With a significant amount of time under our belt, it is time for our team at Coworking Resources to revisit the question of what coworking means. Many websites can tell you that coworking is a shared office space where entrepreneurs, freelancers, remote workers, and anyone else who wants access to a fully-equipped space can get a membership. This definition, however, just scratches the surface of what coworking is. To gain a deeper understanding of coworking, look at what coworking is in relation to a few key areas.
Coworking Is a Community – or Not
When most people think of coworking compared to other types of offices, they think of the sense of community that comes from these spaces. While many coworking spaces do enjoy a sense of community, that is not always true. There are actually two main types of cultures for coworking spaces, focusing on either a community or a corporate atmosphere.
Spaces with a community atmosphere are those that encourage collaboration and host events. These may be spaces that appeal to all types of members or those that fit a particular niche, such as female entrepreneurs. A community-focused space will design the layout with the community in mind.
By contrast, spaces with more of a corporate feel focus on the space instead of the community. The community will only come after the space has been created. Instead of focusing on an aspect of the community, the coworking company would just create a space that appeals to them and has the important amenities.
Coworking as a Business
What coworking means will depend on your role in the community. If you are a member, coworking means a place for you to work and be productive. Those who run a coworking space see it as a business opportunity. It is very challenging to make a profit in coworking spaces, but it is entirely possible with a well-thought-out business plan.
To make the most of coworking as a business, you must have some sort of knowledge of business in general or have someone on your team who does. You will need to understand what people are looking for and be able to attract them to the space. As the owner of a coworking business, you will also need to be on the lookout for potential problems so you can resolve the issues before they even arise, just like you would with any other business.
Coworking and the Real Estate Economy
A final area to look at for a better understanding of what coworking means is its connection to real estate. With the rise in coworking, real estate is changing as renters require more flexibility. Some see coworking as an option that may be bubble-proof. Landlords and coworking spaces can work together to make a profit for both groups by providing the features members want without the hassle associated with long-term leases. While some landlords are diversifying their holdings by opening coworking spaces, many find it is easier to just seek out clients that run these spaces, as each party, including the real estate agent and the coworking space owner, can focus on their respective specialties in a mutually beneficial manner.