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Coworking 101: What is it and why do we love it?

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Photo by SugarPlum Creative

At Haven Collective, we offer coworking and private office spaces designed for focus, creativity, and connection between passionate freelancers and entrepreneurs. We believe in the unstoppable power of those who create, collaborate, and support one another. We don’t just talk about community, we created one. 

While we eat, sleep, and breathe the love of our coworking space, we find so many people that still aren’t quite sure what it is, why it exists, and what all the fuss is about.

Let’s go back to the basics with a quick Coworking: 101 overview. 

The History of Coworking

The concept of coworking is fairly new in the grand scheme of things and it really took rise with the invention and use of portable, digital devices. You know the ones we’re talking about: laptops, tablets, and smartphones. 

Plus – WiFi. We. Love. WiFi. 

So, before we dive too deeply into how coworking benefits professionals today, here’s a look at the brief history of coworking. 

  • 1995 – The first “coworking space” was founded by hackers in Berlin. 
  • 1999 – Apple launches the first “iBook,” and other laptops make it increasingly easy to work on the go. With the invention of laptops, the concept of working in coffee shops became popular. 
  • 2002 – An “entrepreneur center,” called Schraubenfabrik, opens in Vienna in an old renovated factory for anyone who works using a laptop or cell phone. Originally the tenants were entrepreneurs, start up companies, and architects. Schraubenfabrik still exists and proudly calls itself “the mother of coworking.”
  • 2005 – The concept of coworking is brought to life in San Francisco by Brad Neuberg. He launched the San Francisco Coworking Space at Spiral Muse, a feminist collective in the Mission District. 
  • 2007 – The word “coworking” is first seen on Google’s database. 
  • 2009 – Unofficial coworking events take place, creating what would later be called the Global Coworking Unconference Conference. By the end of the year, it was estimated that about 160 coworking spaces existed around the world. 
  • 2010 – The first #CoworkingDay was celebrated, as well as the first European coworking conference was hosted in Brussels. An estimate of about 600 coworking spaces existed worldwide, with nearly half of these sites in North America. 
  • 2013 – Coworking is a firmly established business model, with nearly 2,500+ coworking spaces available worldwide. #Coworking is increasingly being used on Twitter. 
  • 2018 – Haven Collective opens its doors in Columbus, OH!

What is Coworking?

“Coworking is a term used to describe a working arrangement in which people from different teams and companies come together to work in a single shared space.”Source

Coworking is similar to a traditional office, however, the big difference is that not everyone works for the same company or is working on the same project. The space itself is neutral and is shared by a multitude of people, usually entrepreneurs and freelancers, that need a space to come and get work done. 

It is a great option for self-employed professionals that need a designated workplace, but don’t need the hassle of owning/renting their own space and all the overhead and headaches that come with it. 

At Haven Collective and many other coworking spaces, the building is owned and managed specifically to accommodate this overall mission. Rooms and workspaces are created for a variety of needs: quiet work areas, meeting rooms, social work areas, lounge areas, kitchen space, etc. 

Also, coworking spaces usually provide basic office supplies, such as access to printers, dry-erase boards, staplers, hole punchers, private phone booths, etc. 

Who is Coworking meant for?

The purpose of coworking is to provide a functional workspace for anyone that needs one. The target client of a coworking space is usually entrepreneurs, freelancers, small business owners, and – now – remote workers. 

Since 2008, the number of solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, bloggers, influencers, and anyone that makes a living using the internet has exponentially increased and will continue to do so. And they all need a workspace! Trust us, working from home and coffee shops can only get us so far.  (Don’t believe us? Keep reading to learn more). 

Plus, since the pandemic, we are also seeing a huge increase in people that work from home, even if it is for a big company. During that rather abrupt transition into social distancing, we learned that while some professionals preferred to work from their actual home, many found that having the freedom to work from wherever they chose was more important. Therefore, coworking spaces are now being used more and more by professionals who are considered to be “remote workers.” Joining a coworking community provides a casual, yet focused work space that allows flexibility and freedom among work-from-homers. 

What are the Main Benefits of Coworking?

In short, the biggest benefit of joining a coworking space is this: It provides a  convenient, low cost workspace that fulfills your workplace requirements so that you can focus on your business and your well-being. 

However, there are also some – perhaps, unexpected? – benefits that come with coworking spaces, such as:

  • Community and support from like-minded professionals
  • Frictionless networking opportunities
  • Resources for professional and personal development
  • Avoid Work-from-home burnout
  • Increase in productivity and creativity

Click here to learn more about the benefits of joining a coworking space. 

Plus – Top Coworking Myths Debunked

In a previous post, we debunked common myths of coworking. While you can read the full article here, below is a recap of this post. 

Myth 1: All Coworking Spaces are the Same 

False. All coworking spaces operate differently, have various offerings, and create their own unique personality and vibe. It’s important to find a space and a community that fits in with your wants and needs. 

Myth 2: I Can Just Go to a Coffee Shop

Here and there, working at a coffee shop can be lovely. But, over an extended period of time? Nope. What if they run out of tables or chairs? What if there isn’t an outlet nearby? You also can’t control the music they play or the volume of the clientele nearby, and if you are there all day, every day…are you really going to pay and eat coffee shop food that often?

If you are a serious professional, you need a workspace that is consistent, reliable, and flexible for your needs – not the needs of the overall coffee shop clientele. 

Myth 3: I Can Just Work from Home

Again, just like working at a coffee shop, working from home can be really lovely – in small doses. However, studies have shown that working from home on a regular basis can provide many problems to the working professional, such as lack of motivation, decrease in productivity, increased loneliness, and poor work-life balance. Click here for more information on the strains of working from home. 

Myth 4: Coworking Spaces are Distracting

Different projects and tasks call for different working environments, so we recommend choosing a coworking space that offers a variety of options.

At Haven, we have clear boundaries on all our spaces that cater to everyone’s work preferences. We have rooms that are more social and meant to hold casual conversations, phone calls, and meetings. We also offer quiet rooms with little socialization and private zones, such as phone booths, for when you need them. There are also conference rooms and spaces that can be rented out for specific needs. 

Myth 5: It’s Costly & Expensive

An option for small business owners is to rent or own their own office space, which requires a much larger budget, as well as maintenance and upkeep. Coworking memberships are a great alternative, as your membership gains you access to the facilities without the responsibilities of renting or owning the space. 

Everyone’s budget is different and luckily most coworking spaces have different offerings with a range in payment structure. 

While some people are ready for the 24/7 all-access package, others might just need to rent out desks or conference rooms on an as-needed basis. At Haven, we’re happy to go over our different options to help find the right fit for you.

Need help growing your business?

Let Haven help.

Don’t let running a business run your life. Haven Collective is not only a place for people to gather and get work done, it is a community that fosters professional success and personal fulfillment. 

With a Haven membership, you will gain access to our Resource Collection. The Resource Collection is stocked with content surrounding not only business topics but also wellness and personal development tips.  Every personal and professional development event adds to our growing collection too, so you never miss an ounce of information that could help you grow and feel more productive and fulfilled. 

By joining Haven, you will commit not only to taking care of your business but to taking care of the star of the show – YOU. 

If you are looking to build your business AND prioritize your own fulfillment, click below to see if Haven Collective is the next step for you!

Written by April Warner

Sources: Source 1, Source 2

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