Have you recently often heard the term coworking space and yet never understood what exactly it means? We give an overview of the coworking trend.
Coworking spaces. The alternative way of working has experienced a boom in recent years.
This is where we come into play: we shed light on the innovative coworking trend from all sides and take a closer look at its pros and cons. In addition, we check together what you can do so that your things like laptop and Co. are protected during coworking (sorry, but we still belong to the group of insurance nerds).
What is a coworking space and how is coworking defined?
At least since the WeWork historyEveryone has probably heard the term "coworking", but what exactly is behind it? Coworking is an alternative, not so new way of working where you rent a flexible workspace in a shared space. While sharing the same space with other coworkers, you continue to work on your separate tasks. At least most of the time, unless you consciously choose joint projects that you start together.
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By paying your rent, you secure not only the physical space, i.e. chair and desk, but also access to additional services such as Wi-Fi, separate meeting rooms, printers or the coffee kitchen, depending on how the space of your choice is equipped. Because there are big differences between providers.
Who exactly prefers coworking to working in an office or home office?
In the past, coworking was probably more common among the vagabonds of working life, or those who couldn't (yet) afford their own office. We're talking about freelancers, smaller start-ups and digital nomads.
Meanwhile, as our work becomes increasingly technical and can be carried out from anywhere, the way of working is also gaining popularity among other professional groups. In the end, anyone who wants to and whose boss is riding the trend wave can work in the coworking space.
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How long have coworking spaces been around? A little historical detour.
Coworking is a trend originating in the United States. It has its beginnings in the 2000s, on the west coast, in San Francisco to be precise, where the first space was founded in 2005.
How much does a coworking space cost?
This generally depends on three points: where exactly the space is located, whether in the city or in the countryside (the latter is cheaper), for what period of time a place is secured (hourly to monthly subscription) and whether you rent a so-called Fix or Flex Desk (with the Fix Desk you return to a fixed workplace for the entire rental period).
The comparison platform Coworking Guide has taken the trouble to analyse the prices of shared workplaces in the largest German cities. According to their results, a "flex desk" in Spain costs an average of 214 euros per month; a "Fix Desk" is significantly more expensive at an additional 110 euros per month.
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What are the advantages of coworking?
We summarise the main advantages of coworking spaces.
In the shared flat you work with your laptop on your lap, because your mini-room does not provide a place for your own desk? As briefly mentioned, in the coworking space you just bring your laptop or whatever else you need to work on and you're good to go. Your back will thank you.
If you work alone in your home office, it can be difficult to maintain a sense of activity. If you surround yourself with other co-workers who are also working, it is easier to find motivation for your own tasks. Of course, coworking cannot score particularly well here, if you compare it to working in the standard office ...
Sense of community.
Especially if you are more of a lone wolf (worker) type, you can benefit greatly from the atmosphere in the shared room. Many coworking spaces prioritise community building: they often offer coworkers regular events and workshops in addition to the physical space. It has to be said that the pandemic has hit many of the spaces hard, especially in this respect.
Precisely because it brings together so many different personalities from a wide variety of industries, coworking offers a great opportunity to exchange ideas and broaden one's horizons. If you tend to seek the closeness of those who work in the same department as you in the company, you can easily short-circuit with co-workers from other disciplines. In the best case, you can even initiate joint interdisciplinary projects, without the hierarchical order of a normal workplace, which brings us to the next point.
According to a study Harvard Business Reviewsocialising with people who are not employed in the same organisation as you makes the existence of a separate "coworking person" obsolete. What does this mean? If you are struggling in your office to master internal company politics, not stepping on anyone's toes, but at the same time not becoming a total doormat, it doesn't matter for coworking. Direct competition hardly exists, which gives everyone the opportunity to show the authentic self. A great advantage.
Well, if you always work from home, then you have no way to work, so no CO₂ emissions from cars and Co... However, if you want to commute to the office, especially longer distances by car, then the coworking space scores. At best, you can simply cycle or walk there.
Improving work-life balance.
In the home office, as we all know from our own experience, the spatial separation between work and downtime is missing. Does the kitchen table share its function as study, dining room and hanging out with your friends from shared flats? That is precisely the problem. If you use a coworking office, you can plan your working day as it suits you best and still create the necessary spatial distance between your working day and your free time.
Possible prevention of "rural exodus".
If the coworking space offers the opportunity to work in regions or cities that offer less industry and jobs, then this can prevent many people from migrating to the nearest city. Not everyone feels at home in the metropolis, but often, due to the wider range of jobs, they are forced to move there. Coworking spaces have the potential to make life in smaller cities more attractive.