ANSWERS TO THE TOP 5 QUESTIONS ASKED ABOUT COWORKING

Updated: Sep 14

Answered During North America’s COVID-19 Pandemic

Collaborating and Learning Together

Plenty of great bloggers and freelance writers have answered these questions in years past, but like most everything in life, COVID-19 has changed coworking space operations as well as coworker’s thoughts about coworking. Let’s navigate through these questions with our new concern about safety. Let’s face it, there’s an act of new courage required from companies operating in this era, and kudos to small businesses navigating and braving the hazards daily!

These questions were farmed from a major search engine that shall remain nameless. They are the most frequently asked questions about coworking by you, the browser, and searcher. So, you asked, and we are answering!

Q1 WHAT IS A COWORKING SPACE?

A1 The answer is broad. In its most literal sense, a coworking space is a workspace shared by people who are working for different businesses. The space operator may try to attract people working in the same or remarkably similar fields (such as Information Technology) or maybe more concerned about building a community rooted in character and work ethic.

The workspace is typically made up of desks, tables, or booths at which the collection of coworkers sit. Social distancing has been a game-changer for coworking. Some space operators have removed chairs, added partial walls or panels, or prohibited seating in certain seats to keep the Coronavirus from spreading.

Q2 HOW DOES A COWORKING SPACE WORK?

A2 Coworking spaces may offer services including private office rental, meeting room rental, mail services, virtual offices, and of course, coworking. For the sake of sticking with the subject, we will talk about coworking desks and tables. When reading about coworking, you will frequently run into a few consistent titles for desks and services.

A Dedicated Desk is exactly as it sounds. It belongs to one person. I like to say that it is the only thing in life more dedicated to you than your Mother! These desks are particularly popular now that surface bacteria is such a concern. You do not need to worry about yesterday’s desk occupant hacking up a lung on the desk you are now occupying. Whew! Disaster averted!

Membership Type: Typically paid monthly

Term of Membership: Varies by space. Some spaces require a written agreement that could be up to a year or more. Other spaces do not require a long-term agreement.

A Hot Desk is a coworking industry term to describe a desk that is available to anyone. A specific desk can be used by one coworker for a couple of hours, and a different coworker for the rest of the day. Because of the Coronavirus, and the capitulating information provided about the virus spreading from surfaces, it is a great idea to find out how the space is handling disinfecting all frequently touched surfaces. Here are good questions for you to ask a space operator about their Hot Desks: “How are the desk and chair disinfected between coworkers? Is there downtime between coworkers?”

Membership Type: Typically paid monthly

Term of Membership: Varies by space. Some spaces require a written agreement that could be up to a year or more. Other spaces do not require a long-term agreement.

A Day Pass gives the ability to use a Hot Desk for 1 day.

A Flex Pass is the purchase of a bundle of Day Passes that usually must be used in a set time frame, like within 90 days. There is typically a discount on the Day Pass price when you buy a Flex Pass Bundle.

Q3 WHO USES COWORKING SPACES?

A3 Well, to answer in the broadest sense, small businesses, virtual employees of large businesses, freelancers, entrepreneurs, start-ups, and road warriors to name a few. If you are wondering about the types of professions, Recruiters, Software Architects, Software Engineers, AI Specialists, Marketers, Insurance Agents, Churches, Cyber Security Experts, Researchers, Online Teachers, and more choose coworking spaces as their work home!

Q4 IS COWORKING WORTH IT?

A4 Pure transparency here. I own a coworking space, so of course, I am going to say “Yes!” Our Google Business page is full of 5-star reviews from people who have produced more, created at higher levels, and found more business, collaborators, and friends than they would have working at home, a coffee house, or an office alone. If you are employed, frequently your employer will compensate you for your coworking fee. If you own a small business, coworking is a deductible expense for your business taxes. Freelancers and people who are an employee, but are self-paying for coworking, should ask their accountant about whether the expense is deductible on their taxes.

Q5 WHY ARE COWORKING SPACES IN DEMAND?

A5 There is a solid answer to this question that is behind the birthing of coworking 20 years ago that is still tried and true today. Then there is also a during COVID and after COVID answer.

Let us talk about the benefits and why the demand for coworking has been a steady increase over time first. Freelancers, small businesses, and virtual employees were the original work-from-home (WFH) workforce. Some people are high functioning while working from home, while others found distractions at home (pets, food, laundry, TV, etc.) ate away at their work ethic and productivity. There is also an element of professionalism that is cast on a person working in an office or other professional workspace. Several business coaches I know advise their WFH clients that they need to be working in a professional environment if they want to be taken seriously. Virtual employees frequently dreamed of the eutopia of working from home. Sometimes their love affair with their kitchen table or breakfast bar dwindled quickly. They are yearning for a place to work that is NEAR home instead of AT home. The final, and probably the biggest challenge experienced by the WFH crowd is simple. They got lonely. Coworking provided solutions for all these challenges! Their productivity returned, they were surrounded by other professionals who were also great collaborators, and then the biggest surprise of all…when they left the coworking space for the day their work did not follow them home. When their work laptop closed, it stayed closed after they got home.

Now, February 2020 arrives, and there is talk of a crazy virus in China. We did not start being concerned immediately, but concern and safety became a bigger and bigger priority. At some point, most people were asked (or ordered) to shelter at home. Many coworking spaces closed except to those coworkers who were “essential” as defined by the city, state, county. Coworking in many places as of this writing is starting to slowly come back. Remember the UK and the European nations who suffered tremendously before the US did? The good news is their Coronavirus recovery is speeding forward, and the vitality of coworking is improving right along with it.

There are many projections about what coworking will look like post-COVID-19, and all of them are positive. Large corporations sent their workforce home to work. Some have already made the decision they will never call them back to the corporate office. Others have extended their WFH time indefinitely. Based on large swaths of office buildings being emptied and sold, the future of coworking is looking bright. WFH people are glad they will not have to travel to major metropolitan areas to work, and some are looking for an opportunity to work NEAR home, but not AT home. The demand continues, and so does coworking.

If you are asking these questions, you must be thinking about coworking for yourself. Improve your chances of picking the perfect coworking space and protect yourself from impulse buying by outlining your exact needs. Use the workspace evaluation tool provided in the blog “Choose the Perfect Coworking or Office Space With This Workspace Evaluation Tool. It will save you time and money!


#Coworking #dedicateddesk #hotdesk #daypass #flexpass #CoworkingAndCovid #CoworkingSafety

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