20 Oct 2016
Stefan Rief and Klaus-Peter Stiefel explore the advantages of coworking and hot desking spaces for independent business people in their White Paper Harnessing the Potential of Coworking. One of the main benefits is what they call the ‘colleague effect’ in which the support and trust which people build up with each other positively impacts motivation and performance: “The quality of a community has an overall effect on the well-being of co-working individuals, which in turn influences performance.”
Networking is a hugely important part of doing business – it raises awareness of you and your company, improves your connections, your credibility, and inspires loyalty – all of which results in sales and word-of-mouth referrals. Once you find a networking group you like, you need to regularly attend the meetings in order to build up trust and connections with everyone in the group. Networking meetings are usually held once a month (though some groups meet once a week), which involves a significant investment over time.
Networking in a diverse co-working space happens on a more frequent, even daily basis and with a huge range of businesses represented, there are many opportunities for synergies. As Rief and Stiefel point out, “The revolving nature of membership in a co-working network provides fresh insights, knowledge, and access to subject matter experts that lead to projects, products, and even markets for products and services.”
Another hugely important advantage of working in a co-working space is that having a supportive network of small business owners around you will not only provide a sounding board for your ideas for development and expansion, it will also help your business survive the tough times. “Co-working spaces lower the risks in vulnerable phases of start-ups and support the transition from moving an idea to fruition in a small company. Therefore, co-working spaces act as catalysts for start-ups in which ideas are born, skills are grouped together, contacts are established, and infrastructure is made available.”