Shared workspaces (or coworking spaces) aren’t for everyone, but they can be the ideal solution for the right kind of worker. In fact, according to one study by the Harvard Business Review, coworkers reported higher levels of satisfaction than remote and even office workers. In this article, we’ll walk you through the three top reasons people choose coworking to help you decide if it’s the right fit for you.
1) Are You Looking for a Strong Social Community to Help Improve Your Health and Business Opportunities?
Regular social interaction with a community of peers has profound psychological and physical benefits. The truth of the matter is that many of us aren’t getting the kind of social interaction we need. Office workers sometimes feel pressured to always be ‘on’ around peers within their own company, while remote workers typically find their social interactions limited. It’s important to have a robust peer group with which to interact and share ideas, and coworking spaces provide that while allowing workers to gather business ideas from outside the company pool.
Coworking provides remote workers with a ready-made work community, enabling them to team build in a flexible work environment. Coworking spaces are all different, so it’s important to understand the differences in their benefits to ensure they align with your needs. Here at Gather, community is the first priority. All locations have common spaces in which to socialize, cook and share ideas, as well as meeting rooms which can be reserved for collaboration and business presentations. Monthly events such as holiday parties, meet-and-greet lunches, Salad Club lunches, Cookie Hour on Wednesdays, and happy hours, led by Gather Community Managers, provide opportunities for members to socialize and interact.
At Gather, social interaction isn’t forced. It’s offered. There’s no unspoken rule members must ‘drink the kool aid.’ Coworkers are free to be as social or private as they’d like. Workers with the ability to regularly interact with people outside their everyday workforce have been shown to have an increase in employee happiness and engagement:
“It’s really positively affected my work because it . . . makes me happier all the time, and having people around that I’m not in competition with but who can bring experience from different industries and different situations is really, really helpful,” noted one coworking subject in the FastCompany article The Scientific Reason Why Coworking May Be The Future Of Work, “. . . I’ve been able to come in contact with ideas I wouldn’t have normally come in contact with.”
In other words? When workers are given the opportunity to interact with people outside their immediate workforce, they feel less work pressure and are more comfortable being themselves.
Shared workspaces are hubs for growing businesses and small business owners. New businesses and consultants often rely on one another for the sharing of ideas, strategies and even new work opportunities. At Gather, it’s a regular occurrence for companies or consultants to share new ideas and business opportunities with each other. It’s not uncommon for Gather members to collaborate on work projects, combine ideas to help each other’s businesses grow, or even form new businesses together. Members often say they build their business through Gather. When you regularly interact with the companies you’re surrounded by and share the same common spaces, you’re more likely to discover that your neighbor’s company offers a solution to a business problem you’re facing. In that way, the strong social community Gather offers strengthens not only social health, but also business infrastructure.
2) Are You Trying to Find a Way to Keep Expenses Down and Company Appearances Up?
Small businesses and contractors already incur so many expenses, from supplies to marketing to hiring. It behooves them to minimize costs whenever they can in order to put money back into their business. In a shared workspace, you can benefit from the professional environment of a larger business, without absorbing the costs.
Gather covers your basic amenities and helps you save with local partnerships. Gather memberships help workers save in a multitude of ways. First off, all the basic amenities are included in their membership, including the following:
- High-Speed WiFi
- Scanning and Printing
- Complimentary Coffee and Snacks
- Full Kitchen
- Mail Distribution
- Large and Small Meeting Rooms
- Podcast Booths and Patio Spaces (select locations)
There are also additional savings members receive through Gather partnerships, which your local Community Manager can speak to and include local dry-cleaners, gyms, package services and restaurant discounts.
Gather provides spaces to impress potential clients or business partners. Appearance can be everything when you’re trying to bring in a new client or business partner. Even if you’re exceptionally good at your job, opportunities can be lost if your workspace doesn’t reflect your quality of work. Gather’s shared workspaces come with all the essentials you need to impress potential clients or business partners, including whiteboards, LCD televisions with HDMI hookups, remote call-in speakers, and podiums. Whether you’re a small business looking to attract new clients, a consultant hoping to attract new business partners, or need to lead a training session, each Gather location has all your meeting essentials on-site. All members have to do is reserve the space and show up.
3) Do You Need a Flexible Work Location and Membership Plan?
One of the biggest draws of freelance, remote, and self-employed work is the flexibility. In a coworking space, you’re able to maintain that. Gather currently has five locations in Richmond, Short Pump, Norfolk, and Newport News, with two new locations opening in Virginia Beach and Midlothian this year. Gather memberships give you access to all Gather locations at all hours of the day. Variety is important, and spending time in different locations not only makes you more accessible to your partners and clientele, but can also lead to new social interactions, ideas, or experiences, which may lead to more business opportunities.
Additionally, Gather offers flexible plans and leasing options, including the basic coworking memberships, dedicated desks, small and large private offices, with month-to-month or annual leasing options. There’s little commitment risk should the need arise to alter your working arrangement, which makes Gather the ideal place to grow your business. Start with a private desk and find the need to switch to an office? That’s an easy transition. Have a growing small business? Rather than commit to a restrictive lease, you can grow internally within Gather, where you can easily change leasing options and office size as needed.
So... Is Coworking for Me?
Only you can answer that question. There is freedom that comes from working at home or from a separate business office, but there’s also drawbacks. It can get lonely working from home or a coffee shop without anyone you know around, but nothing stifles the freedom of embarking on a new business venture more so than signing a lease prematurely when you have no idea whether your company will outgrow its space in a few months or need to downgrade. Plus, who wants to deal with those troubleshooting issues that come with managing an office space when there are deals to close and opportunities to pursue?
Coworking in a space like Gather is an excellent option for remote workers or small businesses seeking a cultural fit within a flexible and comfortable workspace that allows them to entertain, socialize, build strong social and business relationships, share ideas, and get some serious work done. If that’s what you’re after, Gather might just be the place for you.