by Patrick Valentino | Digital Marketing Specialist
Cut down your commute, freelance flexibly and explore new opportunities 💡
I’m going to have to start this blog with an apology to those looking out for the ‘potentially-much-anticipated’ sequel to coming-of-age drama Perks of Being a Wallflower. Whilst this isn’t anything to do with a follow up to Stephen Chbosky’s novel & film of the same name, it does regard “a coming of age” element. What is coworking but a coming-of-age event for work practices, the next logical and disruptive step in the maturation of ‘the work place’. Now you’re probably thinking “woah, what a really astute observation Patrick, I hadn’t considered that” or, and far more likely “woah, what an incredibly pretentious opinion, I came here to read about coworking, not humour your self-indulgent musings and stretched thin theories!”…
And so, about coworking you shall read!
During the madness of last years life-changing pandemic, organisation had to adapt to new lockdown restrictions which forced the majority of the workforce to work from their spare bedrooms, kitchens and pretty much any surface you could squeeze your laptop onto. Now that we’re living in a kind of hybridized normality, industries are now facing a choice, either force their employees to utilise the very expensive office space they’ve invested in or allow them to work flexibly from home, from their local cafe or even better, a coworking space.
Imagine the following situation;
It’s morning, you’re going to the office, perhaps you work in a bustling city and have a modest 30 – 60 minute commute, that’s enough to tackle a few audiobooks or finally listen to the new album you purchased. Unfortunately in this scenario, there is a development that has just started, it will be in your way for the next 3 months, suddenly your “modest” commute has evolved into either a 2-hour commute in which you’ll be consistently late for the morning meeting or you can start waking up at 3am and leaving whilst it’s still dark just to beat the neverending traffic.
Alternatively, you could explore coworking…
Grow your Network with a Collaborative Coworking Community
What is likely to happen when you place hundreds of businesses in the same environment? Inescapably, they will collaborate, they will procure services and buy products from one another, as a community they all contribute to their coworking ecosystem. This flourishing group of businesses is responsible for job generation and is often ground-zero for companies taking their first steps. From newborn startups earning their stars to collaborative hackathons solving collective problems.
Coworking spaces can operate as a micro-economy in which companies working in these spaces develop by collaborating with other businesses. Sourcing a product or service has never been more convenient, on any given day you could be sat within 10ft of a graphic designer, a web developer and a financial expert, they can all provide the essential services you need to make your business a success.
Affordability – Can you afford not to?
Spending money on an external workspace can seem like a bad investment at first glance. However, the reality is that working from home can be just as expensive as renting an office. It will vary based on your industry but a strong & speedy connection is becoming essential for all walks of businesses to ensure you are not disconnecting from a client Zoom meet. Consider your electricity outgoings to run only the basic necessities of an office, your PC, a screen or two, a standard paper printer and then put that on top of every slightly less necessary amenities like a coffee machine, good quality lighting for you artists or even a 3-d printer. These outgoings will accumulate very quickly and have a very negative impact on your profit margins. These outgoings are nothing when compared to renting large offices for your company, especially in highly populated, sort after locales.
At coworking hubs such as Welsh ICE, all these amenities fall under a single cost and it’s much cheaper than you think.
Experience Convenience, Freelance Flexibly
Coworking spaces can starkly contrast with the typical office, they are quite often accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, providing control and a higher degree of freedom over your work hours. What’s even greater? They’re spaced out around the country in various locations, allowing those of you who need to travel, a convenient workspace wherever you may find yourselves.
With the upcoming (fingers crossed) post-pandemic work setting, businesses are evaluating the amount of time their employees need to be on-site with a third of them stating “to keep a strong culture, employees should be in the office three days a week”. This is a lofty alteration to conventional workplace practices, those with space for home offices are revelling in their thirty-second commute from the bed to the office. For many this extravagance is unavailable, heading over to your local coworking space can not only reduce your commute, but can also improve your mental health and work-life balance.
Upskill & Expand your Knowledge
Coworking spaces can assist and be contracted to upskill you and your workforce. You can find five Entreprise Hubs in Wales, they not only offer space to work and grow your organization, but they also facilitate the development of your skillset and expand your professional expertise. Each hub runs its own tutorials & workshops covering skills from ‘Product Photography’ to ‘Utilising Facebook Ads’.
These learning experiences are excellent for developing entrepreneurs eager to get their business launched and companies supporting their employees’ continual learning. Welsh ICE run The 5-9 Club, an 8/9 week after-hours course (held once a week), designed to help you through the early stages of enterprise. Whether you live in Cardiff or Aberdeen, you can use it to build your contacts and take advantage of 8/9 weeks of epic, business support, without needing to leave your home.
Discover New Spaces of Creativity & Jumpstart your Productivity
According to Equity Theory, we work as hard as we perceive others around us are working. When starting a new role we look to our colleagues to gauge how motivated they are and how much work they get done. If you’re a freelancer or have been working from home due to the pandemic, you’ve likely been isolated from others in the same entrepreneurial boat as yourself. Your yardstick for self-evaluating your performance is either based on your manager’s opinion of your output or it is often based on your best guess if you are freelancing.
Working in a collaborative space amongst other entrepreneurs can demonstrate whether you are working too hard and burning out or underperforming. You’re able to derive inspiration from those around you and if you need it, to lend a creative ear. The freelance economy is filled with coworking creatives, finding a collaborative workspace can open up new methods and a whole new perspective on how you approach your role.
Welcome a New Way of Working!
Coworking can be the answer to you and your organisation’s logistical nightmares, your freelancing isolation and if you resonate with any of the above reasons, signing up couldn’t be easier. Coworking at Welsh ICE, you’ll have access to 200mbps super-fast wifi, printer access, unlimited free tea & coffee, meeting room discounts, an online learning platform and much more, all for as little as £3.35 per day. These days, that’s cheaper than a Grande Starbucks with extra cream 🤯