What is coworking?
Coworking is new, so it’s ok to ask the question – what is coworking?
So you’ve heard of coworking, and maybe you’ve even walked past INDY MTNS coworking in Springwood and wondered if you can head upstairs (sure! come on up if the sign is out!). You might know someone who knows someone who works at a coworking space. But what is a coworking space exactly?
Emergence of coworking
Coworking spaces emerged in the 00’s when groups of freelancers joined together to create spaces where they could work side by side, but still operate independent businesses. They were looking to avoid the isolation of working at home and to share the overheads associated with leasing and operating a commercial space. By working together these groups of freelancers formed communities that supported each other.
Types of coworking spaces and communities
Since then coworking spaces have evolved to support more than just freelancers, and you’ll commonly find sole traders and small businesses, entrepreneurs and start-ups, remote workers and even larger organisations working out of coworking spaces. Each coworking space and community is different – some attract start-ups with flexible private office space for teams to scale up quickly; others focus on the creative arts such as Nauti Studios in Hazelbrook; others still create communities for female entrepreneurs and business owners, cryptocurrencies businesses, hospitality related businesses, coders and more.
Most coworking spaces will have a combination of dedicated workspaces, shared hotdesking workspace, meeting rooms and breakout spaces. Larger coworking spaces may also have private offices and phone booths, and even a café.
Coworking spaces can range from very high-end and luxurious (think WeWork), to a conventional generic office, to an arts studio and maker space. The only thing you can guarantee is that every space is different. The best way to work out if a particular space is right for you is to take a tour (see what to look for in a coworking space).
Lots of people cowork and this is why coworking spaces have vibrant and diverse communities. You’ll find small business owners, entrepreneurs, freelancers, remote workers and even small teams. Many coworking spaces are expanding to accommodate larger teams and fast-growing startups. INDY MTNS also offers memberships to use the space for meetings and workshops without coworking so you’ll also find local business networks and a range of commercial enterprises frequenting our space.
What happens at a coworking space?
People get stuff done at coworking spaces. But, of course that’s not all that happens in a coworking space. Coworking is as much about the community as it is about a conducive work environment. It’s the people that share the coworking space that make it unique and unlike any office you’ve likely worked at before.
For starters, everyone wants to be there. Members value the physical space, the atmosphere and the community. Although people come from a variety of professions doing unrelated work, members often exchange ideas, offer encouragement and give feedback. The coworking community is great at providing a supportive sounding board and fostering collaboration. Some members even work together on projects.
You’ll also find people accidentally networking at coworking spaces through the serendipity of a dynamic community. When people join a coworking space they are joining a community and meeting new business professionals in many related and unrelated fields. Meeting and mingling with new people is easy – a friendly introduction when sharing the hotdesk area; learning about a coworker’s industry over an afternoon coffee; attending a community event to celebrate the end of the week – all are opportunities to network without any pressure. That’s how coworking helps people build genuine connections and build strong networks.
How does a coworking space work?
Coworking spaces typically operate on a membership basis. Most spaces will have a range of flexible membership options and allow members to change their membership with minimal notice. This might mean upgrading your membership plan because your business has been growing, or downgrading your membership if you’re experiencing an unexpected downturn in your business. Often there is no extended commitment required and plans run month-to-month. This gives freelancers, small business owners and entrepreneurs flexibility and takes away the risks associated with taking on a fixed-term commercial lease.
The exact type of membership plans available will vary from space to space. A membership plan might give you 24/7 access and a dedicated desk or private office, or part-time access to a flexible hotdesking area. Plans will often come with credits to use meeting rooms and some plans may include an option to use the coworking space address as your registered place of business (find out why this is a great idea [link]) and mail handling services.
Are you local?
Are you local to Springwood and surrounds in the Blue Mountains? Then INDY MTNS is your local coworking space! Learn more about our coworking space or book a tour to visit the space and see if it is a fit for you and your business.