As more companies hire contractors, freelancers, or simply look to modernize their business models and find ways to promote productivity, the traditional office concept continues to fade into obsolescence. Maintaining a permanent office space can be expensive. Overhead expenses like rent and property taxes take a huge chunk out of a business' bottom line.
This is true for self-employed freelancers as well. If you're income varies month-to-month, it won't make fiscal sense to make fixed monthly payments for rent or mortgage. Additionally, if your work requires you to travel frequently, you may need to work from different locations on a regular basis.
Co-working spaces are a cost-effective solution for companies and freelancers alike. Here are a few ways to find co-working spaces, no matter where you are.
What are co-working spaces? Why are they popular?
Put simply, a co-working space is any kind of office or work space that can be used by multiple people working on unrelated projects. It can be as simple as an empty room with WiFi and a few chairs, to a fully-equipped office with desks, computers, printers, and more. In any case, co-working spaces allow people from different companies and industries to work individually in the same area.
For companies, co-working spaces provide all the advantages of a traditional office at a fraction of the cost. These spaces allow workers to congregate in a central location, giving a company greater communication and efficiency without any long-term real estate commitments. If you're self-employed or otherwise work independently, a co-working space is a great way to stay focused and motivated, since everyone is focused on their own projects.
However, note that some spaces do require memberships. If you will be using a space often, the price can be worthwhile. Purchase the membership on a small business card that earns major welcome bonus rewards, such as the Business Platinum Card from American Express, to help you earn even more perks and benefits.
You may find a new networking opportunity at the space. Many places offer areas to have coffee with some spaces even offering a happy-hour drink session in the evening. You never know who you might meet there, though I wouldn't recommend interrupting people as they work.
How to find co-working spaces in any city
Though co-working spaces may sound like a great solution for many people, you may not know where to find them. Thankfully, there are a few ways to track down co-working spaces in just about any city. Let's take a look at a few ways to find a space:
Network with local freelancers: While many companies make use of co-working spaces to cut costs, the majority of workers who use co-working spaces are freelancers. Consider joining a social media group or message board for freelancers in your city. They can offer you recommendations and potentially help you find a great place to set up shop.
- Try the leaders in the co-working space industry: Some of the biggest companies in the co-working industry include WeWork, Knotel, Impact Hub, Industrious, Alley, LiquidSpace, Breather, Croissant, Regus, and The Wing.
Book a space online: There are several companies that can connect you with co-working spaces in your area. Coworker and ShareDesk are both great ways to find co-working spaces in hundreds of cities around the world. However, you may have to pay a slightly higher price for the convenience.
Use free services: In addition to the companies listed above, there are a few websites that list co-working spaces free of charge. For example, coworkingmap.org does exactly what the name implies: it provides a map with precise addresses for co-working spaces all over the world.
Visit coffee shops and local joints for insider information: If you visit a coffee shop, there's a good chance you will encounter people studying. Oftentimes the baristas are also students themselves. Asking them if they know of any places around that you can work at can be a big help.
Hotels: The travel industry has noticed the uptake in business travelers. Because of this, hotels, such as Marriott, have renovated their properties to include workspaces (usually in the lobby area), ready-prepared meals, and coffee shops. You don't necessarily need to be a guest at the hotel, though you usually do have to make a purchase at the coffee shop.
The library or even a museum: If all else fails, a public library can be a great resource that is free and likely has a quiet space to work. Alternatively, some museums have cafes that you can work from or rooms for studying.
If you're looking for a professional environment, a co-working space is a great option. Thankfully, there are a number of ways to find co-working spaces in any city. With just a few simple clicks, you can be working in no time.