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Coworking
© 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
Coworking: Let the ideas collide
What happens when you bring a lot of bright people working on a wide variety
of totally unrelated projects together in one space? Wait before you answer …
there’s more. Throw in a game room, movie nights and some other social events—
anything you can think of to encourage people to mix and mingle. And what you
get is an explosion of innovation and creativity, if coworkers are to be believed.
Coworking spaces bring together people, self-employed and otherwise, in an
office environment where they share not only equipment but also, and more
importantly, ideas and knowledge. The Coworking Manifesto believes that
this new working model will lead to an economy built on community and
collaboration, rather than on the “silos of the past.”
And the idea is catching on. The coworking movement grew by over 400 percent
in the last two years globally.1
And Millennials, those born between the early
‘80s and early 2000s, are really taking to it. This is important to note, because
Millennials make up both our current and future customers and employees. They
will account for around half of the U.S. workforce by 2020.2
So, understanding
how they think and feel about things can only help our businesses. The Seattle
Times’ Thanh Tan sums Millennials up nicely:3
“Any business looking to stay on
the cutting edge should embrace the evolving work habits of these twenty- and
thirty-something entrepreneurs. They’re not unfocused dreamers. They hustle.”
If that’s not enough of a reason to be interested in coworking, how about
this? By 2020, around 40 percent of the U.S. workforce is expected to work
freelance.4
The times they are a changin’, and working with people and
teams based in coworking spaces may very well be a major part of that
change for many companies.
This Blue Paper®
will look at the pros, cons and trends of coworking. It will
provide insight into both its facility sharing and community building aspects, as
well as ensure those considering coworking have the resources on hand to make
educated decisions about whether or not they are a good fit.
Let’s start at the very beginning.
1 Ursrey, Lawton. “What Coworking Can Really Do For You.” Forbes.com. Forbes, 25 Feb. 2014. Web. 21 Nov.
2014. http://www.forbes.com/sites/lawtonursrey/2014/02/25/what-coworking-can-really-do-for-you/.
2 Tan, Thanh. “Co-working Spaces Feed Innovation in the Millennial Generation.” Co-working Spaces Feed
Innovation in the Millennial Generation. Http://seattletimes.com/, 11 Sept. 2013. Web. 20 Nov. 2014. http://
seattletimes.com/html/editorials/2021803853_thanhtancolumncoworkingspaces12xml.html.
3 Tan, Thanh. “Co-working Spaces Feed Innovation in the Millennial Generation.” Co-working Spaces Feed
Innovation in the Millennial Generation. Http://seattletimes.com/, 11 Sept. 2013. Web. 20 Nov. 2014. http://
seattletimes.com/html/editorials/2021803853_thanhtancolumncoworkingspaces12xml.html.
4 Giang,Vivian. “40 Percent Of Americans Will Be Freelancers By 2020.” Businessinsider.com. Business Insider,
21 Mar. 2013. Web. 21 Nov. 2014. http://www.businessinsider.com/americans-want-to-work-for-themselves-
intuit-2013-3.
© 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
What is coworking?
Coworking is all about sharing; sharing space like kitchens and workspaces, along
with equipment, especially fast Wi-Fi. But it also involves sharing a mindset and
desire to mix with likeminded people. These likeminded folks are not colleagues
in the conventional sense—many don’t work for the same organization.
But all the same, they are interested in supporting one another, exchanging ideas
and maybe even providing a shoulder to cry on, on those bad days. At its heart,
it’s about community.5
Figure 1 shows just how important that community is.
“Casual small talk,” “enjoying others’ company,” and “sharing knowledge and
advice” are by far the most common interactions coworkers have with each other.
Figure 1: Coworking combines company with sharing knowledge and
moral support.6
5 “The Third Global Coworking Survey.” Communityjelly.files.wordpress.com/. Deskmag, 27 Jan. 2014. Web.
6 Nov. 2014. http://communityjelly.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/3rdglobalcoworkingsurvey-121108034918-
phpapp02.pdf.
6 “The Third Global Coworking Survey.” Communityjelly.files.wordpress.com/. Deskmag, 27 Jan. 2014. Web.
6 Nov. 2014. http://communityjelly.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/3rdglobalcoworkingsurvey-121108034918-
phpapp02.pdf.
© 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
And this community typically attracts people who work from home, creative
types, independent contractors, startups and those who travel frequently and
want to work in some company.
Before coworking spaces emerged, these were the people you may have noticed
beavering away in libraries and noisy coffee shops. Or maybe they were the
people you didn’t see as they were isolated in home bedrooms and private offices.
Phoenix, Arizona Mayor Greg Stanton summed it up nicely why these people have
made the move to coworking. At the opening of a space in his city, the mayor
said: “The whole idea of coworking is to bring bright, creative people together
and let the ideas collide.”7
What will you find there?
Coworking spaces provide a lot of what you might expect in a business space:
•	Fast wireless Internet
•	Long opening hours—more than half of the spaces are open 24/7
•	Printers and photocopiers—although a small number of spaces are paperless
•	A meeting room for private talks—along with coffee, tea and drinks
•	Coworking visa—a growing number of coworking spaces allow members of
other spaces to use their facilities for free through a visa program
•	Shared bathrooms and lounges
It is on the social side, however, that coworking spaces really come
into their own. There are happy hours, networking mixers, fundraisers
and all kinds of other events with a very simple aim: bringing people
together. Workantile in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for example, treats its
members to movie screenings, social lunches and chair massages.8
Ensemble in Midtown Manhattan, New York, meanwhile, throws Social
EatiaSM—a daily break with homemade treats for members, who are
encouraged to network.9
Other coworking spaces provide game rooms
to encourage people to get to know one another over—say over a
game of Call of Duty®
.
7 Koerth, Kimberly. “Hive @ Central Coworking Space at Burton Barr Library Buzzes with Potential.”
Downtowndevil.com. Downtown Devil, 20 Jan. 2014. Web. 4 Nov. 2014. http://downtowndevil.
com/2014/01/20/53402/hive-central-coworking-space-burton-barr-library/.
8 Langford, Aisha. “Coworking Space: Should You Run Your Business from One?” Freshbooks.com. 2ndSite Inc.,
30 Jan. 2014. Web. 10 Nov. 2014. http://www.freshbooks.com/blog/2014/01/30/coworking-space-should-you-
run-your-business-from-one/.
9 Langford, Aisha. “Coworking Space: Should You Run Your Business from One?” Freshbooks.com. 2ndSite Inc.,
30 Jan. 2014. Web. 10 Nov. 2014. http://www.freshbooks.com/blog/2014/01/30/coworking-space-should-you-
run-your-business-from-one/.
© 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
Behind all of this social activity is a desire to do business in an open, transparent
environment. The Coworking Manifesto says: “We are a group of connected
individuals and small businesses creating an economy of innovation and creativity
in our communities and worldwide. We envision a new economic engine
composed of collaboration and community, in contrast to the silos and secrecy of
the 19th/20th century economy.”10
Intriguing, right? A creative environment with other professionals, freed from
conventional office environments and the option of working with as much
flexibility as you like.
So, where did the idea for coworking come from?
Coworking’s big bang
The term “coworking” was coined in 1999 by Bernard DeKoven when describing a
phenomenon he called “working together as equals.” He was referring to insights
he garnered while designing games and facilitating play and how they could
apply to work.
It really wasn’t until 2005, however, when the “Coworking Movement” began,
that someone ran with his idea and took it further. Launched in San Francisco by
Brad Neuberg and Chris Messina, this movement also used technology to support
collaborative work. But it didn’t stop there. It used “working together as equals”
as the core of a novel approach to work: encouraging people to work together,
as equals, but separately. Everyone could work on their own projects and
business interests. But they could also help one another without worrying about
competitive pressures. And, according to DeKoven, the result was “productivity,
community, and, surprisingly often, deeply shared fun.”11
Neuberg launched the movement while working at a start-up in a rented office
space because he “couldn’t figure out how to have freedom and community
at the same time.”12
He felt renting office space was non-social and he wanted
to work somewhere that encouraged cross-fertilization and communication.
Coworking, he says, has “that extra spark of community.”
10 “Coworking Manifesto (global - for the World).” Wiki.coworking.org. Wiki.coworking.org, 25 Jan. 2011. Web.
4 Nov. 2014. http://wiki.coworking.org/w/page/35382594/Coworking+Manifesto+(global+-+for+the+world).
11 DeKoven, Bernard. “The Coworking Connection.” Deepfun.com. Bernie DeKoven, 5 Aug. 2013. Web. 4 Nov.
2014.
12 Dullroy, Joel. “Coworking Began at Regus... but Not the Way They Think.” Deskmag.com. Deskmag, 4 Apr.
2012. Web. 4 Nov. 2014. http://www.deskmag.com/en/coworking-did-begin-at-regus-but-not-the-way-they-
think-362.
© 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
He started testing his ideas at a women’s community center, Spiral Muse, in San
Francisco’s Mission district during business hours several days a week. Those
who started working with him took his ideas and set up their own facilities. The
coworking universe has been expanding ever since.
In 2008, the New York Times finally noticed its meteoric expansion, writing: “The
Hat Factory in San Francisco is a live-work loft that’s home to three technology
workers, who open up during the day to other people. Some companies, like
Citizen Agency, a San Francisco Internet consulting firm that has done the most to
evangelize coworking, have an open-door policy, in which people rent desks but
others are free to drop in and use the Wi-Fi or the conference room.”13
It continued: “Some companies rent out desks to the nomadic workers, hoping
some of their Internet mojo will rub off. Yet others have started coworking spaces
as businesses unto themselves, like a community version of the corporate business
centers operated by the Regus Group.”
And the expansion continued. A 2013 study suggested there were 110,000 people
globally working in nearly 2,500 coworking spaces, 781 of which were in the U.S.
at that time.14
The study found that 4.5 new coworking spaces were being opened
daily and 245 people were joining spaces every working day.
This is a movement that is exploding around the world. And if you are a fan
of timelines, here’s a great one that outlines stellar moments in the history
of coworking.
Different planets: Rental facilities, startup
incubators and coworking spaces
All startups need space, capital, talent, mentorship and influence. And
there are many options out there that are planets apart.
Coworking sites tend to attract early stage businesses, entrepreneurs, creatives
and other professionals who enjoy collaborating and expanding opportunities
through networking and peer-to-peer mentorship.
Incubators, however, take a different approach. They focus on giving a helpful
push to high-growth, venture-backed startups. They are rated by how well
13 Fost, Dan. “They’re Working on Their Own, Just Side by Side.” Nytimes.com. The New York Times Company,
20 Feb. 2008. Web. 4 Nov. 2014. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/20/business/businessspecial2/20cowork.
html?pagewanted=all_r=0.
14 Foertsch, Carsten. “4.5 New Coworking Spaces Per Work Day.” Deskmag.com. Deskmag, 4 Mar. 2013. Web. 4
Nov. 2014. http://www.deskmag.com/en/2500-coworking-spaces-4-5-per-day-741.
© 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
the companies in their centers develop.15
And many of them are subsidized
by government agencies and investment companies interested in economic
development. Companies in these spaces are more likely to work around one
another than together.16
Accelerator spaces are kind of like incubator spaces on caffeine. Companies that
go into these spaces are usually put onto a deadline-driven program, usually three
to four months, that improves their odds of start-up success. Many of the centers
will also invest in the companies in their programs.
Office rental facilities are pretty much the plain vanilla option. They break up a
space into small offices; add some services, such as Internet access and reception
areas; and sublease the space. This model appeals to businesses looking for the
privacy and services of an office but don’t want to lease a space of their own.17
Who are these coworkers?
It probably won’t shock anyone. The average U.S. coworker is young, male,
well-educated, works in tech, lives close to the coworking facility and loves
coworking.18
More women are coming on board though:
Women coworking (percentage of members):19
•	2012: 38 percent
•	2011: 34 percent
•	2010: 32 percent
As already mentioned, the Millennials are dominating this space:20
•	41 percent are under the age of 30;
•	37 percent are between 30 and 40 years of age;
•	14 percent are between 40 and 50 years of age;
•	8 percent are over the age of 50.
15 Bacigalupo, Tony. “What Are the Differences between Office Rental Facilities, Startup Incubators, and
Coworking Spaces?” Blog.coworking.com/. The Coworking Blog, 8 Nov. 2011. Web. 6 Nov. 2014. http://blog.
coworking.com/what-are-the-differences-between-office-rental-facilities-startup-incubators-and-coworking-
spaces/.
16 Bacigalupo, Tony. “What Are the Differences between Office Rental Facilities, Startup Incubators, and
Coworking Spaces?” Blog.coworking.com/. The Coworking Blog, 8 Nov. 2011. Web. 6 Nov. 2014. http://blog.
coworking.com/what-are-the-differences-between-office-rental-facilities-startup-incubators-and-coworking-
spaces/.
17 Bacigalupo, Tony. “What Are the Differences between Office Rental Facilities, Startup Incubators, and
Coworking Spaces?” Blog.coworking.com/. The Coworking Blog, 8 Nov. 2011. Web. 6 Nov. 2014. http://blog.
coworking.com/what-are-the-differences-between-office-rental-facilities-startup-incubators-and-coworking-
spaces/.
18 King, Carol. “Profiling Coworkers in the United States.” Deskmag.com. Deskmag, 1 Feb. 2011. Web. 6 Nov.
2014. http://www.deskmag.com/en/coworker-profile-usa-coworking-175.
19 King, Carol. “Profiling Coworkers in the United States.” Deskmag.com. Deskmag, 1 Feb. 2011. Web. 6 Nov.
2014. http://www.deskmag.com/en/coworker-profile-usa-coworking-175.
20 King, Carol. “Profiling Coworkers in the United States.” Deskmag.com. Deskmag, 1 Feb. 2011. Web. 6 Nov.
2014. http://www.deskmag.com/en/coworker-profile-usa-coworking-175.
© 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
And while they may be young, these coworkers are smart: 75 percent have
completed at least a bachelor’s degree, compared to 27 percent of the general
U.S. population and 50 percent of U.S. small business owners.21
Most coworkers don’t really like to commute, either: More than 30 percent either
walk or bike to work and less than half, 44 percent, drive.22
So what are they doing in these coworking spaces? For now, that answer is easy:
tech, broadly defined; but tech, nonetheless:
•	44 percent are Web developers/designers;
•	13 percent work in public relations and marketing;
•	43 percent are from a mix of professions including artists, entrepreneurs,
journalists and consultants.
The finding in Figure 2 probably won’t surprise you. It shows that freelancers, 53
percent, and entrepreneurs, 14 percent, account for most coworkers.23
Figure 2: Freelancers continue to account for more than half of all coworkers.24
21 King, Carol. “Profiling Coworkers in the United States.” Deskmag.com. Deskmag, 1 Feb. 2011. Web. 6 Nov.
2014. http://www.deskmag.com/en/coworker-profile-usa-coworking-175.
22 King, Carol. “Profiling Coworkers in the United States.” Deskmag.com. Deskmag, 1 Feb. 2011. Web. 6 Nov.
2014. http://www.deskmag.com/en/coworker-profile-usa-coworking-175.
23 “The Third Global Coworking Survey.” Communityjelly.files.wordpress.com/. Deskmag, 27 Jan. 2014. Web.
6 Nov. 2014. http://communityjelly.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/3rdglobalcoworkingsurvey-121108034918-
phpapp02.pdf.
24 “The Third Global Coworking Survey.” Communityjelly.files.wordpress.com/. Deskmag, 27 Jan. 2014. Web.
6 Nov. 2014. http://communityjelly.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/3rdglobalcoworkingsurvey-121108034918-
phpapp02.pdf.
© 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
Back on earth
OK, let’s come back down to earth and take a look at the advantages and
disadvantages of coworking.
Coworking may not be all its cracked up to me. Keep the following considerations
in mind when evaluating whether or not it could work for you:
1.	Would you soar in a coworking space? Personality is one of the main things
to take into account when considering coworking.25
This can be a great,
affordable way of working for people who are driven, flexible and sociable.
If you are an introvert who values privacy and quiet, however, this may not
be a good place for you.
2.	Can you focus? Coworking spaces can also prove to be a huge distraction
unless you are good at managing your time. Many spaces offer a lot of
networking opportunities and events that can take your focus away from
your project if you let it. So be honest about just how good you are at
managing your time.
3.	Do you play well with others? These spaces are all about sharing. So, if
you don’t like helping out here and there, you may do better in another
working environment.
4.	It just won’t work for some companies:26
Coworking spaces are just not
going to work for some companies that require privacy and dedicated
space. There are many businesses—legal and health businesses come
straight to mind—that have legitimate reasons for wanting information to
be secure. They might not be comfortable in an environment where
people are looking and listening for opportunities.
5.	There’s not much space to put your stuff:27
There really isn’t a lot of
storage space for files, PCs and other stuff you may need for your
business. Some spaces may offer lockers, but that’s not always enough.
25 Eisenberg, Melissa. “To Cowork or Not to Cowork: Is Coworking Right for You?” Venturebeat.com/. Venture
Beat, 3 Nov. 2012. Web. 11 Nov. 2014. http://venturebeat.com/2012/11/03/to-cowork-or-not-to-cowork-is-
coworking-right-for-you/.
26 “The Advantages and Disadvantages of Co-working Offices.” Http://telsec.net/. Telsec.net, n.d. Web. 21 Nov.
2014. http://telsec.net/blog/the-advantages-and-disadvantages-of-a-coworking-offices/.
27 “The Advantages and Disadvantages of Co-working Offices.” Http://telsec.net/. Telsec.net, n.d. Web. 21 Nov.
2014. http://telsec.net/blog/the-advantages-and-disadvantages-of-a-coworking-offices/.
© 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
6.	Clients may not be impressed:28
If you want to bring clients to where you
work, they might get mixed signals from an office with no dress code.
People come and go, dressed as they please, which can make the space
seem more like a public library—something that some clients may not be
comfortable with.
7.	Seats too hot to handle: Many coworking spaces don’t allow you to reserve
seats, so you may be moving around a lot when working in these spaces.
Can you handle being in a new seat every day? Some spaces will allow you
to reserve a seat, but it’ll cost you extra.
8.	Sharing space with competitors: Coworking attracts a lot of people working
in the same space. So, if you are not comfortable with potential rivals being
in the same room at the same time, then maybe it just won’t work for you.
Now for the upside:
1.	Networking, networking, networking: If the force within you is strong
and you can network effortlessly, you may well thrive in a coworking
space. There can be dozens of interesting projects happening and
fantastic conversations going on at the water cooler. And some spaces
have community organizers, whose job is to introduce members who
may be able to help one another out.29
2.	Hang out with potential employees and clients: Coworking spaces are never
short on stories about the connections made in their facilities that lead to
job and business opportunities.
3.	Save yourself some time: Time is really precious as we strive for a
work/life balance. And if you are struggling with a business issue, there
is a lot of time to be saved when the person sitting next to you just may
have the answer.
4.	Professional meeting places: With coworking spaces, you often get access to
professional meeting rooms—a comfortable place for meeting clients.
5.	Go back to school: Many coworking spaces organize regular events and
seminars that are of interest to members. In Good Company, for example,
provides monthly talks with successful female entrepreneurs, classes on case
study growth strategies and expert panels.30
28 “The Advantages and Disadvantages of Co-working Offices.” Http://telsec.net/. Telsec.net, n.d. Web. 21 Nov.
2014. http://telsec.net/blog/the-advantages-and-disadvantages-of-a-coworking-offices/.
29 Kessler, Sarah. “8 Reasons to Consider a Coworking Space.” Inc.com. Inc.com, n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2014. http://
www.inc.com/ss/8-reasons-consider-coworking-space.
30 Kessler, Sarah. “8 Reasons to Consider a Coworking Space.” Inc.com. Inc.com, n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2014. http://
www.inc.com/ss/8-reasons-consider-coworking-space.
© 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
Costs of coworking
Coworking facilities come in all sorts of flavors. Cooperatively managed spaces
run by non-profit organizations, for instance, may charge just what it takes for
them to stay in business. Other spaces charge flat-rate memberships or fees for a
single visit or a certain number of days weeks, months or a year.
So, shop around when looking at coworking sites. Costs can vary widely
depending on your location and what access you are after. Monthly memberships
can range from $50 to $450 or more based on the city, amenities and building.31
The charges usually cover a desk and Wi-Fi. There may be additional charges,
however, for unlimited coffee, a locker or office keys for 24/7 access.32
How to land somewhere that works for you
How do you go about finding a space that may work for you? Coworking’s real
value is in the relationships it makes possible, even over the other resources it
provides. So, when looking, keep in mind the associations you are looking to
develop. Here are some other key considerations:
•	Find your niche:33
Coworking spaces are opening up to serve just about every
niche you can think of. The Metropolitan Exchange in Brooklyn focuses
on architects, urban planners, and industrial designers; Green Spaces is a
hub for green and socially aware individuals looking for Denver coworking
spaces; and New York City’s In Good Company specializes in serving female
entrepreneurs. So, take some time and look for a coworking space that is a
good fit for your business and business philosophy.
•	Places to meet:34
Every business has times when they need privacy,
so make sure the facility offers meeting rooms or a boardroom for
when you need them.
31 Langford, Aisha. “Coworking Space: Should You Run Your Business from One?” Freshbooks.com. 2ndSite Inc.,
30 Jan. 2014. Web. 21 Nov. 2014. http://www.freshbooks.com/blog/2014/01/30/coworking-space-should-you-
run-your-business-from-one/.
32 Hamburgh, Rin. “Co-working: An Option for Freelancers.” Theguardian.com. Guardian News and Media
Limited, 14 Jan. 2014. Web. 21 Nov. 2014. http://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/jan/14/co-working-
freelancers-advantages-disadvantages.
33 Kessler, Sarah. “8 Reasons to Consider a Coworking Space.” Inc.com. Inc.com, n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2014. http://
www.inc.com/ss/8-reasons-consider-coworking-space.
34 Walker, Ben. “Coworking Checklist: 9 Point Checklist of What to Look for in a Coworking Space.” Http://
inspirecafe.com/. Inspire Cafe, 18 June 2014. Web. 21 Nov. 2014. http://inspirecafe.com/coworking-checklist-9-
point-checklist-of-what-to-look-for-in-a-coworking-space/.
© 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
•	Is it up to speed?35
Make sure to check out the office facilities, including
Wi-Fi speeds, access to a printer and enough power outlets to charge your
stuff. Or maybe there is some other piece of equipment—possibly even a
fax—that you need. And don’t forget to check out the seating. Furniture
may look cool, but your back may not appreciate the beauty after an eight-
hour day.
•	Snacks and refreshments:36
Investigate the kitchen facilities. Do they work
for you? And what kind of drinks and snacks are available?
•	Convenient opening hours:37
Many coworking facilities started life keeping
business hours. But 24/7 access is becoming common as flexible working
hours become more important. Make sure the space you are considering has
opening hours that work with your schedule.
•	Could you work there?38
Noise can be the enemy of productivity. Spend
some time walking around the space to get a sense of how noisy it gets—
and maybe pick up noise-reducing headphones, just in case.
•	Can you get there easily?39
Many coworkers like to be able to walk or
use public transport to get to work. If it’s important to be able to get
to work without taking on an enormous trek, ensure the location is
convenient for you.
•	How does it feel?40
When you walk in the door, what impression are you
getting? Do you like the space, lighting, vibe and temperature? Will you be
comfortable working in this space? You may be spending many hours there.
•	Can you afford it?41
As mentioned, coworking fees vary widely. Verify that
the place you are looking at fits within your budget.
Finally, here’s a directory to help you start the search. Good luck!
35 Walker, Ben. “Coworking Checklist: 9 Point Checklist of What to Look for in a Coworking Space.” Http://
inspirecafe.com/. Inspire Cafe, 18 June 2014. Web. 21 Nov. 2014. http://inspirecafe.com/coworking-checklist-9-
point-checklist-of-what-to-look-for-in-a-coworking-space/.
36 Walker, Ben. “Coworking Checklist: 9 Point Checklist of What to Look for in a Coworking Space.” Http://
inspirecafe.com/. Inspire Cafe, 18 June 2014. Web. 21 Nov. 2014. http://inspirecafe.com/coworking-checklist-9-
point-checklist-of-what-to-look-for-in-a-coworking-space/.
37 Walker, Ben. “Coworking Checklist: 9 Point Checklist of What to Look for in a Coworking Space.” Http://
inspirecafe.com/. Inspire Cafe, 18 June 2014. Web. 21 Nov. 2014. http://inspirecafe.com/coworking-checklist-9-
point-checklist-of-what-to-look-for-in-a-coworking-space/.
38 Walker, Ben. “Coworking Checklist: 9 Point Checklist of What to Look for in a Coworking Space.” Http://
inspirecafe.com/. Inspire Cafe, 18 June 2014. Web. 21 Nov. 2014. http://inspirecafe.com/coworking-checklist-9-
point-checklist-of-what-to-look-for-in-a-coworking-space/.
39 Walker, Ben. “Coworking Checklist: 9 Point Checklist of What to Look for in a Coworking Space.” Http://
inspirecafe.com/. Inspire Cafe, 18 June 2014. Web. 21 Nov. 2014. http://inspirecafe.com/coworking-checklist-9-
point-checklist-of-what-to-look-for-in-a-coworking-space/.
40 “What to Look for in a Coworking Space.” Http://turbinehq.com/. Turbine, n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2014. http://
turbinehq.com/2013/coworking-what-to-look-for/.
41 “What to Look for in a Coworking Space.” Http://turbinehq.com/. Turbine, n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2014. http://
turbinehq.com/2013/coworking-what-to-look-for/.
© 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
4imprint serves more than 100,000 businesses with innovative promotional items throughout the United States,
Canada, United Kingdom and Ireland. Its product offerings include giveaways, business gifts, personalized gifts,
embroidered apparel, promotional pens, travel mugs, tote bags, water bottles, Post-it Notes, custom calendars,
and many other promotional items. For additional information, log on to www.4imprint.com.
A future in coworking
Coworking promises a new working environment based around community and
synergy. People who are driven, flexible, and sociable may really enjoy working
in these spaces. And if it will work for you, this can be a very affordable option.
As with most things though, this environment will not work for everyone. People
who are introverted or who just want to get on with their jobs may find this
open environment a little uncomfortable. And many businesses will need
more privacy than many of these spaces can offer. Ultimately, choice is good,
and many companies and individuals will thrive in these spaces. And that can
only be a good thing for every community.

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Coworking Blue Paper

  • 2. © 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved Coworking: Let the ideas collide What happens when you bring a lot of bright people working on a wide variety of totally unrelated projects together in one space? Wait before you answer … there’s more. Throw in a game room, movie nights and some other social events— anything you can think of to encourage people to mix and mingle. And what you get is an explosion of innovation and creativity, if coworkers are to be believed. Coworking spaces bring together people, self-employed and otherwise, in an office environment where they share not only equipment but also, and more importantly, ideas and knowledge. The Coworking Manifesto believes that this new working model will lead to an economy built on community and collaboration, rather than on the “silos of the past.” And the idea is catching on. The coworking movement grew by over 400 percent in the last two years globally.1 And Millennials, those born between the early ‘80s and early 2000s, are really taking to it. This is important to note, because Millennials make up both our current and future customers and employees. They will account for around half of the U.S. workforce by 2020.2 So, understanding how they think and feel about things can only help our businesses. The Seattle Times’ Thanh Tan sums Millennials up nicely:3 “Any business looking to stay on the cutting edge should embrace the evolving work habits of these twenty- and thirty-something entrepreneurs. They’re not unfocused dreamers. They hustle.” If that’s not enough of a reason to be interested in coworking, how about this? By 2020, around 40 percent of the U.S. workforce is expected to work freelance.4 The times they are a changin’, and working with people and teams based in coworking spaces may very well be a major part of that change for many companies. This Blue Paper® will look at the pros, cons and trends of coworking. It will provide insight into both its facility sharing and community building aspects, as well as ensure those considering coworking have the resources on hand to make educated decisions about whether or not they are a good fit. Let’s start at the very beginning. 1 Ursrey, Lawton. “What Coworking Can Really Do For You.” Forbes.com. Forbes, 25 Feb. 2014. Web. 21 Nov. 2014. http://www.forbes.com/sites/lawtonursrey/2014/02/25/what-coworking-can-really-do-for-you/. 2 Tan, Thanh. “Co-working Spaces Feed Innovation in the Millennial Generation.” Co-working Spaces Feed Innovation in the Millennial Generation. Http://seattletimes.com/, 11 Sept. 2013. Web. 20 Nov. 2014. http:// seattletimes.com/html/editorials/2021803853_thanhtancolumncoworkingspaces12xml.html. 3 Tan, Thanh. “Co-working Spaces Feed Innovation in the Millennial Generation.” Co-working Spaces Feed Innovation in the Millennial Generation. Http://seattletimes.com/, 11 Sept. 2013. Web. 20 Nov. 2014. http:// seattletimes.com/html/editorials/2021803853_thanhtancolumncoworkingspaces12xml.html. 4 Giang,Vivian. “40 Percent Of Americans Will Be Freelancers By 2020.” Businessinsider.com. Business Insider, 21 Mar. 2013. Web. 21 Nov. 2014. http://www.businessinsider.com/americans-want-to-work-for-themselves- intuit-2013-3.
  • 3. © 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved What is coworking? Coworking is all about sharing; sharing space like kitchens and workspaces, along with equipment, especially fast Wi-Fi. But it also involves sharing a mindset and desire to mix with likeminded people. These likeminded folks are not colleagues in the conventional sense—many don’t work for the same organization. But all the same, they are interested in supporting one another, exchanging ideas and maybe even providing a shoulder to cry on, on those bad days. At its heart, it’s about community.5 Figure 1 shows just how important that community is. “Casual small talk,” “enjoying others’ company,” and “sharing knowledge and advice” are by far the most common interactions coworkers have with each other. Figure 1: Coworking combines company with sharing knowledge and moral support.6 5 “The Third Global Coworking Survey.” Communityjelly.files.wordpress.com/. Deskmag, 27 Jan. 2014. Web. 6 Nov. 2014. http://communityjelly.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/3rdglobalcoworkingsurvey-121108034918- phpapp02.pdf. 6 “The Third Global Coworking Survey.” Communityjelly.files.wordpress.com/. Deskmag, 27 Jan. 2014. Web. 6 Nov. 2014. http://communityjelly.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/3rdglobalcoworkingsurvey-121108034918- phpapp02.pdf.
  • 4. © 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved And this community typically attracts people who work from home, creative types, independent contractors, startups and those who travel frequently and want to work in some company. Before coworking spaces emerged, these were the people you may have noticed beavering away in libraries and noisy coffee shops. Or maybe they were the people you didn’t see as they were isolated in home bedrooms and private offices. Phoenix, Arizona Mayor Greg Stanton summed it up nicely why these people have made the move to coworking. At the opening of a space in his city, the mayor said: “The whole idea of coworking is to bring bright, creative people together and let the ideas collide.”7 What will you find there? Coworking spaces provide a lot of what you might expect in a business space: • Fast wireless Internet • Long opening hours—more than half of the spaces are open 24/7 • Printers and photocopiers—although a small number of spaces are paperless • A meeting room for private talks—along with coffee, tea and drinks • Coworking visa—a growing number of coworking spaces allow members of other spaces to use their facilities for free through a visa program • Shared bathrooms and lounges It is on the social side, however, that coworking spaces really come into their own. There are happy hours, networking mixers, fundraisers and all kinds of other events with a very simple aim: bringing people together. Workantile in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for example, treats its members to movie screenings, social lunches and chair massages.8 Ensemble in Midtown Manhattan, New York, meanwhile, throws Social EatiaSM—a daily break with homemade treats for members, who are encouraged to network.9 Other coworking spaces provide game rooms to encourage people to get to know one another over—say over a game of Call of Duty® . 7 Koerth, Kimberly. “Hive @ Central Coworking Space at Burton Barr Library Buzzes with Potential.” Downtowndevil.com. Downtown Devil, 20 Jan. 2014. Web. 4 Nov. 2014. http://downtowndevil. com/2014/01/20/53402/hive-central-coworking-space-burton-barr-library/. 8 Langford, Aisha. “Coworking Space: Should You Run Your Business from One?” Freshbooks.com. 2ndSite Inc., 30 Jan. 2014. Web. 10 Nov. 2014. http://www.freshbooks.com/blog/2014/01/30/coworking-space-should-you- run-your-business-from-one/. 9 Langford, Aisha. “Coworking Space: Should You Run Your Business from One?” Freshbooks.com. 2ndSite Inc., 30 Jan. 2014. Web. 10 Nov. 2014. http://www.freshbooks.com/blog/2014/01/30/coworking-space-should-you- run-your-business-from-one/.
  • 5. © 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved Behind all of this social activity is a desire to do business in an open, transparent environment. The Coworking Manifesto says: “We are a group of connected individuals and small businesses creating an economy of innovation and creativity in our communities and worldwide. We envision a new economic engine composed of collaboration and community, in contrast to the silos and secrecy of the 19th/20th century economy.”10 Intriguing, right? A creative environment with other professionals, freed from conventional office environments and the option of working with as much flexibility as you like. So, where did the idea for coworking come from? Coworking’s big bang The term “coworking” was coined in 1999 by Bernard DeKoven when describing a phenomenon he called “working together as equals.” He was referring to insights he garnered while designing games and facilitating play and how they could apply to work. It really wasn’t until 2005, however, when the “Coworking Movement” began, that someone ran with his idea and took it further. Launched in San Francisco by Brad Neuberg and Chris Messina, this movement also used technology to support collaborative work. But it didn’t stop there. It used “working together as equals” as the core of a novel approach to work: encouraging people to work together, as equals, but separately. Everyone could work on their own projects and business interests. But they could also help one another without worrying about competitive pressures. And, according to DeKoven, the result was “productivity, community, and, surprisingly often, deeply shared fun.”11 Neuberg launched the movement while working at a start-up in a rented office space because he “couldn’t figure out how to have freedom and community at the same time.”12 He felt renting office space was non-social and he wanted to work somewhere that encouraged cross-fertilization and communication. Coworking, he says, has “that extra spark of community.” 10 “Coworking Manifesto (global - for the World).” Wiki.coworking.org. Wiki.coworking.org, 25 Jan. 2011. Web. 4 Nov. 2014. http://wiki.coworking.org/w/page/35382594/Coworking+Manifesto+(global+-+for+the+world). 11 DeKoven, Bernard. “The Coworking Connection.” Deepfun.com. Bernie DeKoven, 5 Aug. 2013. Web. 4 Nov. 2014. 12 Dullroy, Joel. “Coworking Began at Regus... but Not the Way They Think.” Deskmag.com. Deskmag, 4 Apr. 2012. Web. 4 Nov. 2014. http://www.deskmag.com/en/coworking-did-begin-at-regus-but-not-the-way-they- think-362.
  • 6. © 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved He started testing his ideas at a women’s community center, Spiral Muse, in San Francisco’s Mission district during business hours several days a week. Those who started working with him took his ideas and set up their own facilities. The coworking universe has been expanding ever since. In 2008, the New York Times finally noticed its meteoric expansion, writing: “The Hat Factory in San Francisco is a live-work loft that’s home to three technology workers, who open up during the day to other people. Some companies, like Citizen Agency, a San Francisco Internet consulting firm that has done the most to evangelize coworking, have an open-door policy, in which people rent desks but others are free to drop in and use the Wi-Fi or the conference room.”13 It continued: “Some companies rent out desks to the nomadic workers, hoping some of their Internet mojo will rub off. Yet others have started coworking spaces as businesses unto themselves, like a community version of the corporate business centers operated by the Regus Group.” And the expansion continued. A 2013 study suggested there were 110,000 people globally working in nearly 2,500 coworking spaces, 781 of which were in the U.S. at that time.14 The study found that 4.5 new coworking spaces were being opened daily and 245 people were joining spaces every working day. This is a movement that is exploding around the world. And if you are a fan of timelines, here’s a great one that outlines stellar moments in the history of coworking. Different planets: Rental facilities, startup incubators and coworking spaces All startups need space, capital, talent, mentorship and influence. And there are many options out there that are planets apart. Coworking sites tend to attract early stage businesses, entrepreneurs, creatives and other professionals who enjoy collaborating and expanding opportunities through networking and peer-to-peer mentorship. Incubators, however, take a different approach. They focus on giving a helpful push to high-growth, venture-backed startups. They are rated by how well 13 Fost, Dan. “They’re Working on Their Own, Just Side by Side.” Nytimes.com. The New York Times Company, 20 Feb. 2008. Web. 4 Nov. 2014. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/20/business/businessspecial2/20cowork. html?pagewanted=all_r=0. 14 Foertsch, Carsten. “4.5 New Coworking Spaces Per Work Day.” Deskmag.com. Deskmag, 4 Mar. 2013. Web. 4 Nov. 2014. http://www.deskmag.com/en/2500-coworking-spaces-4-5-per-day-741.
  • 7. © 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved the companies in their centers develop.15 And many of them are subsidized by government agencies and investment companies interested in economic development. Companies in these spaces are more likely to work around one another than together.16 Accelerator spaces are kind of like incubator spaces on caffeine. Companies that go into these spaces are usually put onto a deadline-driven program, usually three to four months, that improves their odds of start-up success. Many of the centers will also invest in the companies in their programs. Office rental facilities are pretty much the plain vanilla option. They break up a space into small offices; add some services, such as Internet access and reception areas; and sublease the space. This model appeals to businesses looking for the privacy and services of an office but don’t want to lease a space of their own.17 Who are these coworkers? It probably won’t shock anyone. The average U.S. coworker is young, male, well-educated, works in tech, lives close to the coworking facility and loves coworking.18 More women are coming on board though: Women coworking (percentage of members):19 • 2012: 38 percent • 2011: 34 percent • 2010: 32 percent As already mentioned, the Millennials are dominating this space:20 • 41 percent are under the age of 30; • 37 percent are between 30 and 40 years of age; • 14 percent are between 40 and 50 years of age; • 8 percent are over the age of 50. 15 Bacigalupo, Tony. “What Are the Differences between Office Rental Facilities, Startup Incubators, and Coworking Spaces?” Blog.coworking.com/. The Coworking Blog, 8 Nov. 2011. Web. 6 Nov. 2014. http://blog. coworking.com/what-are-the-differences-between-office-rental-facilities-startup-incubators-and-coworking- spaces/. 16 Bacigalupo, Tony. “What Are the Differences between Office Rental Facilities, Startup Incubators, and Coworking Spaces?” Blog.coworking.com/. The Coworking Blog, 8 Nov. 2011. Web. 6 Nov. 2014. http://blog. coworking.com/what-are-the-differences-between-office-rental-facilities-startup-incubators-and-coworking- spaces/. 17 Bacigalupo, Tony. “What Are the Differences between Office Rental Facilities, Startup Incubators, and Coworking Spaces?” Blog.coworking.com/. The Coworking Blog, 8 Nov. 2011. Web. 6 Nov. 2014. http://blog. coworking.com/what-are-the-differences-between-office-rental-facilities-startup-incubators-and-coworking- spaces/. 18 King, Carol. “Profiling Coworkers in the United States.” Deskmag.com. Deskmag, 1 Feb. 2011. Web. 6 Nov. 2014. http://www.deskmag.com/en/coworker-profile-usa-coworking-175. 19 King, Carol. “Profiling Coworkers in the United States.” Deskmag.com. Deskmag, 1 Feb. 2011. Web. 6 Nov. 2014. http://www.deskmag.com/en/coworker-profile-usa-coworking-175. 20 King, Carol. “Profiling Coworkers in the United States.” Deskmag.com. Deskmag, 1 Feb. 2011. Web. 6 Nov. 2014. http://www.deskmag.com/en/coworker-profile-usa-coworking-175.
  • 8. © 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved And while they may be young, these coworkers are smart: 75 percent have completed at least a bachelor’s degree, compared to 27 percent of the general U.S. population and 50 percent of U.S. small business owners.21 Most coworkers don’t really like to commute, either: More than 30 percent either walk or bike to work and less than half, 44 percent, drive.22 So what are they doing in these coworking spaces? For now, that answer is easy: tech, broadly defined; but tech, nonetheless: • 44 percent are Web developers/designers; • 13 percent work in public relations and marketing; • 43 percent are from a mix of professions including artists, entrepreneurs, journalists and consultants. The finding in Figure 2 probably won’t surprise you. It shows that freelancers, 53 percent, and entrepreneurs, 14 percent, account for most coworkers.23 Figure 2: Freelancers continue to account for more than half of all coworkers.24 21 King, Carol. “Profiling Coworkers in the United States.” Deskmag.com. Deskmag, 1 Feb. 2011. Web. 6 Nov. 2014. http://www.deskmag.com/en/coworker-profile-usa-coworking-175. 22 King, Carol. “Profiling Coworkers in the United States.” Deskmag.com. Deskmag, 1 Feb. 2011. Web. 6 Nov. 2014. http://www.deskmag.com/en/coworker-profile-usa-coworking-175. 23 “The Third Global Coworking Survey.” Communityjelly.files.wordpress.com/. Deskmag, 27 Jan. 2014. Web. 6 Nov. 2014. http://communityjelly.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/3rdglobalcoworkingsurvey-121108034918- phpapp02.pdf. 24 “The Third Global Coworking Survey.” Communityjelly.files.wordpress.com/. Deskmag, 27 Jan. 2014. Web. 6 Nov. 2014. http://communityjelly.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/3rdglobalcoworkingsurvey-121108034918- phpapp02.pdf.
  • 9. © 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved Back on earth OK, let’s come back down to earth and take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of coworking. Coworking may not be all its cracked up to me. Keep the following considerations in mind when evaluating whether or not it could work for you: 1. Would you soar in a coworking space? Personality is one of the main things to take into account when considering coworking.25 This can be a great, affordable way of working for people who are driven, flexible and sociable. If you are an introvert who values privacy and quiet, however, this may not be a good place for you. 2. Can you focus? Coworking spaces can also prove to be a huge distraction unless you are good at managing your time. Many spaces offer a lot of networking opportunities and events that can take your focus away from your project if you let it. So be honest about just how good you are at managing your time. 3. Do you play well with others? These spaces are all about sharing. So, if you don’t like helping out here and there, you may do better in another working environment. 4. It just won’t work for some companies:26 Coworking spaces are just not going to work for some companies that require privacy and dedicated space. There are many businesses—legal and health businesses come straight to mind—that have legitimate reasons for wanting information to be secure. They might not be comfortable in an environment where people are looking and listening for opportunities. 5. There’s not much space to put your stuff:27 There really isn’t a lot of storage space for files, PCs and other stuff you may need for your business. Some spaces may offer lockers, but that’s not always enough. 25 Eisenberg, Melissa. “To Cowork or Not to Cowork: Is Coworking Right for You?” Venturebeat.com/. Venture Beat, 3 Nov. 2012. Web. 11 Nov. 2014. http://venturebeat.com/2012/11/03/to-cowork-or-not-to-cowork-is- coworking-right-for-you/. 26 “The Advantages and Disadvantages of Co-working Offices.” Http://telsec.net/. Telsec.net, n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2014. http://telsec.net/blog/the-advantages-and-disadvantages-of-a-coworking-offices/. 27 “The Advantages and Disadvantages of Co-working Offices.” Http://telsec.net/. Telsec.net, n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2014. http://telsec.net/blog/the-advantages-and-disadvantages-of-a-coworking-offices/.
  • 10. © 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved 6. Clients may not be impressed:28 If you want to bring clients to where you work, they might get mixed signals from an office with no dress code. People come and go, dressed as they please, which can make the space seem more like a public library—something that some clients may not be comfortable with. 7. Seats too hot to handle: Many coworking spaces don’t allow you to reserve seats, so you may be moving around a lot when working in these spaces. Can you handle being in a new seat every day? Some spaces will allow you to reserve a seat, but it’ll cost you extra. 8. Sharing space with competitors: Coworking attracts a lot of people working in the same space. So, if you are not comfortable with potential rivals being in the same room at the same time, then maybe it just won’t work for you. Now for the upside: 1. Networking, networking, networking: If the force within you is strong and you can network effortlessly, you may well thrive in a coworking space. There can be dozens of interesting projects happening and fantastic conversations going on at the water cooler. And some spaces have community organizers, whose job is to introduce members who may be able to help one another out.29 2. Hang out with potential employees and clients: Coworking spaces are never short on stories about the connections made in their facilities that lead to job and business opportunities. 3. Save yourself some time: Time is really precious as we strive for a work/life balance. And if you are struggling with a business issue, there is a lot of time to be saved when the person sitting next to you just may have the answer. 4. Professional meeting places: With coworking spaces, you often get access to professional meeting rooms—a comfortable place for meeting clients. 5. Go back to school: Many coworking spaces organize regular events and seminars that are of interest to members. In Good Company, for example, provides monthly talks with successful female entrepreneurs, classes on case study growth strategies and expert panels.30 28 “The Advantages and Disadvantages of Co-working Offices.” Http://telsec.net/. Telsec.net, n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2014. http://telsec.net/blog/the-advantages-and-disadvantages-of-a-coworking-offices/. 29 Kessler, Sarah. “8 Reasons to Consider a Coworking Space.” Inc.com. Inc.com, n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2014. http:// www.inc.com/ss/8-reasons-consider-coworking-space. 30 Kessler, Sarah. “8 Reasons to Consider a Coworking Space.” Inc.com. Inc.com, n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2014. http:// www.inc.com/ss/8-reasons-consider-coworking-space.
  • 11. © 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved Costs of coworking Coworking facilities come in all sorts of flavors. Cooperatively managed spaces run by non-profit organizations, for instance, may charge just what it takes for them to stay in business. Other spaces charge flat-rate memberships or fees for a single visit or a certain number of days weeks, months or a year. So, shop around when looking at coworking sites. Costs can vary widely depending on your location and what access you are after. Monthly memberships can range from $50 to $450 or more based on the city, amenities and building.31 The charges usually cover a desk and Wi-Fi. There may be additional charges, however, for unlimited coffee, a locker or office keys for 24/7 access.32 How to land somewhere that works for you How do you go about finding a space that may work for you? Coworking’s real value is in the relationships it makes possible, even over the other resources it provides. So, when looking, keep in mind the associations you are looking to develop. Here are some other key considerations: • Find your niche:33 Coworking spaces are opening up to serve just about every niche you can think of. The Metropolitan Exchange in Brooklyn focuses on architects, urban planners, and industrial designers; Green Spaces is a hub for green and socially aware individuals looking for Denver coworking spaces; and New York City’s In Good Company specializes in serving female entrepreneurs. So, take some time and look for a coworking space that is a good fit for your business and business philosophy. • Places to meet:34 Every business has times when they need privacy, so make sure the facility offers meeting rooms or a boardroom for when you need them. 31 Langford, Aisha. “Coworking Space: Should You Run Your Business from One?” Freshbooks.com. 2ndSite Inc., 30 Jan. 2014. Web. 21 Nov. 2014. http://www.freshbooks.com/blog/2014/01/30/coworking-space-should-you- run-your-business-from-one/. 32 Hamburgh, Rin. “Co-working: An Option for Freelancers.” Theguardian.com. Guardian News and Media Limited, 14 Jan. 2014. Web. 21 Nov. 2014. http://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/jan/14/co-working- freelancers-advantages-disadvantages. 33 Kessler, Sarah. “8 Reasons to Consider a Coworking Space.” Inc.com. Inc.com, n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2014. http:// www.inc.com/ss/8-reasons-consider-coworking-space. 34 Walker, Ben. “Coworking Checklist: 9 Point Checklist of What to Look for in a Coworking Space.” Http:// inspirecafe.com/. Inspire Cafe, 18 June 2014. Web. 21 Nov. 2014. http://inspirecafe.com/coworking-checklist-9- point-checklist-of-what-to-look-for-in-a-coworking-space/.
  • 12. © 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved • Is it up to speed?35 Make sure to check out the office facilities, including Wi-Fi speeds, access to a printer and enough power outlets to charge your stuff. Or maybe there is some other piece of equipment—possibly even a fax—that you need. And don’t forget to check out the seating. Furniture may look cool, but your back may not appreciate the beauty after an eight- hour day. • Snacks and refreshments:36 Investigate the kitchen facilities. Do they work for you? And what kind of drinks and snacks are available? • Convenient opening hours:37 Many coworking facilities started life keeping business hours. But 24/7 access is becoming common as flexible working hours become more important. Make sure the space you are considering has opening hours that work with your schedule. • Could you work there?38 Noise can be the enemy of productivity. Spend some time walking around the space to get a sense of how noisy it gets— and maybe pick up noise-reducing headphones, just in case. • Can you get there easily?39 Many coworkers like to be able to walk or use public transport to get to work. If it’s important to be able to get to work without taking on an enormous trek, ensure the location is convenient for you. • How does it feel?40 When you walk in the door, what impression are you getting? Do you like the space, lighting, vibe and temperature? Will you be comfortable working in this space? You may be spending many hours there. • Can you afford it?41 As mentioned, coworking fees vary widely. Verify that the place you are looking at fits within your budget. Finally, here’s a directory to help you start the search. Good luck! 35 Walker, Ben. “Coworking Checklist: 9 Point Checklist of What to Look for in a Coworking Space.” Http:// inspirecafe.com/. Inspire Cafe, 18 June 2014. Web. 21 Nov. 2014. http://inspirecafe.com/coworking-checklist-9- point-checklist-of-what-to-look-for-in-a-coworking-space/. 36 Walker, Ben. “Coworking Checklist: 9 Point Checklist of What to Look for in a Coworking Space.” Http:// inspirecafe.com/. Inspire Cafe, 18 June 2014. Web. 21 Nov. 2014. http://inspirecafe.com/coworking-checklist-9- point-checklist-of-what-to-look-for-in-a-coworking-space/. 37 Walker, Ben. “Coworking Checklist: 9 Point Checklist of What to Look for in a Coworking Space.” Http:// inspirecafe.com/. Inspire Cafe, 18 June 2014. Web. 21 Nov. 2014. http://inspirecafe.com/coworking-checklist-9- point-checklist-of-what-to-look-for-in-a-coworking-space/. 38 Walker, Ben. “Coworking Checklist: 9 Point Checklist of What to Look for in a Coworking Space.” Http:// inspirecafe.com/. Inspire Cafe, 18 June 2014. Web. 21 Nov. 2014. http://inspirecafe.com/coworking-checklist-9- point-checklist-of-what-to-look-for-in-a-coworking-space/. 39 Walker, Ben. “Coworking Checklist: 9 Point Checklist of What to Look for in a Coworking Space.” Http:// inspirecafe.com/. Inspire Cafe, 18 June 2014. Web. 21 Nov. 2014. http://inspirecafe.com/coworking-checklist-9- point-checklist-of-what-to-look-for-in-a-coworking-space/. 40 “What to Look for in a Coworking Space.” Http://turbinehq.com/. Turbine, n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2014. http:// turbinehq.com/2013/coworking-what-to-look-for/. 41 “What to Look for in a Coworking Space.” Http://turbinehq.com/. Turbine, n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2014. http:// turbinehq.com/2013/coworking-what-to-look-for/.
  • 13. © 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved 4imprint serves more than 100,000 businesses with innovative promotional items throughout the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Ireland. Its product offerings include giveaways, business gifts, personalized gifts, embroidered apparel, promotional pens, travel mugs, tote bags, water bottles, Post-it Notes, custom calendars, and many other promotional items. For additional information, log on to www.4imprint.com. A future in coworking Coworking promises a new working environment based around community and synergy. People who are driven, flexible, and sociable may really enjoy working in these spaces. And if it will work for you, this can be a very affordable option. As with most things though, this environment will not work for everyone. People who are introverted or who just want to get on with their jobs may find this open environment a little uncomfortable. And many businesses will need more privacy than many of these spaces can offer. Ultimately, choice is good, and many companies and individuals will thrive in these spaces. And that can only be a good thing for every community.