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Co-Working Spaces – The Why, The What and The Where

We’ve written previously all about Places and Spaces that you can go to help transform that startup dream into a reality. Check out our posts on Business Incubators and Accelerator Programmes here and here

But what if you want something a little less formal, if you’re at the idea stage or if you simply want to be around other people who are doing what you are doing – doing something for themselves? This is where Co-Working spaces come into their own.

In essence, Co-Working spaces are shared working environments with individuals all working independently. The key differences though with traditional shared office spaces lie in the fact that there is a strong focus on the occupants connecting together socially and learning from each other. So, if you are a freelancer or perhaps an early stage startup….


Why exactly should you consider working in a Co-Working Space?

In practical terms, most Co-working spaces generally offer:
– desk space which can be rented on an hourly, daily, weekly, monthly or even permanent basis
– access to WiFi
– office facilities including fax, photocopier, printers
– meeting rooms
– tea / coffee facilities

The real benefits of Co-working spaces though lie not so much in the practicalities of what they offer but instead in the :
– stimulation of creativity and productivity gained by being around like minded people
– networking, learning and collaboration opportunities
– support, encouragement and social elements of working in a community atmosphere
– learning and collaboration
– positive mindset benefits from working alongside other people as opposed to being in a solitary environment

What type of worker will you find there?

The co-working revolution may have started with the techies in Silicon Valley but these days most co-working spaces have members from almost all working sectors. Freelancers, entrepreneurs, writers, creatives, non-profit professionals, marketers can all be found using and extolling the virtues of the co-working space.


Where can I find a co-working space?

The last few years has seen a significant upturn in the numbers of co-working spaces being created and now virtually every large city has at least one.
You can check with your local business directory or chamber of commerce about what is available near you or check out listings on sites such as Shared Desks and Desk Wanted .

To give you a bit of an insight into what they are all about though, we have picked out a few of our favourites.

London based Central Working – the self-proclaimed “best place to work on the high street”

The Skiff – “A nice little place to work in the middle of Brighton.”

DoES Liverpool – a Co-working and Maker community

Amworks – where you can Connect, Collaborate and Innovate in Dublin

We’d love to hear your thoughts on Co-Working spaces – if you’ve tried it, what you like, what you didn’t like! Feel free to let us know via the comments section below.

If you are looking to start your own business, think you have a creative idea or you are a self starting business champion then find out more about Startacus the online community celebrating the self starter…

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3 Responses to “Co-Working Spaces – The Why, The What and The Where”

  1. People in coworking spaces, as free and independent as they might feel, still have to work under a lot of restrictions like time, money, and skills. Coworking spaces can sometimes seem like utopian work environments.

    Posted by Sarah - editor@ theoffice-uk | February 11, 2012, 1:25 pm
  2. Great article! OpenDesks.com is another site that lists spaces. -Malvern Social 4.0, a coworking space and communications agency in suburban Philadelphia

    Posted by Malvern Social (@malvernsocial) | March 14, 2012, 1:18 pm


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