Category: Lists

Coworking Benefits: The Global Movement You Should Care About

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Are you considering launching a coworking space? Do you work in one now? Maybe you’ve never even heard of the concept. Regardless, that’s why I’m writing this blog. I want to tell you more about the global movement of coworking, and how it’s changing the lives of so many entrepreneurs and freelancers worldwide.

Coworking brings endless benefits to coworkers. From increased productivity to happiness, and plenty in-between. However, I’ve gone ahead and compiled the top ten so you can get an idea of why you should consider coworking for your business.

  1. Expedited Growth

    Coworking gives you the right environment to focus on your current and future goals while helping you be more productive.

  2. Expand Your Network

    You never know who you might meet in a co-working space. You might make some friends, you might make some professional contacts. You might make both! Coworking spaces are all about communities. The people behind these communities want to bring people together who share common interests. You might also get the chance to find new clients and grow your income, talent and people to work with, and more. By introducing yourself to others, you never know what you might achieve.

  3. No Distractions

    We all know how frustrating it can be to work in a traditional office environment and be distracted by coworkers’ questions the whole time. If you work from home, you’re vulnerable to distractions by your family. In a coworking space, people respect your privacy – but they’re there to support you if you need it. You can crack on with work, free from distraction, and get more done, faster.

  4. Zero temptation

    Working from home is dangerous. The fridge is right there at all times, as is the pantry full of treats. By working in a coworking space, you’ll be forced to eat nothing but the lunch you packed for yourself. Speaking of temptation, there’s also no TV to watch or cozy bed to cuddle up and nap in. You’ll only be surrounded by other hard-working professionals! Coworking spaces get you out of your home (and out of your PJs) where you can work in a clean, professional environment and work like the professional you are.

  5. Stay inspired

    It’s easy to feel alone when you’re working from home by yourself. If you see countless people working hard around you, you’ll be inspired to do the same. In coworking spaces, you’re usually surrounded by people from all sorts of industries, exposing you to all kinds of different ideas and ways to stay motivated. In coworking spaces, you’re never alone – unlike if you were isolated at home. You’ll embark on a journey with others who also go through good times and bad times!

  6. Be Creative

    By getting out of your home and surrounding yourself with more interesting people, you’re more likely to tap into your creative side more of the time. Coffee breaks in coworking spaces are where the magic happens, and incredible ideas are born. You can share your ideas with others and hear their input – it could just change everything. Coworking spaces have also been found to increase self-confidence by helping you to establish a better working routine.

  7. Better work/life balance

    Insomnia isn’t uncommon in people who work from home. Why? Because they can’t separate home from business. By traveling to a coworking space each day, you’ll get into the habit of mentally isolating home from work to enjoy a better work/life balance, and of course, better sleep. It’s best to switch off at the end of the day then focus on work again tomorrow. Coworking spaces help you establish and stick to a routine while still keeping to your own schedule. These spaces are designed to adapt to your needs!

  8. Better Health and Happiness

    Studies show that loneliness can literally wreak havoc on your well-being. By being in the company of others, you can recharge your physical and mental batteries. There’s something about seeing familiar friendly faces every day that make us feel good.

  9. Better Internet

    This one pretty much speaks for itself. Coworking spaces must have fast internet to cater to the needs of people across all sorts of industries – like video editors and graphic designers or animators who demand high speed and performance. Take advantage of it!

  10. Save money

    Not only will you not have to travel or sit in mind-numbing traffic, maximizing your income-producing hours, but you can also save on utility bills seeing as coworking spaces cover this expense themselves. You also never have to worry about dealing with service providers or repairs. If something goes wrong at the coworking space, they have to fix it – not you! Also, renting a coworking space is far cheaper than renting a traditional office.

Honestly, this is just the beginning – and the only way to experience the coworking difference is to try it out for yourself!

If you run a coworking space yourself or are planning to, get the complete Coworking Handbook to improve your business right away.

New Section: Coworking Resources

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I’ve recently added a new section full of coworking resources for all you looking for coworking information to launch your own coworking space, write an article, or doing some academic research for a paper. I’ve ordered them in 9 different categories:

  1. Coworking Books & Readings
  2. Tools for Coworking Spaces
  3. Community Building Resources for Coworking Spaces
  4. Coworking Statistics, Surveys, Research and Studies
  5. Coworking Associations and Organizations
  6. Coworking Conferences
  7. Coworking Finance Resources
  8. Coworking News, Magazines and Podcasts
  9. Coworking Checklists

In each one of this coworking categories is organized by themeyou will find a selection of selected relevant links. If you have any link you think should be added, please contact me.

Repository of Helpful Coworking Links

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I got tired of looking for links in my bookmarks and with Google and not having a central repository. I know that there are a lot of people having the same issues, so I decided to create and maintain these lists of coworking resources:

The link to the “list of lists” with these lists and all that may be included in the future is: http://coworkinghandbook.com/resources/

They have a lot of good links and references in them, but they are not perfect. If there’s anything that you think should be included please let me know :) If you think that they are useful, share them !

The Most Common Coworking Space Contracts and Agreements

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boston-legal-season-five-posterWhenever it comes to contracts the law in each country is very different, for coworking space contracts and agreements and for everything else. The best alternative is to work with a lawyer firm, but it is expensive and not available to everyone. Even if you can afford it, you should always do your homework and learn as much as you can. The lawyers are going to ask you what you want covered in the document anyway, and the less creative work they have to do the best they can concentrate on what is in the current contract and the cheaper it will be for you.

The best option is for you to talk with other entrepreneurs, with entrepreneurs’ associations, with government agencies or university departments that could help you, and to check how other businesses (even better if they are coworking spaces) are doing it. There are lot of people out there helping small businesses, and a lot of legal documents available from the websites of many companies.

One of the many advantages of running a coworking space is that there will be many entrepreneurs among your coworkers. Ask them for examples and for advice!

Be smart with your cut and paste, understand what you are using and change the names.

Keep in mind that just because it is not written it does not mean you do not have a contract, but if it is written it is much easier to prove the existence of the contract and to refer to it in case of any discrepancy.

The most common contracts and agreements that you will probably deal with are:

  • The constitution of your business as a legal entity. This changes from country to country, in some you need a notary, in others you just have to pay a small fee and fill a form. Try to see if there’s an entrepreneurs association or a government agency that can help you understand the differences, obligations, advantages, etc.

  • Partners agreement. It defines who does what, how are decisions taken, what happens if somebody leaves or cannot work (eg: the CEO goes into a coma and cannot continue his job), how do you vest the stock of the company, how can the stock be sold, how can new partners enter in the business, how can the partners leave, etc. When you are starting a business everything is rosy and awesome, but things can go wrong for many reasons (most of them legitimate). It is not a matter of not trusting each other, it is a matter of making everything clear from the beginning, to make it easier on yourselves if anything goes wrong. When things get ugly it is extremely difficult to agree on anything, better to prevent. Also, if one of you owns the brand (trademark or copyright) the conditions to use it should be stated here.

  • Lease, sale of the space, or shared revenue agreement with the landlord. Be careful with these, they are very important for your future. Make sure that in any case you can open your business without any special permissions and if you need to get them figure out the time it will take and the probability of not getting it. You can always include clauses that will void the contract in case something does not happen, like getting that permit, securing a loan or the funds for the business, finishing repairs, etc. Find out how far does your personal liability and that of your company extend.

  • Terms & Conditions, membership forms. Your contract with the users of your space. Be clear, concise, and make sure to include a reference to its changing nature. You will be improving it and changing things over time. Most of your clients will go through them before signing up. Depending on your legislation and your personal preferences their acceptance when signing up may suffice. If not, you will have to put them on paper and have them sign it as a membership form.

  • Special conditions for the organization of events. Sent to the organizers, even if it is a free event that you are sponsoring: you want to make sure they understand they are responsible if anything breaks or there’s an issue.

  • Personnel contracts. Very tricky, make sure you have some good references and that you understand them well.

  • Insurance. There’s not much that you can change here. Make sure you comply with local regulations and understand what is covered and what is not. Unless you are obliged by law, do not insure the property of the coworkers: they should care for their own equipment and for the grand majority it is not worth it.

What is your experience with contracts and agreements? How would you recommend others to proceed? What is that one thing you absolutely wished you knew before?

Disadvantages of Coworking (and How to Reply)

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Last week we published the mega-list of coworking advantages. Now it is the turn of the disadvantages. We have included some of the possible answers you can use.

  • I work better from home
    • Maybe coworking is not for you, but do you think that coming once a week could be beneficial to you?
    • How many contacts do you make at home?
  • Noisy
    • Just like any other office
    • You can concentrate better if you use headphones
    • You can isolate yourself in a meeting room
    • Some spaces use white noise to reduce distractions
    • Some spaces have quiet rooms, more like a library
  • Too quiet
    • It may be just that you are over worried about making noise
    • Move to another room
    • Talk with the managers and see if they can have a regular office like room
    • Get away from the noisier people
  • Distractions
    • Put on your headphones to reduce interaction from other people
    • Isolate yourself in a meeting room
    • Educate your coworkers into how and when to interact with you
  • Privacy and confidentiality
    • You only share what you want to share
    • Get a desk with your back to the wall and in a corner
    • Use a locker for your sensitive documents
    • Isolate yourself in a meeting room to make sensitive calls
    • Reduce the volume of your voice when talking on the phone
    • The other coworkers came to work, not to listen to you
  • I don’t want to share my project
    • You don’t have to
  • Some people are too intense
    • Get away from them, you may even be able to move to another room
    • Tell them to leave more space for you
  • You have to pay
    • You get a lot of value for little money
    • Thera are a lot of advantages of coworking
    • If you only care about money and not about value you are not ready to cowork
  • You have to commute
    • Find a space that is close to you and that you like
  • You have to shower and brush your teeth
    • If you are filthy, nobody will want to be around you
    • It will improve your self confidence and the image you project about yourself

What would you add?