Are Our Workplaces Gen Z And Gen Alpha Proof?

Preparing for a new generation to enter the workplace is a lot like baby proofing your house. You spend a lot of time and money making sure this vulnerable creature, with very specific needs, has everything they need to play, grow and thrive in their new environment, without too many run ins with sharp objects that will inevitably lead to tears. But who are you future proofing for and how?

The challenge in 2018, is that your house has only just become Millennial proof. And yes, while it’s great that you’re so On Fleek with all the latest open office concepts, flexible working spaces, new internal communication channels and social media influencers that these hashtaggers thrive on, that aint gonna fly with the more independent multi-multitasking Gen Z, who will favour private enclaves and online collaborations with global teams and communities of influence. And what of Gen Alpha, the Google Glass generation who will view technology as a physical appendage and glass screens as their genuine, not virtual, reality?

The good news is that Gen Z, or iGen as they are commonly known for being weaned off milk with iPads, will pave the way for the even more self-sufficient, independent Gen Alpha. So, if you get the foundations right you can start building a generation-proof business that will stand you in good stead for the next 50 years, give or take.

The challenge with generation proofing is that we often spend all our time focusing on the hard, tangible stuff – the tech and spatial environment – and not enough on the soft issues that will actually help retain and motivate employees to not only stay and play but thrive and grow. And when we consider that Gen Z is heavily driven by career growth and is likely to have 17 jobs and 5 careers in a lifetime, we should be focusing a lot more on getting the work/culture balance right. In fact, engaging and retaining Gen Z will be a balancing act like no other, where two seemingly opposite needs play out in the workplace. Get it right and you win the prize – a loyal, integrated workforce that is connected on more levels than one.

Balancing career growth with the need for retention

Every generation is born into an era that shapes, motivates and influences their decisions.  Gen Z’s world view may be largely shaped by technology, but they are also the product of economic uncertainty, having been born into a recession. So, it’s not surprising that they value financial security, job promotion and learning. As expert online collaborators who are also capable of working independently, companies would do well to embrace online learning as a powerful tool for mentorship, training and growth, especially one that promotes career promotion and professional advancement. 

Balancing technology with the need for focus

Eight seconds – that’s how long the average attention span of a Gen Z employee will be. Gen Alpha will be even less. Immersed in technology from an early age, these serious multi-multi-taskers will work tirelessly across different technologies and will process information at the speed of light. The downside is that it’s going to be a challenge to keep their focus, even more so than Millennials. More than ever, companies will need to create multipurpose private spaces or pods, where these workers can retreat to in order to focus on the task at hand. These spaces should also support their need for blended face-to-face/online groups.

Balancing independence with the need for shared culture and meaning

Yes, this generation will be fiercely independent and shun micromanagement and a desk bound culture, but it will also crave meaningful work, regular interaction with management and opportunities to make a valuable contribution to society. Companies that only focus on creating opportunities for remote working and online collaborations, will miss the mark.

To retain this group, you need to focus on creating a shared corporate culture and opportunities for regular engagement. In this way internal communication will become a key driver in bridging the gap between a non-desk and desk-bound workforce and finding new ways to engage and inspire an increasingly disparate workforce.

Employee apps will become the most important channel in workplace communication bringing information, social connection and engagement together in a way that resonates with these digital natives. 

Balancing privacy with the need for engagement

Internal communication will become a balancing act unto itself. How companies communicate with employees will become as important as how often and how much. Internal communication will need to move beyond intranet, SharePoint and ESN like Workplace and Yammer to embrace wearables, robotics, and virtual reality, all of which will not only reflect but drive the digital native.

As the vital link between company and employeesinternal communication will need to engage employees through validated channels using curated content that not only drives the message but embeds the company’s shared values and brand ethos. And did we mention the maximum reading time should not exceed 10 minutes per day? Tough ask right? 

Soft issues and hard tech. This is the balancing act facing corporates in the race to proof their workplaces to embrace Gen Z and the AI generations to follow. The mistake would be to focus only on the tangibles and neglect the soft issues that really drive retention and shape corporate culture. Making sure internal communications teams are properly trained, equipped and mandated to handle the enormous challenge, will be key to cracking the generational code and claiming your share of its human capital.

Source: Entrepreneur Magazine

Fashion incubator for fashionable entrepreneurs

DURBAN – Truworths and Startup Hatchery have collaborated on a fashion incubator called the Truworths Fashion Incubator and it will benefit aspiring and existing fashion entrepreneurs.

The Fashion Incubator will mainly focus on the developing the business skills of fashion entrepreneurs. The incubator was developed by Startup Hatchery to immerse designers and entrepreneurs in a community designed to equip and propel upcoming fashion businesses.
Startup Hatchery is a virtual business incubator for entrepreneurs and they provide a hands-on learning experience through online entrepreneurship, training, mentorship and business support that can be accessed anywhere and at any time.
The entrepreneurs that will be a part of the incubator will go through a 12-week structured online entrepreneurship training programme. After 12 weeks the entrepreneurs will then have the opportunity to pitch their businesses.
If they complete the pitching process they will move on to the second phase of the programme where they will be mentored by industry experts.
In terms of funding, he/she will receive R20 000 worth of Business Development Support if they complete a one-year programme. The entrepreneurs will also have the chance to pitch to investors for funding.
For membership into this exclusive programme individuals must meet the following criteria:
1. Applicants must have fashion business idea or an existing fashion that has not been in operation for more than 12 months.
2. Applicants must be in their final year of studies or completed their studies.
3. Applicants must submit the online form which will then be reviewed.
Applicants who have made it through will be notified in writing and will be invited to a pitching event at the end if the month.
Source: IOL

11 Tips to help you with productivity in a coworking space

The coworking space phenomenon that is gripping the business industry is an ingenious and creative concept. Office space is made available for young entrepreneurs, small enterprises and freelance workers to have a conducive space to work on private projects, to share knowledge, exchange ideas and work together on projects that each entity has. It’s an amazing space for creativity, innovation and support.

But being around other people in a vibrant, energetic and buzzing space, can have an impact on one’s productivity.

Noise distractions run rampant, like Sally publicly announcing what ingredients went into her banting salad from the kitchen. Or, listening to a one-sided conversation between Mark and a college mate from yesteryear, reminiscing about the good ol’ days. Alternatively, too strong a work ethic advocated in such a space can also take a knock on one’s productivity in a coworking space. Most people making use of this space are passionate about their work and want to be productive and use their time effectively.

So what can you do to gain the benefit of such a space, but still achieve optimal productivity?

Productivity will be dependent on you and your self-discipline. At Work & Co, we want everyone to do their best work and enjoy the best our environment has to offer. That’s why we compiled the following tips to help you get there!

Here are 11 helpful tips to improve productivity in a coworking space:

1. Keep yourself accountable

It is easy to allow the distractions of a social environment like a coworking space to keep you from achieving your goals for the day. Self-discipline is key here.

Write down the tasks for the day, tick them off as you complete them (there is nothing more satisfying) and do not let yourself go home without completing them all (unless it’s past midnight, then you abort mission faster than dropping a stink bomb in an elevator). Being strict in this department will lay a good foundation for a healthy and productive habit.

2. Make the work meaningful

When you do something that contributes to the end product, it’s easier to do the work. Furthermore, knowing why the work you are doing is important, makes it less laborious to do. This results in faster and a better quality end-result. You will always have certain things to do that are less fun (like administration), but understanding the purpose behind it, makes it easier to do.

3.  Break regularly

The brain is an organ that can only take so much abuse at a time. According to this scientific study, the optimal time work ratio is 52 minutes of hard, constructive and effective work, with a 17-minute break in between. The point? Figure out what works for you, and implement the principle behind the ratio.

A break doesn’t necessarily mean a 20-minute nap under your workspace or picking up dry cleaning. Simply getting up to stretch or moving around for a couple of moments will suffice.

The brain just needs to “reset” every once in awhile. It may even be best to have scheduled, forced breaks (because we all know how young professionals become addicted to working, right?). Another alternative is to make sure you have a rest day scheduled in your bi-weekly routine. This means you can plan your rest ahead and feel like it’s part of a two-week productivity flow!

4. Foster the right kind of engagement

It’s all good and well to work in a space with many people with a variety of skills and talents, but simply engaging with them for the sake of chatting or procrastinating does more harm than good for productivity in a coworking space.

When you work, engagement should be productive and beneficial to your project or to the team. Otherwise, it is simply a matter of wasting time, keeping the other person from doing their work and a nuisance to those who share the same space and wish to be productive. Having good relationships with your coworking space team is important, but there is a time and place to cultivate a friendship. At other times – you will need to exercise restraint!

5. Reward yourself for good work

By rewarding yourself upon the completion of a task or reaching a specific milestone, you encourage hard and productive work.You know yourself best, so if you are a coffee nut, treat yourself with a delicious chai latte with skimmed milk and a hint of caramel (it that floats your boat)! This, instead of the office coffee that has been reheating for the past 3 hours, should make your day feel a little more worth it.

Rewards make hard work easier, and just because you might be a lone wolf reporting to yourself, it doesn’t mean that you should neglect yourself.

6. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail

In such a social and high-energy environment, it is easy to get swept up in the excitement of things. Next thing you know, 2 precious hours of your day is gone and productivity in a coworking space is an afterthought.

It is also very easy to get distracted by non-trivial tasks and effectively, the day is a waste. Exercising some time management skills are vital in a coworking space environment. Having a general plan for the day, or the week, gives your day direction. A little bit of structure can take you a long way.

It’s not necessary to enforce it with military precision (we all love some flexibility in our lives), but a guideline works wonders. Do some minor recon at the end of the day, see what was done and what was not, and write down a specific task list for the next day.

Not all those items you’re not getting done – the 5 things that will take your business or venture forward!

7. Defeat Procrastination

A coworking space, being an interactive and social environment can lead to procrastination. And quite honestly, procrastination is a problem in any working environment, whether you are a student, postponing studying for the subject you hate. Or, you’re a CEO that deals with smaller matters first before jumping into a 100-page report because it will take a lot of time.

Changing your modus operandi by breaking the task into smaller milestones, setting tough deadlines for yourself and catching a breather when the stress starts strangling you are all great ways to kerb procrastination and boost your productivity.

Many freelancers, entrepreneurs and team members’ success lie on the other side of their consistent procrastination.

8. Avoid monotony

Boredom is a killer of productivity. In this case, it might not the environment that becomes monotonous, but the work.

Keep your day flexible and avoid falling into a boring routine that never enjoys any constructive breaks or engagement. And no, we’re not saying that 6-hour ‘board’ meetings are the ideal either!

9. Keep your workspace clean and tidy.

There is nothing more demotivating than having to work in an untidy space with mounds of papers on the verge of an avalanche and the dustbin overflowing with paper balls. And, the previous night’s midnight snack wrappers when you were playing your work catch up won’t help either! A clean, open space is an inviting space where one will want to work.

10. Use technology to your advantage

There are hundreds of apps and websites out there, designed to make one’s life easier and to save you some time. It can be:

  • An app that syncs your emails and events to the calendars of your portable devices,
  • One that generates “to do” lists for you,
  • Web sites that allows you to store all your documents and data in a cloud,
  • Or apps that check your grammar and record your time expenditure.

Making use of these possibilities and automating a lot of the mundane tasks will save time and boost productivity in a coworking space.

P.S. We’d recommend sharing the apps you use on the Work & Co Slack Channels and check in for recommendations from others!

11.  Take care of yourself

In such a constructive and creative environment, it is easy to fall into a workaholic mindset and start neglecting your personal health. Sleep is one of the biggest inhibitors of productivity. According to the National Sleep Foundation who ran a worldwide study on sleep, young adults (18-26) and adults (26-64) need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep for optimal function.

Lack of sleep contributes to concentration issues, it stimulates a negative attitude towards one’s work and ultimately, it takes longer to do basic things that would not be an issue with a fresh mind. Further, it is amazing what an injection of endorphins can do to productivity and creativity. Go for a jog or work in a gym session and one will see an increase in one’s levels of productivity in a coworking space.

If you’re getting the work done, it might then even be time for that ‘board’ meeting!

Achieving productivity in a coworking space is not just achieved through constant working, but by taking a break too and giving yourself time to recover! Remember, there is no point in doing something if it doesn’t bring you meaning or joy. So be productive safely, and don’t type and drive!

Source: Work & Co

How the workspace you choose affects your employee turnover

May 2018 – The workspace that you choose for your company’s offices ultimately has a major impact on your staff turnover and with South Africa’s current skills shortage, this is an important factor that every business needs to take into consideration when looking for new office space.

Whether you are a large, established corporate or a small business just starting out, the ability to attract and retain talent is a vital component in becoming an employer of choice and should be one of your main HR business strategies. Being an employer of choice means that potential employees with the right skill-set look forward to working for your company and your current, talented and experienced employees stay with your company for many years to come, keeping those vital skills in-house.

What are the main benefits of being an employer of choice?

  • Attracting the right talent to compete in the market
  • Improving employee productivity and commitment
  • Building a long-term business

How important is the workspace for employees?

It’s very simple. For your employees to be productive, they need to be happy. For them to be happy, you need to create a positive employment brand and a great working environment. Employees who are happy, are engaged with the company and by extension, creative and productive. If you are not a forward-thinking employer who is genuinely putting steps in place to become an employer of choice, your best employees will simply vote with their feet and leave for greener pastures.

How does an enabling workspace contribute towards productivity?

By providing enabling, flexible workspaces for your employees, you will demonstrate that you value and care for them. Flexibility in the workspace demands a melding of both open-plan and private workspace, where employees may choose their workspace preference, depending on their requirements or projects. Workspaces that successfully combine these office space designs have been proven to create a sense of community and workplace satisfaction in companies such as The Business Exchange, a provider of flexible office space in Gauteng.

What are the most important design factors in the workspace?

Businesses, no matter what size or life-stage are dynamic in nature and have different workspace needs at different times. The flexibility of the workspace which you select should take this into account by offering a variety of office configurations. The Business Exchange is an excellent example of how these different configurations can work in practice.

The Business Exchange offers both private and shared workspaces but also seamlessly integrates these offices in such a way that the public and private lounges, on-site restaurants and coffee bars, flow together with uninterrupted Wi-Fi throughout, allowing tenants to easily move from office to office, meeting room or restaurant.

The contemporary office spaces are fully-furnished, beautifully designed and filled with curated artworks from South African artists. Natural light, which boosts moods and energy levels, imbues the workspaces with an energy designed to improve creativity and productivity.

The Business Exchange understands the importance of productivity and stays abreast of the workspace trends and technology. With flexible leases and many other exciting and innovative features to improve your and your employees’ working days, this is a company worth considering for your next office move.

Source: The Business Exchange

Co-working: the new normal

Co-working spaces, shared office spaces that are typically used by the self-employed or those working for various different companies, are soaring in popularity the world over.

“So much so,” said Linda Trim, Director at workplace design specialists Giant Leap, “that working in a co-working space is rapidly becoming the new normal even for those who have traditional 9 to 5 jobs.”

Trim noted than there are currently 14 411 co-working spaces around the world today making it fastest growing type of commercial property. Globally, shared workspaces have grown at an rapid rate of 200% over the past five years. In global cities like London, New York and Chicago they are expanding at an annual rate of 20%.

“Co-working places are rapidly becoming the workplace of choice. Globally they are expected to be close on 4-million people who will be members of a co-working office by 2020 and that number is expected to rise to over 5-million by 2022.”

Trim added that in South Africa the trend is not as developed as it is in countries like the US, but is quickly catching on. “In major business nodes like Sandton for example, co-working places are springing up all over. For instance FutureSpace is a high end co-working space that is as appealing as WeWork, the hugely successful American co-working company that has offices in 21 countries.”

Co-working became an attractive concept because when it first started to appear, it countered the negative views of the traditional office of drab interiors with tired people spending their lives in cubicles under harsh neon lights.

“If we look back to just a few years ago, co-working was considered to be a movement or a trend, with many believing it would fade. But now co-working is a full-blown industry that is disrupting the real estate industry and the way people work.

They known for offering environments that are conducive to innovation, collaboration, and productivity. These type of workplaces were pioneers in implementing a human approach to design, a trend which is catching up among real estate developers, landlords and of course companies.

“For now co-working is today’s normal.”

The extent to which co-working has gone mainstream is evidenced in the fact that large companies are increasingly seeking to enhance the workplace experience as a means to attract and retain talent, and that a significant percentage of workers who have the option to work from home or a coffee shop prefer to work from a co-working space.

Said Trim: “By 2020, we expect 50% of large companies to have some form of shared office space to offer their workers.”

She also noted that co-working spaces were having a very positive impact on people. 84% of people who use co-working spaces are more engaged and motivated while 89% who co-work report being happier.

“The co-working phenomenon has also spurred companies to make their existing offices much more people friendly and relaxed,“ Trim noted.

“On many of our briefs now we are told to design something that makes people feel they are in a relaxed environment somewhere between a coffee bar and their lounge at home.”

She added that the growth in co-working spaces will likely remain strong with a forecasted growth rate of 15% over the next 5 years.

Source: My Office Magazine 

Business Incubators: Pros and Cons

Here we’ll take a look at the benefits and downsides of business incubators so you can decide whether joining one is right for your business. But first, we’ll answer the question –

What is an Incubator?

An incubator is an organization designed to help startup businesses grow and succeed by providing free or low-cost workspace, mentorship, expertise, access to investors, and in some cases, working capital in the form of a loan. You’ll work around other entrepreneurial businesses, often with a similar focus as yours.

Joining an incubator is almost like joining a college program: You have to apply, be accepted, and then follow a schedule, meeting benchmarks set by the incubator. You’ll also need to commit to a length of time to be a part of the incubator, typically one to two years.

Incubator Benefits

Based on the definition, you can already see some of the pros an incubator can provide to businesses to get a powerful start. Make sure to research potential incubators carefully to be sure they provide the following benefits:

  • Your incubator should provide a free or low-cost workspace that allows you to reduce overhead while you grow.
  • Look for an incubator that will give your business access to benefits that can help accelerate your business, including office space and services, mentorship, expertise, influence, and sometimes capital.
  • Incubators may also offer business development programming such as workshops and panel discussions.
  • Make sure investors trust the incubator to invest in the right startups and groom them into successful businesses. Joining this type of incubator will give you an advantage when seeking funding.
  • Businesses in some incubators might have access to office must-haves like internet, administrative support, and production equipment. Office services vary from program to program.
  • The structured environment and curriculum of an incubator can help a new business keep focus and grow in the right direction.

Many incubators target specific industries-such as digital education, green technology, homeland security, fashion and food-and thus offer targeted resources and expertise. It’s important to make sure you have a clear understanding of what an incubator provides before applying.

Incubator Downsides

Not all incubators are equal; some provide more or better benefits than others. Here are some potential downsides:

  • The application process can be rigorous and competitive. For most incubators, an applicant is required to submit a detailed business plan and disclose all business activities.
  • Many incubators require a time commitment of around one to two years, plus adherence to the schedule set by the incubator, which can include many trainings and workshops. Yes, you will learn a lot, but you’ll also spend a fair amount of time doing it.
  • For better or worse, an incubator is a professional environment. You can’t simply come and go as you please, and you’ll be expected to answer to someone other than yourself in regards to your progress. Think of an incubator like a boss who is invested in your success.

As you can see, the benefits can be great for the right applicant. Make sure you are willing to dedicate yourself and your business to the program in order to reap the rewards.

How to Choose a Business Incubator

Choosing an incubator for your startup business is a big decision, especially if you’ll be giving up a hefty chunk of time and equity for its resources and expertise. Here is what you should look for in a business incubator before you choose a program:

Incubator Perks

Research the incubator’s offerings to see if they match your needs. Learn what resources and services the company provides. Study the incubator’s mentors and advisers to determine if their expertise, skills, and networks match your business’s needs.

Incubator Curriculum

Many incubators require rigorous training and have strict schedules. Assess the curriculum to make sure it teaches what you need to learn in order for your business to succeed. Make sure you can take it all on while still running daily operations.

Incubator Track Record

How have similar businesses performed with the support of the incubator? If possible, contact alumni for their take on the experience. Most incubators list graduate companies on their websites.

Incubator Cost

How much does it cost to use the workspace and the equipment? If applicable, what are the loan terms offered, or what percentage of equity will the incubator take? Make sure the cost fits with the sacrifice you’re willing to make.

Incubator Location

As previously mentioned, joining an incubator is not unlike joining a college program. Because you’ll be going to class several times per week if not every day, you’ll need to be on campus-that is, in close proximity to the incubator. This may mean relocating to be closer to an incubator if you can’t find the right fit close enough to home.

Find an incubator near you with mySME Space

Source: Accion

8 Things You Should Know About Coworking Space in 2018

A transformative change has taken place in recent years – with the concept of coworking evolving from an alternative to a traditional office lease for start-ups and freelancers to becoming an integral component of bona fide corporate real estate portfolios. Here are eight key concepts for 2018 and beyond.

1. Flexibility is King.

Flexibility tops the list of popular benefits of coworking amongst freelancers, small businesses, and even large enterprises according to Cushman & Wakefield’s market research. Coworking companies provide short-term leases at various square footages, allowing tenants to determine the most appropriate workplace strategy for their business without a long-term obligation. Coworking drives cost efficiency with tenants avoiding the significant upfront capital cost of building out space and the long-term risk of paying for space they do not need.

2. Rapid Growth.

The number of coworking locations worldwide has increased from 1,130 in 2011 to 13,800 in 2017. Over the same period, the number of members has drastically increased from 43,000 to 1.2 million. Current forecasts provided by the largest coworking conference operator GCUC and Emergent Research indicate the number of coworking members will rise to a staggering 3.8 million by 2020 and 5.1 million by 2022.

3. Design Drives Engagement.

The best coworking spaces are immersive and offer captivating design, delivering unexpected elements of fun and comfort. Coworking design benefits businesses by encouraging interactions between customers, which can lead to more formal business relationships. For example, WeWork and Convene have recently introduced design innovations like coffee shops, amenity floors, retail pop-ups, educational institutions, and fitness centers.

4. Connectivity Drives Growth and Innovation.

Coworking spaces generate heightened connectivity amongst different businesses, presenting an opportunity for innovation to occur at the intersection of different disciplines and mirroring the balance between intellectual harmony and tension made famous at AT&T’s Bell Labs in the late 19th century. This historic project employed tactics that would later influence the coworking movement by housing “thinkers and doers” in a shared space, emphasizing an open door policy, and encouraging close physical proximity of diverse professions.

5. A Hotel, a University, and a Home. 

Coworking operations blend the best aspects of a boutique hotel with the social atmosphere of a university and the comforts of a home, under the mantra of “space-as-a-service,” as WeWork’s Head of Product Research Josh Emig describes. Providing personal amenities, hospitality services, individualized spatial design, IT services, and social programming is a critical factor in differentiating coworking brands and one that allows members to solely focus on their professional endeavors.

6. A Cure for Loneliness. 

In recent years, remote workers have increasingly voiced a significant challenge to this workplace concept: loneliness due to a lack of human interaction. Providing a venue for the exchange of human capital by implementing innovative solutions for workplace interaction has set shared space apart from the idea of working remotely. Nearly 83 percent of respondents in an Emergent Researchsurvey about coworking indicated that they are less lonely as a result of joining a coworking space, further proving the growing desire to “work alone together.”

7. The New Venture Myth.

Despite the belief that freelance and independent workers most commonly occupy coworking space, reports indicate that 50 percent of enterprise companies will be involved in the shared space industry by 2020. With 15 percent of the S&P 500 taking up coworking space, companies like Facebook, E&Y, JP Morgan, IBM, and Microsoft signify a market trend that is expected to continue.

8. Where Does the Real Estate Community Stand? 

As WeWork and other coworking companies continue to attract large corporations, traditional landlords and real estate firms are adapting to this industry disruption by shifting their focus toward the employee experience and offering the best qualities of a coworking experience: redeveloped office space, short-term leases, happy hours, and varied workspaces.

Source: Cushman & Wakefield

The Advantages for Coworking

As a freelancer, Startup founder, or digital nomad, you should consider the advantages of coworking when you pick your work environment. Working at home or taking your laptop to a coffee shop might sound like a dream, but for reasons we will introduce later in the article can also be challenging and frustrating. The other solution for those who want to stay away from home or coffee shops would be renting a long-term office space which results in high costs and lack of flexibility. That’s where coworking comes in! A “coworking space” is a place where you can go on a daily basis, sit down at a random table (or a fixed one, in certain places), and enjoy a good internet connection, coffee, a kitchen, and the company of like-minded people. Altogether, it supplies you with an office environment without the necessity of everyone working on the same project, to each his/her own, but together. Those spaces are now becoming common around the world (As the Global Coworking spaces map I am working on proves). As a digital nomad, I have used coworking spaces in more than 30 countries since 2011 and consider it a lifesaver.

It should first be noted that coworking spaces have a few disadvantages and might not be best solution for everyone. This may be especially true for those of you who are happy and productive at home alone, and with high levels of self-discipline. However, most people can benefit greatly from coworking and should at least give it a try, especially since many coworking spaces offer free one-day trials! It should also be noted that as the coworking trend grows, there are more and more different types of coworking spaces so you should make sure you browse and test most spaces in your location to get a perfect fit.

Without further ado, here are some of the main advantages of coworking:

  • Separating Work from Home. If you work from home, there’s no real accountability. It’s too easy to get distracted by your bed, your TV, and fridge and lose valuable time. In addition to that, family related chores will always present themselves since if you are at home, you must be available… The separation of work from home is important for many of us and also allows you to breath some fresh air and feel alive instead of spending most of your day at home.
  • Enhancing your Effectiveness. Research shows that people who use coworking spaces are more effective due to the energy and mindset adjustment that is generated by the interaction and acountability a coworking environment creates. That means that the financial costs of using a coworking space are much lower than the financial benefits it creates.
  • Avoid loneliness and get Inspired from Like-Minded People: Working alone is isolating and can affect your mood. Having coworkers and interaction is covering a social need. The idea at a coworking space is that although you are working by yourself, you are surrounded by awesome people. The members of the coworking space have picked a unique and independent lifestyle just like you, and those are exactly the kind of people you want to be surrounded by. Coworking simply makes your day more energizing, fun and happy.
  • Create an amazing network- Coworking spaces will boost your network and in turn connect you with the most relevant people for your business, from potential clients, suppliers or even business partners. In coworking spaces you are guaranteed to meet high quality, talented, and like minded people to add to your network that might become critical for your business.
  • Making you Take Yourself (and your Business) Seriously. This one is a little deep, so let’s start with an example: It is a common recommendation to work at home with clothes you would wear at the office. Working with flip-flops in your pajamas usually decreases your productivity as you are signaling to yourself that you are not in work mode. Using a coworking space will make you aware of your appearance and clothing, and taking the time to walk/drive to your place in addition to the money you spend on it will remind you that your work is important enough to take it seriously and value your time and skills.
  • Improving your Social Life: One of the biggest drawbacks of leaving a 9-to-5 job is missing out on the best source of meeting new people, your office. Jobs provide us with a major source of new friends, and once you leave your work this source is depleted. A coworking place allows you to fill in the gaps and make new friends with interesting people in new places.
  • Reducing Uncertainty: Most of us working remotely will try Finding the Perfect Coffee Shop to Work with a Laptop as a Digital Nomad. This can create some uncertainty and frustration, since you will find yourself running from one coffee shop to another hoping that today it won’t be too crowded or loud and that the internet is going to work. In case you have to make calls, the noise in coffee shops can be frustrating to you and the people around you. Coworking spaces usually have isolated Skype booths and conference rooms for you to use. Some other reliable advantages of coworking spaces over coffee shops include access 24 hours a day (in case you are on a deadline or have a crazy schedule), and free printing (always valuable). In general, uncertainty takes time and energy that could have been put toward working for your clients, and it makes you feel less happy in general. Coworking provides your life with stability.
  • Impressing your Network. Coworking spaces are a great option to conduct important meetings with your clients and associates since they offer conference rooms which are usually free for members. It makes a much better impression to invite people to a coworking room than to your home or a coffee shop and will show how serious and dedicated you are to your trade.
  • Reducing Costs & Adding Flexibility. In case you have decided that it is time to get an office, a coworking space makes a lot more financial sense than renting your own office. Renting an office includes taking care of installing infrastructure and taking care of utility bills that drain cash and time. The staff in the coworking space will take care of that for everyone. Also, regular office rental requires signing long term contracts, usually for a minimum period of one year. Coworking spaces allow you to rent your Table or even a room for a few days, weeks or a month and allow you to focus on what counts: Your work.
  • Accessible expert help when needed. Coworking spaces gather the best minds, each expert in their own field. After you dedicate some time to build your social network in the coworking space, you can approach your expert friends for high quality advice on a wide range of topics like social media and digital marketing, programming, design and much more. The synergies and mutual help of one member to another is invaluable.
  • Emotional support. Most of us leaving the 9-5 lifestyle are also working on a startup or starting to freelance. Both activities are entrepreneurial and have many ups and downs. It might even create pressure on you by family and friends to return to the “safe zone” and work as an employee again. Surrounding yourself by fellow entrepreneurs and freelancers while working in a coworking space will give you the boost to continue pushing forward while receiving and giving emotional support to your fellow coworkers.
  • Build a team. Scaling and truly become successful usually involves working with others. There will be a time when it will make sense to slowly building a team and hiring a person to help your business grow. In some situations you can hire someone to hire remotely, but let’s be 100% honest, nothing beats working togehter in the same physical space. A coworking space allows you to invite another person to work with you without the need to rent a dedicated office. As your team grows, many coworking spaces also offer the option to rent a team room which helps your team to focus working on your projects while also enjoying the interaction and perks outside of your dedicated room.
  • Education opportunity and events. Most coworking spcaes are organizing events as a critical way to both increase revenue and market themselves. That means that as a coworking member, you will have fast and easy access (mostly free) to interesting events and education opportunities ranging from lectures about entrepreneurship and startups, to yoga sessions!
  • Travel the world. Once you adapt to the coworking lifestyle, you will find it very easy to travel between locations and even adapt a life of a digital nomad. All you need is to make that there is a coworking space where you travel to, and you are set to go! Speaking about Coworking around the globe, here is a coworking directory with more than 7,000 spaces called Coworker that I frequently use to find a perfect coworking spot in my travels.
  • Helping you Work in Comfort. Free coffee, fridges, microwaves. You often save money in this kind of working environment because unlike a cafe where your small costs add up without you noticing, a coworking space lets you know what you will pay upfront (coworking will probably be cheaper than three Starbucks coffees per day). Coworking spaces usually offer lockers, as well, which gives you another place to store your stuff safely in case you need to go somewhere during the day.

In summary, coworking is a great solution, and will no doubt shape a lot of the future labor market. For many nomads, the advantages of coworking are life-saving in terms of increasing effectiveness and meeting new people.

Source: Become Nomad

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