Fifty years ago, everyone more or less worked in the same exact place because they worked the same exact way: You’d wake up, head to the office, put in your eight hours and head home to your family.
But technology has evolved over the years. As a result, the way we shape our workdays has changed similarly. Thanks to the rise of the Internet and the proliferation of mobile devices, many workers are now able to work from any location while still being as productive as they’d be sitting at their desks.
Since that’s the case, you don’t really need to rent an office anymore in order to meet your business objectives. Sure, you could choose to work at home if that’s an option. But while working at home might sound great at first—you’ll save a lot of money—plenty of people who have done it will tell you it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. In fact, it can get depressing—really, really depressing.
Luckily, there’s a solution to this conundrum: coworking.
Coworking is a flexible working movement in which a mix of self-employed professionals, consultants, freelancers and other knowledge workers share office space and equipment in a central location. Though the workers aren’t employed by the same people, they still bounce ideas off one another and work toward the same goal: being productive with the tasks at hand.
And the trend is picking up a lot of steam. Believe it or not, the number of coworking buildings across the globe doubled every year between 2006 and 2012, growing from 30 to 2,150 shared workspaces during that time. You can expect that pattern to continue.
So why are so many people choosing coworking? Well, the benefits speak for themselves. Here are some of them:
- Your living room and your office won’t blend together. When you work from home, it can be hard to figure out when the workday ends and the rest of your life begins. Coworking solves this problem, as it serves as a buffer between your job and your life.
- You have access to meeting space when you need it. The coffee shop isn’t the most professional place to meet a client. You’ll be able to reserve meeting rooms and conference rooms in coworking environments, so you can meet your clients in professional settings.
- You could meet new clients. You’ll meet a slew of creative professionals at coworking facilities. In addition to being able to pick their brains and bounce ideas off of them, you never know when you might land your next client.
- You’ll be more creative. Rather than being distracted by something at your home, at the bar or at the coffee shop, you’ll be more focused in coworking environments. In fact, 71 percent of survey respondents indicated that their creativity improved as a result of coworking. And the more creative you are, the more productive you’ll be.
Interested in giving coworking a try? A quick Google search should yield some places to check out in your area. But at the end of the day, it’s important to remember that in order to be as productive as possible, you’re going to have to find the working environment that’s most comfortable for you.