It is estimated that by the year 2020, approximately 50% of the workforce will be working online. While this may offer a large majority of individuals the ability to work from home, this isn’t always the preferable option.
Thus, the coworking movement.
What is Coworking?
Perhaps the best way to describe coworking is to think of it as an office-type of setting that you can go to everyday to do your work, but you don’t have to go through the hassle or expense of buying or creating it on your own.
Although they aren’t very well-known by a lot of freelance workers and startups, more and more coworking spaces are popping up all over the globe. In fact, I have personally been working out of WeWork in New York City for over three years.
WeWork started as a small, invite-only incubation space in Soho called WeWork Labs. Since 2011, it has grown to 15 locations (10 in New York, 2 in Boston, 2 in Washington DC and 1 in Seattle) and each one houses approximately 200 startups.
Here’s a quick video clip from AFP News, who interviewed me in a piece on coworking spaces in DC:
Advantages of Coworking
There are a number of distinct advantages to picking up your laptop and going someplace else to work. Here are just a few of them to consider if you’re contemplating making coworking a part of your LiveWorkAnywhere life:
- You get out of the house. It may seem like working from home is great, but the reality is that the four walls can close in on you very easily if you hardly ever get out. Plus, if you have an active family, sometimes the distractions can be too much, making it hard to concentrate and causing you to potentially miss important deadlines.
- They’re cost effective. Other than the cost of the coffee that you drink, coworking spaces are totally free. This saves you from having to find an office space to rent, which has the ability to eat up all of your income, depending on where you live.
- You have hi-speed Wifi Internet. This coworking advantage is huge for people who either live in areas that don’t get good service or simply can’t afford the higher speed options. Access to a super-fast Internet is something no online working should go without.
- They’re good for the environment. Why take up precious space on this planet and build a bunch of offices when you can house a large number of people in one place and they can still accomplish the same thing? This makes coworking very earth friendly.
- You get to network with other entrepreneurs and startups. Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of co-working is that you get to meet like minded people. You can share stories, tips, and advice as you decide how you’re going to conquer the world.
Coworking is the next new trend and one that isn’t likely to go away anytime soon.
Where do you cowork? What is your favorite coworking space and why?
If you’re not yet coworking, what would you look for in a space?
I’d love to hear your thoughts!