If your understanding of coworking is shaped by what you read in the headlines, you may think coworking spaces are full of young tech bros and startups working in giant shared buildings.
It’s simply not true.
The coworking industry is a diverse network of spaces of all types and communities of all styles. The industry is rapidly growing around the world, but there is still a lot of misunderstanding of what it is. Here are five coworking myths debunked:
1. Coworking is for Tech People or Entrepreneurs in Niche Industries
Coworking spaces geared toward tech professionals and startups do exist, but they don’t reflect or define coworking as a whole.
The global coworking industry is full of a wide variety of spaces that are home to everyone from work-from-home parents, freelance designers and writers, independent professionals, programmers, photographers, attorneys, nonprofits, event planners, artists, remote workers, small business owners and much more.
In fact, the more diverse a workspace community is, the stronger the community and in-house professional network.
2. All Coworkers are Super-social
One of the myths of coworking is that you have to be a super-social extrovert to be comfortable in a shared workspace. This is not true. Coworking spaces are full of extroverts, introverts, and ambiverts (people who have characteristics of both).
The trick is to find a workspace that suits your work style. For instance, if you want to be in the middle of all the activity, open coworking is a good option for you. If, however, you prefer quiet space, find the areas in a space that may be reserved for heads-down work.
You may also consider reserving a dedicated desk or office in a quiet area. Then, when you feel like connecting with the other members, you can work in the common space, or just go out and grab a cup of coffee and a quick chat. Introverts still want and need social connection, they just need it in smaller doses.
3. Coworking Spaces Only Offer First Come First Serve Open Space
Unlike a coffee shop, where everyone is vying for limited seating and limited access to power outlets, coworking offers a variety of workspace options. For instance, at Pacific Workplaces, there are a number of membership options for open coworking, dedicated desks, shared offices, private offices, day offices, meeting rooms and more. If open coworking isn’t your thing, come take a tour to learn about all the other workspace options you have.
4. Coworking is Just Like Working in a Coffee Shop
In addition to having an abundance of power outlets, coworking is so far superior to working in a coffee shop that it’s not even fair to compare the two.
Coworking has everything a coffee shop has: coffee, tables, wifi, people. Plus, it has so much more: a community of professionals to collaborate and network with; business amenities, such as conference rooms, virtual mail, printers, whiteboards and wall-mounted displays; quiet work areas; collaborative work areas, such as day offices and meeting rooms; professional and personal development events; and more.
Some spaces, such as NextSpace Santa Cruz, even have a podcast and media room. If you want to get serious about your business, it’s time to move out of the coffee shop and into a coworking space.
5. Coworking is Just for Self-employed Professionals
Coworking spaces are full of freelancers and independent professionals. They’re also full of remote workers who work with teams around the world, corporate satellite teams, small businesses, nonprofit teams, and startups. Coworking gives professionals—whether self-employed or employed by someone else—flexibility, freedom, and access to pro-quality business amenities to help grow businesses of all sizes.
Pacific Workplaces offers coworking, on-demand offices, virtual offices, and meeting rooms in 18 locations around California and Nevada. If you are looking for a shared workspace environment where you can collaborate and meet other freelancers and professionals, find a Pacific Workplaces location near you.
By Cat Johnson, a content strategist, storyteller and coworking member at NextSpace Santa Cruz.