Advantages of Coworking Spaces – A Day in the Life of a Coworker

Coworking spaces are unique in many ways and, for those who are self-employed or a small business owner, there are many advantages of coworking spaces. They provide a hub of inspiration, creativity, productivity and growth.

Flipping the self-employed home office narrative on its head, a coworking space provides all the best parts of a ‘regular office’ with the flexibility to come and go as you please, and not have to ‘clock in and out’. It’s about finding a flexible workspace that allows you and your business to thrive.

One advantages of a coworking space is that it is a flexible workspace – it fits around your work, your business and your working day, rather than you fitting around a schedule based at home. It gives you a structure to your day to be able to say you’re heading to the coworking space. It brings an extra level of professionality to your working day and week.

Perhaps the biggest advantage is the one that you don’t see when you come through the door – the connections and inspiration from your ‘coworkers’, that is, the other professionals who also use the coworking space.

What is a coworking space?

A coworking space is a dedicated building or office space which is curated with small business owners, the self-employed and those working fully remotely in mind. A coworking space offers facilities such as dedicated desk areas, conference or meeting rooms, open-plan tables for group work and the elements you’d expect from a professional workspace such as drinks and food storage and making, toilets and car parking. At a coworking space, you might find hot desk office space, private offices and meeting rooms.

Coworking spaces might be seen as an extension of the café culture associated with freelance life, but a coworking space is very different to that ‘just find a seat in the café’ scenario. A coworking space is also far superior to using a desk in someone else’s office as it provides a flexible workspace within a stress-free and distraction-free environment for you to focus on work.

The advantages of coworking spaces

The advantage of a coworking space is, unlike a home office, it has none of the distractions that you might find yourself succumbing to in the working day when working from home. No doorbell deliveries – instead, a reception desk will deal with any incoming enquiries. No beeping washing machine or dishwasher, and no doing ‘just one small thing’ such as tidying up or putting on the TV. At coworking spaces like Bloxham Mill, you’ll find facilities such as dishwashers, cleaners and maintenance staff taking care of things so you can focus on your work.

The biggest advantage of a coworking space is that you are away from home, and able to change into ‘work mode’. A huge advantage is choosing how and when you work – there is flexibility and there will also be a range of places to do your work, from hot desks, private booth desks to larger tables where you might share with like-minded professionals.

Coworking spaces often provide opportunities to network, meet new people and share your business face to face in a relaxed setting. Everyone who is there is on the same page – wanting to work efficiently in a calm environment designed to help them get down to business.

For people who are time-poor, such as working parents, another advantage of a coworking space is the fact that it is there when you need it. You can come in at a time that works for you, get your head down, have meetings or calls, knowing that you can leave when you need to collect children or go to appointments.

Who uses a coworking space?

Coworking spaces are used by anyone from a freelancer to the owner of an SME, a CEO of a small business or even someone who is employed in a larger business.

A coworking space is used by a mixture of different business owners, all of whom have one thing in common: They are growing their businesses and want to be around like-minded people in a place where they can concentrate and be their true authentic business selves.

Coworking spaces are also used by people who want flexible workspace or those who work from home for a company but don’t want to be working from their own homes.

Using shared workspaces means that you will be in the unique situation of working alongside people who are in very different businesses from yours. That can lead to amazing new connections and inspiring conversations that are unique to the coworking environment.

Practical tips on finding coworking space

Advantages of coworking spaces
Office space oxfordshire
  • Take advantage of a trial day or week. Workspaces like Bloxham Mill offer trial day passes (when you sign up to the newsletter) which means you can see how you get on in a coworking space before you commit to a long-term agreement. You might want to take advantage of a pay-as-you-go workspace.
  • Think local vs regional. There might be a workspace which is near your home, which means you can walk or cycle there, or you might want to choose a space which is between your home and a larger town, like Bloxham Mill, which is just 15 minutes from Banbury. That way, you have a balance between home and work.
  • Think about what you need for your business – is it about space, about meeting rooms, about the opportunity to hot desk, or is it that you need creative work space?
  • Ask other people what they think and what they get from their co-working space while you’re there. You could also ask the manager if they have someone they can introduce you to.
  • Make the most of all the facilities while you’re there to really put it to the test. For example, join in with a social event, or use the meeting rooms. Test out special facilities, like Bloxham Mill’s soundproof phone booth.
  • Keep a diary of how things go while you’re experiencing the trial time. Are you more productive? Who did you meet? Have there been positive changes to your business?

A day in the life of a coworker

Jenny Holliday, Coach and content consultant:

‘My day always begins with a dog walk – I walk my two dogs near my home in Chipping Norton around 8 or 8.30am. I have a chance to think through my day, my priorities and ideas as I stroll, also knowing that I plan to be at Bloxham Mill by 10am to start my working desk day.

Bloxham is about 20 minutes’ drive for me, and on the way I am filled with anticipation of the day ahead. I’ve left behind the trappings of home – the dogs are always a happy distraction! – and I’m off to be ‘business Jenny’.

I find that I dress more smartly when I’m going to a coworking space. For me there is a clear differentiation between working from home wardrobe and my coworking wardrobe. It’s about stepping into the business persona and being ready to not only focus on my work but also meet new people, catch up with those I know and forge new business relationships.

The first thing I do when I arrive is say hello to manager Emma, who is always so welcoming! I usually choose a seat at a large open table, with plenty of light from the glass doors onto the outside seating area.

If I have a deadline, I’ll head to a smaller work booth!

Then it’s a coffee from The Barrow coffee, always a treat and something I don’t have at home. I work until around 1pm, and will have brought lunch with me – often something I’ve bought on the way from M&S in Chipping Norton.

My work can be anything from writing for a client, creating a proposal, research, or connecting with new coaching clients. I also write and create social media content and do planning while at Bloxham.

I’m always flexible on the time I leave – I find that when I get my head down to work at Bloxham the time flies and I get so much done! So, by 3pm, I can often find myself wrapping up computer-based work for the day. Some days I’ll leave at 2, depending on whether my husband is working from home and therefore able to see to the dogs.

There’s always someone to say hello to and catch up with at Bloxham, and I take advantage of the social aspect of being at Bloxham, too, such as breakfast networking and a summer social. For me, the biggest benefit of using a coworking space is that it connects with my ‘business side’ but on my terms.’

If you’re looking for a coworking space or office space, we’d love to show you what we’re all about.

Get in touch to find out more: reception@bloxhammill.com.

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