workers, startups or companies seeking to modernise their image.
Why choose a shared workspace?
These last few months of pandemic and containment have not been easy for most of us. This is why co-working is an opportunity in the face of the COVID crisis to break isolation and thus create social ties. Co-working is the perfect antidote for those who are otherwise forced to work alone at home or in a noisy café. This type of organization allows people, who may not have a developed business network, to use this new community infatuation. As you can see, this is another way of thinking about the office. It’s collaborative work. However, space and shared office space mean that there are « rules » that must be respected. You can read an article on our blog about how to use shared spaces.
Some advantages of opting for a co-working
First of all, shared workspaces offer real budgetary advantages. Indeed, they allow savings on the real estate budget because the infrastructure is shared between the different co-workers. The co-workers have access to everything: meeting room, bar, entertainment room, kitchen, high-speed internet… The employees do not have to worry about the number of coffees they take because they can help themselves at will. They also don’t have to worry about filling up the toilet paper, changing the printer ink or calling the WiFi repair company as everything is taken care of. All in all, these business centres offer facilities that you would find in a traditional office but much more.
In addition, a major differentiating factor is flexibility. Indeed, you do not need to sign a long-term lease and there is no time obligation. Most co-working spaces operate on a subscription basis. In addition, WAO Coworking always offers a half-day or even a one-day trial period. Different packages are then offered to users to best suit their needs. It is possible to book places for just 1 day per month/week as well as every day. The flexibility offered by shared offices is therefore ideal for nomadic companies. For example, the workspaces are flexible. If you are nomadic, shared workspaces will suit you very well.
Co-working is not just about sharing infrastructure and costs, it is above all, about belonging to a community. Co-working is the new way of working and sharing. Shared office space is designed to provide a productive and collaborative environment for its motivated residents. Co-working is about sharing the work environment as opposed to private offices. To reinforce this aspect, open space companies regularly organise events, afterwork, animations and training accessible to all co-workers.
Therefore, co-working spaces offer more than just office space. They are convivial meeting places and think tanks. When you rent a space, you gain colleagues who support you professionally and to whom you can share your ideas. It’s a way to make new friends and meet potential customers or business partners at the workplace. Co-working areas provide a variety of networking opportunities on a daily basis. In addition, being surrounded by other people is good for your mind, it keeps you sharp and is excellent for creativity. So why do homeworking alone at home?
A diverse and friendly environment to work in
These third places, which are open and hybrid spaces, are intended to facilitate meetings between heterogeneous actors. Moreover, shared workspaces are suitable for all professional categories and sectors. Consequently, the members of the coworking spaces are very diverse! Indeed, at WAO We Are Open coworking Brussels you will find startups, freelancers, digital marketing experts, seamstresses, photographers, graphic designers, theatre groups, film production groups and more…. Basically, office rental space offers more networking opportunities than a closed office.
Not to mention that shared workspaces have an undeniably « cool » side. Co-working is the place where you can hang out drinking coffee, take an impromptu nap in a chair before returning to your workstation. Co-working gives you the excuse to have fun at work while you work. So why not challenge your partners to video games or end the week with a short film between colleagues? In addition, WAO has a projection room which is at the disposal of its employees.
To sum up, a co-working space is the perfect option for those starting out in a business (startups and entrepreneurs) or the self-employed, as installation costs are low due to the shared infrastructure. Moreover, it offers opportunities for sociability in a period that is tending towards the removal of social ties.