Coworking space may be an unfamiliar term. We can thank the millennials for this recent workstyle choice. In 2020 over 50% of the U.S. workforce will be freelancers (this does not mean they are all full-time freelancers, but one of every two workers will be freelancers in some capacity).
For many of us Boomers, having a home office is something of a status symbol. Our work career was spent in a company office unless traveling was in your job description. We were thrilled when companies started to offer some work-at-home flexibility so we could set up a home office and reduce the amount of time spent traveling to work.
Now at this phase in life, as we are anticipating freelancing, expanding our side gigs or starting up a new business as we move into our post-retirement years. A coworking space is an attractive option with plenty of benefits. It is also an attractive option for small not-for-profit agencies and smaller companies.
As I am writing, I am sitting on the top floor of a heritage building in Vancouver’s Gastown, with exposed brick walls, a huge bank of sunny windows and a group of eight women who are working on various projects all of who inspire me. I am excited to continue working on my video skills in a studio space where I don’t have to set up and take down equipment. I look forward to coming here every week. If you want to join us check this out.
What Is Coworking?
Coworking is where you share office space. You have options to rent a desk or a meeting room by the hour, day, week or month. Some use a membership business model. Space includes a bank of workstations, tables or desks, chairs, various sized private meeting rooms, and kitchen space. The technical infrastructure usually includes the latest hi-speed Wi-Fi.
Some coworking spaces specialize in certain lines of business offering specialized equipment like video equipment, lighting, soundproof booths, audio equipment, and administrative services such as printing, bulk email services, phone answering, and mailboxes an as-needed basis.
The difference from the shared reception rented office concept of the ’90s is you are working in a communal environment. There is a shared value system that encourages interaction, support, sharing, and respect.
Five Benefits of Coworking
Interaction Not Isolation
Coworking spaces provide networking opportunities, skill swapping, opportunities to learn and engage with a community from which to draw business and personal inspiration.
Reduction of Expenditures, Commitment, Start-up Immediately
Coworking space does not come with the high cost and commitment of office leases. You can get up and running immediately.
Flexible Hours And Space Suit A Downsizing Lifestyle
The services are on an as you need basis and often available 24/7. You can access just what your business needs; a meeting room for a customer meeting, a short-term space to finish a project, an office space regularly. If you are downsizing to a smaller home or apartment, you can do without your office and work elsewhere.
Inspiration To Draw On
Getting up and going somewhere with intention helps propel you past barriers. Having accountability and/or inspiration can help you get unstuck. Get your creative juices flowing with other creative spirits. Look for a mix of older and younger people to maximize your exposure to new ideas and perspectives.
Access to Equipment and Expertise
Entrepreneurs often want to learn how to do everything and invest in the equipment right from the start. You can learn quickly if someone who knows can show you the ropes. Why not explore and learn first in a coworking space?
Women-Only Coworking Spaces
This work style options suit the needs of Boomer women. It is a startling fact that 52% of female entrepreneurs are over 50. Cowork spaces, focused on women, are popping up around the world.
In Switzerland there is WeSpace.
One Roof Women is a goal kicking community in Australia.