Although they vary greatly both in terms of size and nature, startups share a number of common characteristics that are especially apparent in those early stages. For one thing, the lack of a stable capital source means that most young startups choose to compromise when it comes to choosing a work environment. Development of the product is the top priority, and costs have to be kept to a minimum until that sought after investment money comes pouring in.
If anything, startups probably require better work environments than established companies. Think about it – you’re trying to build an entire company around a unique idea, and it’s usually one that hasn’t been tried before. You have limited resources, are working alone or with a very small team, and the odds for success often seem stacked against you.
To make this work, you need to be at your peak performance with regards to concentration, inspiration, motivation and creativity.
The problem is that sitting at a cafe, in your bedroom, in your parent’s garage, or even at a cheap office in a dull part of town, will often harm your productivity. Time is of the essence and although keeping costs down is a necessity, compromising on your work environment may cost you more in the long run.
For startups that have the financial legroom for some nice office space, occupying a secluded section of a generic corporate building might not offer the inspiration you need to bring your new idea into the world.
Enter the coworking space…
1. Network the Natural Way
Business is about “people, people, and people”, according to Richard Branson. In a startup situation, this couldn’t be more true. A startup’s core team has to be able to work in perfect harmony. Bumps and wrong turns are inevitable, but with the right match of personalities and professionalism, all obstacles can be overcome. But where do you meet the right people?
When allocating time for networking can seem like a huge hassle, coworking spaces expose startups to new people in a natural way. You don’t necessarily need to make a conscious effort to “get out there” to find new collaborators or team members. The same goes with investors, mentors, and consultants. A good coworking space will attract leading professionals and hold regular and relevant events that will draw the community together. This shared activity, along with the coworking space’s communal areas, make meeting the right people an organic process.
When you really need to concentrate is when you really become aware of how many distractions there are. Coworking provides the right atmosphere for high level task-related and creative thinking. For one, you don’t have to worry about all the logistics that come with managing a work space – internet, utilities, refreshments, office equipment, and rent – it’s all taken care of. A good coworking space will also have optimal lighting and office configuration, putting you in a productive state of mind.
3. Stretch Your Legs
A well designed coworking space will offer a variety of seating areas for work and for relaxation. The ability to get up from your desk and walk around, or change your work area completely, does wonders for keeping you engaged throughout even the longest days.
4. Motivate and Be Motivated
Being in a coworking space means being part of a community of like-minded individuals who are completely committed to moving their ideas forward. Seeing others working towards their dream is a very powerful source of motivation, and being able to share your successes and obstacles with others in a similar situation is invaluable. Coworking spaces incorporate businesses from a variety of sectors which means you get to learn about other industries from the inside.
5. Work When it Suits You
Other than being able to move your office around, at a coworking space, you can also move your schedule around to suit you. Have a tight schedule and want to stay late? Up super early with a burst of inspiration that you don’t want to waste? Coworking spaces often have 24-hour access so you can plan your time and work when you’re at your best.
6. Location, Location, Location.
Coworking spaces are often in a part of the city that is extremely desirable, where the rent will be well beyond what most startups can afford. Coming to work in a well-connected and pleasant part of the city can really make a difference. Meetings are easier to arrange, and having a luxurious kitchen and well-equipped meeting room make consultations more productive and pleasurable.
The coworking solution fits the startup profile perfectly. The benefits are huge and varied, ranging from the practical to the psychological. Because coworking spaces offer a flexible solution both in terms of office size and contract, startups can really benefit from putting themselves in a truly nourishing ecosystem, without breaking the budget.