Coworking is here to stay.
It’s no longer just a trend, it’s the way a lot of people choose to work.
How many people?
According to these coworking statistics, there were 1.74 million people using coworking spaces in 2017 and the number of coworking members will rise to 5.1 million by 2022.
We love coworking of course, but clearly, there’s something about coworking that members love.
Our members share with us what they love about coworking every week in our Member Spotlight.
Since February is considered the month of love, we’re sharing 14 things to love about coworking.
01. Cool Spaces
You will be hard pressed to find two identical coworking spaces.
Part of the magic of coworking is that you can choose a space that feels like home to you.
Each coworking company and location has a different vibe. We have two locations and each one is unique.
The cool-factor of coworking spaces is often a topic of conversation and we were honored to be included in Flare’s recent article, The Coolest Coworking Spaces Across Canada.
02. Try Before You Buy
If you haven’t tried coworking out, you might be wondering “What if coworking isn’t for me?” or “How will I know which space will be the right fit for me?”
Another thing to love about coworking spaces is that almost all of them offer the chance for a tour and/or free day of coworking.
This gives you the chance to see how you feel IN the space and give you a sense of the people who work there.
Many of our members came in for a tour or free day, signed up for our Flex Desk membership and have moved into private offices.
It’s like having the chance to date your office space before you marry it.
03. Clients Love It
Have you ever tried to have a client meeting at Starbucks when it seems like everybody decided to get a coffee at the same time?
Our members often tell us how much they love having a professional space to meet with clients.
“The clients that have visited me here are always impressed. Then I show them ‘It’s a Secret’ and their minds are blown. I love this place.” - Chris from Hotspot Creative Solutions
Most coworking spaces like ours offer multiple options for meeting with clients, including open areas and meeting rooms.
A lot of spaces have the option for non-members to book meeting rooms too. We have a number of businesses that take advantage of our meeting room rentals.
There’s something about being able to have a professional meeting in a professional setting that adds legitimacy to the conversation.
Another thing to love about coworking is FREE coffee.
All day. Every day. Bottomless coffee.
We also have tea options, but there is something about coffee that our member and their clients LOVE.
05. Friendly Faces
Last month, January, was Mental Health Awareness month.
Research has shown that entrepreneurship can be a lonely journey.
There’s a big difference between working alone and being lonely.
Solitude versus loneliness.
Loneliness creates a craving for human company, conversation and accountability.
Sure, there are days when you might be the only person in a coworking space, but more often than not, you’re greeted with smiles and familiar faces.
Coworking allows you to work alone, without being alone.
I know I’ve already mentioned vibe before, but the welcoming vibe we’ve experienced at every coworking location we’ve visited is another thing to love.
Before Dylan and I opened URBN Cowork, we spent a lot of time travelling, and in our travels, we used coworking spaces around the world.
Every space made us feel welcome and that was a big part of what led us to bring coworking to Edmonton and Sherwood Park.
Our members aren’t intrusive, but they are inclusive.
Even if you’re brand new to coworking, people will make a point of introducing themselves and get to know a little bit about you.
Tracy Van Olst, a member at URBN Cowork in Sherwood Park said, “The environment is welcoming and friendly,” is her favorite thing about coworking.
We couldn’t agree more.
07. Coworking Cheerleading Squad
Sometimes you land a big client or knock a project out of the park, which feels amazing.
If you work alone, you may wish you had somebody to celebrate your win with.
Other than yourself.
Coworking members are always ready to celebrate each others wins.
In 3 Reasons Celebrating Your Many Accomplishments Is Critical To Your Success, it’s clear that it’s not just nice to stop and smell the roses of success, it can help you go further.
Here are the 3 reasons listed in this Inc. article to celebrate your wins:
The Act of Celebrating Changes Your Physiology And Strengthens Your Psychology
Celebrating with Colleagues and Business Partners Tightens Your Network
Your Celebrations Position You Correctly as a Winner and Attracts More Success
Some coworking spaces have a structured time to share wins, but every space has members constantly cheering each other on.
08. #TheStruggleIsReal (AKA Support System)
The flip side to the ups that come with entrepreneurship and business are the downs.
The client that doesn’t pay on time or the lead that went to a competitor.
It’s important to have mentors and colleagues that you can talk to, who will put things in perspective and dust you off.
It’s not always advice that is needed. A lot of times being heard and seen is all people need to move past whatever bump in the entrepreneurial journey they’re experiencing.
I can’t say it any better than Christine Lalonde did in her URBN Cowork Member Spotlight, “Having a community that supports you as you endeavor to grow your business and having the opportunity to support others back.”
Being backed by an amazing network of members is another lovable thing about coworking.
Embracing the chance to share your expertise and insights with the business community is another thing to love about coworking.
Running workshops or participating in events, such as a Lunch & Learn, are fantastic ways to build your authority.
Business owners often don’t appreciate how much value they can offer with the knowledge they may consider fairly basic.
Monika from Monika Social has run a number of social media workshops from both of our locations.
Most coworking spaces, like ours, offer rentals of meeting rooms and event spaces that can be used to run your own workshop or event.
If you are already a member of a coworking space, look for opportunities to share what you know.
There’s something almost contagious about working in an environment surrounded by productive people.
Many of our members tell us that they’re at least 3x more productive when they work at one of our coworking locations than they are from home.
There’s something to the “work mindset” that comes with getting ready and driving to your office space with the clear intention to get work done.
Our member Mariana Norton was part of a panel discussion about coworking at Roundhouse Coworking and shared how working from URBN Cowork has increased her productivity.
Listen to her share what the shift from home office to shared office space has done to her productivity in this Instagram post.
Being productive at your work space so you can leave work at the door when you get home is another thing to love above coworking.
Working in an office once meant working according to a rigid schedule.
You would be expected at your desk by 9 am and be expected to be at your desk until 5 pm.
One thing to love about coworking is the flexibility that comes with shared office space.
You can work whenever you want to. Some of our members come in early and leave early. Others show up after lunch and work into the night.
Our memberships include options with 24/7 access so you aren’t tied to hours of operation like a Starbucks or local library (two old favourites of some of our members before they discovered coworking).
Aside from the time you choose to work, there’s also the flexibility of space.
Most coworking locations have different areas you can hunker down in.
One day you may want to sit at a table, the next you may use one of the sofas or you can stand at the bar.
You’re free to come and go, plus work where you like. What’s not to love about that?
Working from home doesn’t always provide a lot of opportunities for networking outside of your pets and/or partner.
Most coworking spaces host their own events and some like ours, also open the space to outside groups.
The great part is that the networking options are as varied as the coworking spaces. There are panel discussions, open networking, themed events and even Yoga nights.
These events provide a wonderful opportunity for our members to meet other business owners who aren’t members and learn more about the local business community in general.
Networking events held in coworking spaces also give people who aren’t familiar with coworking the opportunity to check out a coworking space and meet some of the members.
Organic connection is a beautiful thing that people love about coworking.
You aren’t expected to refer to or work with the other businesses in the space, but it happens a lot.
Each coworking location has its own vibe and community. Within each coworking community, members naturally gravitate toward each other and start working together.
There have been many examples of innovations that sprouted out of coworking locations. Unlike traditional office space that would encourage competition, coworking members have nothing to lose and so much to gain by helping each other out.
Collaboration and a safe space for ideation, are two of the reasons coworking fuels innovation.
We love that coworking spaces are like collaboration playgrounds for coworking members.
The last thing to love about coworking is something that ties most of the other items together - Community.
It’s something that we’ve seen at countless other coworking locations and feel in our own.
As I shared in my CBC interview with Mark Connolly, we think of each space as an opportunity to grow a new community, not just a coworking space.
We love how Kirk, one of our Sherwood Park member, sums it up, “Coworking spaces are the places you go to do work and meet other like minded professionals when your daughters' dance parties start getting in the way of your conference calls.”
Our community stretches beyond the members to their families. Many members bring their partners to our Yoga Nights and our Christmas party was a family-friendly event with crafts, food and movies.
Of course, we love coworking, but so do our members and we think you will too.
If you haven’t checked out coworking, make a tour and go try it out. There are lots of locations and each has a unique vibe and community.
Find the one that feels good to you and put down some coworking roots.
PS: If you haven't had the chance to check out our coworking spaces in Edmonton and Sherwood Park, Dylan & I would love to show you around and answer your questions about coworking. Book a tour now.