The benefits of coworking and collaboration

By Celeste Mitchell

Coworking might just be the biggest buzzword of 2015 in Australia, but with more and more companies – not just indie creatives and work-from-home solopreneurs – getting their hot desk on, there’s got to be a much more deep rooted benefit than just free coffee and ping pong tables, right?!

When you’re used to working on your own schedule (and in your pyjamas) it can be an intimidating thought to step back inside four walls of the office you fought so hard to escape, but on top of the productivity benefits (and infinitely better WiFi on tap), there’s a community thriving within coworking spaces across the world that could just help propel your business to the next level or launch your new idea with a bang.

When you work from home the lure of the fridge, putting on that load of washing, or answering the door/phone to yet another well-meaning relative or friend who seems to think that working from home = not working at all, can easily rip your days from under you before you’ve even had a chance to tick one measly thing off your to-do list.

By booking a day or week in a coworking space, you’re making a commitment to yourself and your business to show up and get shit done. And the benefits of simple getting dressed and setting yourself up for the day are surprisingly high.

But what are some of the other benefits of coworking?

Coworking can spark ideas

Waiting at home for that innovative idea to strike? One of the best things about coworking spaces is the varied skill-sets and industries that hum together under the same roof. That informal chat on the couch or by the coffee machine might just spark that next big revelation for you – when you listen to how other industries are tackling problems you might find ways you can apply the same principles to your own business.

Coworking can hook you up with the perfect collab partner

Short of blog commenting, Facebook stalking and buying every product your idol releases, there are not many better ways to get out in the real world and meet like minded people than working in a coworking space. You might turn around to find a web developer that can help you relaunch your site, a financial advisor who would be the perfect expert for your next podcast, or a copywriter who can turn your idea into that ebook you’ve been meaning to write for at least 12 months now!

Coworking can boost your productivity

Making a commitment to work, cutting out the distractions of home, adding an inspiring work space and having fast, reliable WiFi all add up to the perfect recipe for getting shit done. Having access to a coworking space, even if you find you only fire on all cylinders for 3-4 hours per day, allows you to smash through deadlines a helluva lot easier than faffing about at home all day long.

Coworking is way more fun than working alone

It’s simple: working alone at home = drop in motivation, feelings of isolation and creative blocks. Working in a bright, sunny, inspiring workspace that’s centrally located, amongst other creative souls with great music and coffee on tap = happy life (and less offloading on your partner when he/she gets home from work!).

Coworking skills you up

Most coworking spaces offer workshops and networking events for their events, allowing skills to be shared and the opportunity to hear from those who have blazed the trail before you. At Share Space we hold a regular Nibbles & Know-How event where five experts speak for five minutes each on the topic of their choosing, giving guests quick insights, which they can implement further through longer workshops or connecting with those businesses.

Coworking is the way of the future

Fast Company recently reported that by 2040 the workforce will “accelerate in a major way towards entrepreneurship, independent contracting, and ‘peer-to-peer’ work”, meaning being a “freelancer” will be the norm and coworking spaces will likely be on every corner.

Even if you live in a town devoid of a coworking space (and with hubs setting up in towns like Armidale and Hervey Bay that’s becoming more and more unlikely), why not go the route of Swedish startup, Hoffice, which is like AirBnB for coworkers – opening your home to turn it into a bustling coworking space?

Have you ever worked in a coworking space? What do you love most about it?

Celeste Mitchell is a whip-smart wordslinger & business pimp for entrepreneurs and brands who want to take their online presence from boring to badass.

As a journalist, former magazine editor and the founder of The Devil Wears Flip Flops she’s obsessed with flipping clichéd copy on its head and writing words that will make you sit up and pay attention.

Celeste and her partner Zac opened Share Space on the Sunshine Coast in March 2015 after being frustrated at the lack of creative workspaces available in a region renowned for its BIG ideas and kick-ass online businesses.

The church hall-turned inspirational hub (with super fast WiFi) has desks available to rent by the day or week, an ‘Un-Bored’ Room complete with a ping pong table to make meetings all the more productive, and after hours the space transforms for yoga and pilates classes, workshops and talks. See it here.

Photo Credits: Krista Eppelstun