Co-working spaces are sometimes referred to as “third places” – home being the first, workplaces the second. By providing open desks and private meeting rooms in a relaxed and flexible environment, co-working spaces occupy that middle ground between the home office and the traditional office.
In his book The Great Good Place, Ray Oldenburg argues that third places are important for communities and for establishing feelings of a sense of place.
According to Oldenburg, these are the hallmarks of true third places:
- They are free or inexpensive
- Food and drink are not essential, but important
- They’re accessible
- They involve regulars
- They are welcoming and comfortable
- And places for old friends and new to meet
The list above is true of most co-working spaces – and its certainly true that third places do benefit local communities. But what about you as an individual – and as someone who spends a significant amount of time working from home?
Here are some reasons why you might want to try swapping the home office for a co-working space…
- Get out of the house. Working from home, all day and alone, can soon lead to ‘cabin fever’. A change of environment and routine can break bad habits and encourage creativity. Joining a co-working space gives you a reason to get out of the house, move around and meet people outside of your own network.
- Opportunities to collaborate. Unlike traditional offices, members of co-working spaces are from all sorts of backgrounds, working for different companies or freelancing on different projects. You may find that they have unique perspectives on your work. Good co-working spaces provide opportunities to meet and collaborate with other members.
- Better coffee than at home. Unless you have a coffee roaster, grinder, espresso machine and a good supply of coffee beans at home, it’s unlikely you’ll make a better cup of coffee than at your local co-working space!
- Your base in the city. If your co-working space doesn’t do good coffee, you’ll most likely be near a place that does. Co-working spaces are often in the heart of cities – and they’re secure, so you can usually leave your laptop behind and explore the area for meetings and more.
- Meeting space. Most co-working spaces have private meeting rooms, where as a member you get discounts. It’s a lot more professional than meeting at your home or your local Wi-Fi-enabled coffee shop!
To learn more about telecommuting trends like co-working, download PGi’s latest free eBook, “The Yin + Yang of Telecommuting.”