With the numerous number of co-working spaces sprouting up around the Central Business District in Singapore, one might wonder: Why should I pay for an office when I can simply head over to a Starbucks near my place, or even work from home?

For those not familiar with the concept of co-working, to quote the dictionary: 

Co-working:

the use of an office or other working environment by people who are self-employed or working for different employers, typically so as to share equipment, ideas, and knowledge.“The whole idea of co-working is to bring bright, creative people together and let the ideas collide.”

But of course, the concept of co-working is more than just a dictionary definition.

Co-working is a style of work that involves a shared workplace, often an office, and independent activity. Unlike in a typical office, those co-working are usually not employed by the same organization. Typically, it is attractive to work-at-home professionals, freelancers, start-ups and small to medium enterprises as well as people who travel frequently who end up working in relative isolation (Robinson, 2018).

With the evident demand of co-working spaces on the rise, big corporations are moving into co-working spaces and are on a search for talent, potential acquisitions and flexible office setups.

So why should you hop on the bandwagon and choose co-working?

1. Great networking opportunities

Contrary to popular belief, despite the various profiles you meet at co-working spaces, you don’t have to fake a smile and pretend you like everyone. There’ll be friendly Community Managers-cum-Hosts who’ll make you feel like you belong and regularly invite you to events within the space, which will aid in boosting your network.  Whether or not you’re a start-up company looking for investors or potential sponsors or a large corporation, there will ALWAYS be something for everyone.

Also read: 5 ways coworking can give your business a much-needed boost

The basis of networking in a co-working space is the kind of community you’re exposed to. For instance, at Co. Singapore, community events are held every week and are specifically curated for the community’s best interest. Some examples can include: #HowTo Wednesdays, #ThirstyTuesdays and even member driven events such as How to expand your start-up to Japan. At each community event, you have a chance to network (for free and not at the expense of time!)  and in the comfort of your own working space. At these events, you can find people with similar passions who want to find ways to tackle certain issues the way you do. In summary, you can choose to attend (or not), the kind of events that are best suited for your personal growth and business objectives.

2. Push your boundaries

People in co-working spaces come from different backgrounds; sitting opposite you might be a co-worker from a totally different industry and help you discover a new source of ideas. You can breathe new ideas into your proposals and work from a simple Hello! and soon, you’ll find your mind working in a different way.

Taking the risk to speak to someone from a different background helps you take your work to the next level – to quote The Undercover Recruiter, by collaboration, creative concepts can be born from bouncing ideas off of each other and offering feedback and suggestions and will reflect in the final product as well.

3. 24/7 access to your coworking space

In a world where we spend more time at work than at home, a traditional office setting might not encourage productivity and creativity. In fact, many dread the idea of staying in their cubicles till late at night to finish that last minute deck or financial sales report your boss is chasing you for.

Coworking spaces are specially designed to encourage creativity and productivity. According to Waber, Magnolfi and Lindsay, designing offices to reflect how 21st-century digital work actually happens can increase the probability of interactions that lead to innovation and productivity. For example, Co. Singapore @ Duxton Road incorporates natural elements like plants, natural light and a homely setting to embody the space’s slogan of Live, Work, Play.

You also have full access to your space – you can work ANYWHERE within the co-working space. If you need a change of air, you can head over to the common area, choose a seat you’re comfortable with and start letting your creative juices flowing. Need to stay late? No problem. You can stay there as long as you want.

Also read: 9 Coworking spaces you can head to when in Manila

4. Avoiding exile through a vibrant and thriving community

If you’re a freelancer, working alone from home might stump your creative process and be quite depressing as you isolate yourself from the outside world. Coworking spaces can offer a quick fix. According to Ann Smarty, Founder of MyBlogU, Brand Manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas, working alongside others can lend a sense of camaraderie, even when you’re creating alongside complete strangers. And again (even if you hate it!), create connections.

5. Flexible & economically-friendly

Within fast paced and competitive work environments, finding a place that can provide you with flexibility and economically friendly options are especially important. Unlike renting your own office in a building, coworking spaces provide cost-efficient and flexible contracts that can cater to the duration you’ll need the space for. Co-working spaces are also transparent with costing and monthly plans — meaning that you won’t have a shock when you receive the final bill at the end of each month. Community Managers are always on the look out for payment plans and promotional deals that can bring the most value to members.

In addition, if you have a product launch or exhibition and looking for an event space, coworking spaces offer event space services — and at a special rate for members.

Conclusion

Whether or not you’re a freelancer looking for a place to call your own or a big enterprise looking for a space to rent during your existing office’s renovation works — there’s something for everyone. Co-working spaces are pushing the boundaries of traditional office spaces, embodying the perfect representation the modern world.

Ultimately, it’s not about the space. It is about the experience and the how can the community within the coworking space be of value to your business and services.

So, why should you hop on the bandwagon? This is exactly why.

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Photo by Shridhar Gupta on Unsplash