Is Coworking right for you?
We’ll be the first to admit that coworking isn’t for everyone. So, what makes it a good fit for some and not others? We canvased our community to understand their thinking process for choosing a cowork environment over more traditional options i.e. working from home, in-office or at a coffee shop.
Unsurprisingly, everyone expressed a need for a lifestyle that supported greater work-life balance. That is, the freedom to work remotely and manage their own time and schedule. But, lifestyle aside, we also identified five key questions you can ask yourself to decide whether coworking is right for you.
1. What are my objectives for joining the cowork?
Understanding exactly what your goals are relative to having a coworking space ensures you get the most out of it. CoWorking environments are designed to enhance collaboration and support more meaningful relationships between businesses. However, the environment can only do so much. Some of it’s down to the proactivity of members and their willingness to connect.
Here’s a list of some of our current member goals for consideration:
- “I wanted to keep overheads low while focusing on growing our business” – Stephanie, CoWorker
- “I wanted to connect with like-minded individuals within the community, and stay motivated” – Cyd, CoWorker.
- “I really enjoy supporting others through their business journey. The cowork provides a platform for me to do that” – Dave, CoWorker
- “I’d like to expand my network of resources and share my own” – Sean, CoWorker
- “I like the idea of exchanging services and sharing talent. It’s a great way to grow as a business!” – Sandra, CoWorker
What is collaboration?
There are many different views on this. Let’s take a moment to explain what it means to us:
col·lab·o·ra·tion (in the coworking sense)/kəˌlabəˈrāSH(ə)n/noun
- sharing knowledge as a way of not only supporting others but showing others where your skill and value lies.
- Collaboration is not solicitation.
Metro CoWork has a strict no-solicitation rule – because let’s be honest here, it’s not a sustainable model and no one wants to come to work to be sold to. We believe that small businesses, startups, and solopreneurs need safe supportive environments, away from solicitation, that allows them to breathe, create and grow at their own pace. And we live by this rule. We have even been known to “relieve” individuals from their contractual agreement to protect the interests of our community.
2. Can I work in semi distracting environments?
According to psychology research, our ability to ignore certain distractors over others is key to staying focused. However, we aren’t able to do more than one task at a time that uses the same sense. But, we can do multiple tasks that use different senses. For example, you can listen to lyrical music and drive. This is because you are using your auditory and visual sense. But, you can’t listen to music and read at the same time. This is because reading taps into the part of your brain used for comprehension and understanding. The same part of your brain that is required for listening to music with lyrics.
So, what does this mean to you?
If you find it challenging to filter out sound when working, you may want to choose an alternative membership tier. Metro CoWork offers varying membership tiers each with its own benefits. For e.g. having a dedicated desk on the ‘focus floor’ would be a good shout for anyone who is easily distracted. We also have several semi-private break out spaces available to members at no extra cost. These spaces allows members to “block out” the buzz or embrace it.
Private office spaces are also an option. The cowork is designed to support businesses at various stages of development. From ideation (one-man-band, hot desker) through growth (one/two-man office) and expansion (2 people +).
3. Am I motivated by the presence of others?
Human beings are social animals by design. There has been lots of research into whether or not environments that foster collaboration are a blessing or a curse. In fact, Harvard Business Review explored this exact topic. They summarized those work environment that foster collaboration (which inevitably leads to friendships) may actually help increase productivity! That is, if you’re able to manage the number of times you take chat breaks.
Coworking environments, by nature, foster more meaningful connections between coworkers. This is supported by events designed to crause creative collision and build ties. Friendship is often an inevitable byproduct of that – a result that actually helps to boost morale among coworkers.
4. Do I enjoy sharing my knowledge with others?
One of the key differences between a regular office space and becoming a cowork member is access to trusted resources. Within the cowork community is a melting pot of knowledge and experience. A wisdom that collectively creates an archive of applicable business information. But, if that information isn’t shared, it holds no true value. At least, not to the wider community. And also, in some ways to the individual. How many times have you stumbled on a problem and realized only after implementing the wrong process, that someone else had a better way?
5. Do I need the flexibility to increase and decrease the number of staff I have?
Some of us are happy being small, scaling temporarily. The great thing about coworking is it provides maximum benefit at minimum cost. It also gives you the flexibility to scale as and when you need to. But there is no pressure. A good percentage of our coworkers are actually remote workers with head offices in other states. Thus, scaling isn’t really a thing.
We also offer corporate memberships for businesses that scale up and down regularly.
Have you got any questions or themes you explore that help you make the decision to cowork or not? Share them below