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Vikram Upadhyaya

Vikram Upadhyaya, Chief Evangelist at GHV Accelerator.

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How Co-Working Spaces have Changed the Way Entrepreneurs Function

Co-working spaces give you an excellent opportunity to network and share ideas and feedback with other like-minded entrepreneurs.

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Co-working spaces have become popular worldwide as they provide entrepreneurs with flexibility, and a fun working space. For a bootstrapped startup spending money on setting up an office can be very expensive and time-consuming. So, working in a co-working space can be the ideal solution to get started. It not only helps save valuable time and money, but can also benefit startups in numerous other ways.

According to Deskmag’s annual Global Coworking Survey, nearly 71% of participants who were part of the survey stated that they felt an increase in creativity after joining a co-working space and 62% claimed that their standard of work improved.

Here are some ways in which startups stand to gain by working in co-working spaces:

Shared costs


Co-working spaces give a ready office to an entrepreneur, with state-of-the-art technology for which you have to pay just a nominal amount. Entrepreneurs get access to tech devices including copiers, scanners, conference rooms, fax machines, telephone lines and more, for which they will have to shell out a huge sum if they decide to set up an office space themselves.

This can prove to be a huge advantage for an entrepreneur, as you won’t have to wait to set up the infrastructure for an office. You just have to go there and get started. You get access not just to the basic infrastructure, but also other critical resources that are vital to function seamlessly.

2. Keeps you motivated

While working as an entrepreneur, you may get disheartened or demotivated. By working in a co-sharing space you will meet like-minded people that can inspire you. You will be able to share your plans with others, which will help you in keeping on track. The energy in a co-working space is palpable, driven with excitement, which can provide an ideal place to exchange ideas and take feedback. A Deskmag survey found that 90% of people working in shared workspaces got a self-confidence boost, due to a supportive community that enabled creative collaboration.

3. Networking

Co-working spaces give you an excellent opportunity to network and share ideas and feedback with other like-minded entrepreneurs. Good co-working spaces also hold regular networking events where entrepreneurs can meet venture capitalists, mentors, vendors, investors and other ecosystem enablers who can help them grow the business in the long run. Finding a common platform to make these vital connections in the ecosystem can otherwise be quite an arduous task for any entrepreneur.

4. Flexibility

Co-working spaces also give an entrepreneur the flexibility to work from anywhere, and for as many hours as they want, which leads to increased productivity. Most co-working spaces function round the clock, instead of just during the day, which gives entrepreneurs a chance to work when they feel they will be most productive.

However, while co-working spaces provide a number of advantages, there are some drawbacks as well that entrepreneurs should consider before opting for one. Some of them include:

1. Distractions

Sometimes there may simply be too many distractions at a co-working space. There may be random conversations or socializing which may be unfruitful in the long run. Remember to keep distractions to a minimum and socialize only during breaks.

2. Conflicts

Entrepreneurs are very passionate about their idea or product. You may find a lot of people who are not convinced with your idea and may try to dissuade you from going ahead with it. This may lead to conflicts not only with such people, but even with yourself, since you may start doubting your idea and your own potential. This is where your conviction plays a key role. The reason you believed in the idea is why you started in the first place. So, march ahead fearlessly, and if you do see some reason in what others are saying, use it as positive feedback to improve your business model/product. If not, avoid such people and focus on what you have set out to accomplish.

3. Cost


While having a shared co-working space is not very expensive, it is still a monthly expense that you will have to incur on a regular basis. You will also have to bear an additional travel cost, commuting to and from the co-working space. An entrepreneur who is already facing a cash crunch should think carefully about monthly expenses and only then take on the additional burden of opting for a co-working space.

4. Constant change

A co-working space will see a number of people come and go, and your co-workers will keep on changing. Some places may not even have a fixed chair, and you may have to hunt around for one proper desk and chair to sit and do your work every day. That may become an irritant after a while.

Conclusion


While the dynamic energy at a co-working space can be inspiring for some, it may be an unnecessary irritation for others. So, remember to weigh the pros and cons carefully before opting for a co-working space and then decide what’s best for you and your startup!

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house


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