Coworking spaces have a lot to offer for bloggers and freelancers. Producing content for clients or for your blog can mean countless hours, alone, in front of your computer at home. Maybe there is a stack of dishes staring at you or a shopping list begging to be taken care of. Isolation, errands and chores are all killers of creativity.
Coworking spaces offer an opportunity to not only share workspace and network with other creative people, but they can also be an invaluable environment for learning a new skill or gaining a mentor.
What is a Coworking Space?
A coworking space is a setting in which desks, conference rooms and offices are available to rent for a monthly fee. You get all the benefits of a professional working environment without the cost of maintaining your own office building. You can come and go as you please and use the space for presentations, to work on your own, or to meet with potential clients in a professional setting.
Why shouldn’t I just use the library or coffee shop? It’s free.
You certainly can make that choice, but one of the main benefits of a coworking space is the networking and interaction you get with fellow entrepreneurs, freelancers and mobile business people. Each person brings a unique knowledge to the table in their respective area and the nature and setup of a coworking space allows for collaboration and new relationships to be formed.
How much does it cost to become a member?
The fees I researched are nominal compared to what having your own dedicated office space would cost. Most coworking spaces in big cities charge around $100+/month with a full range of benefits from peer-to-peer feedback, networking events, referral services and workshops. For smaller cities the price range is about $25 – $75 per month. All of the places I looked at offered a month-to-month payment structure with no binding contracts. The only exception to this rule is if you want your own dedicated office. Generally, those are rented out on a yearly contract basis.
How can I find one in my area?
Check out Sharedesk and see if there is a coworking space near you. If you travel a lot, you can look for the areas you will be traveling to and locate the nearest coworking space. Some coworking spaces offer a by-the-hour rate.
Recently I toured a new coworking space in my area called The Grind. Like many other cowork spaces, it took up residence in an old, disused downtown building. There are many buildings just like this one that are being revitalized to new purposes by a collaborative, community-minded approach.
One of the unique features of The Grind is that the space used to be part of a bank and the in-house coffee shop is able to utilize the old, drive-up teller window for drive-thru customers.
One question does come to mind when creating large, cowork spaces and that is the sustainability of the venture. Black Teak Properties, developers of The Grind, made their membership price point conducive to the area and in addition, converted the top two floors of the building to 22 modern, Scandinavian design apartments. All of them have been spoken for and continue to receive calls from interested renters.
Utilizing older buildings and spaces that would otherwise remain empty and contribute to urban blight is a smart, creative way to revitalize declining urban and rural areas. Who can resist a great wi-fi connection, unique architecture and positive collaborative environment?
Sharedesk | Locate a cowork space near you
Coworking Space Directory | Huge list of cowork spaces all over the world
Coworking Visa | List of cowork spaces that allow active members to use other coworking spaces for free for a set number of days
Have you worked in a cowork space? What has your experience been like? Leave your comments below.