Today workspace options are more flexible and varied than ever before. Of course, there is the traditional office and the virtual work environment, but now, for those of you who want a bit of both, there is the shared office or co-working space. Co-work or collaborative work spaces are on the rise. Let's take a look at what exactly a co-working space means and what the draws are for entrepreneurs. Then we'll explore where you can find co-work spaces in BC.
A co-working space refers to a rental space in, generally, a fully furnished shared office. Unlike a traditional office, your "coworkers" are not employed by the same business. For the lone entrepreneur the co-working space can be an appealing alternative to working from home or renting an entire office solo. Most co-working spaces feature desks, lounge space, meeting rooms and wireless access. These spaces can also offer a positive environment of productivity for the otherwise isolated remote employee or entrepreneur.
The perks of co-working
Joining a co-working space can have several benefits, but be warned, the social aspect can be detrimental if you are not disciplined!
Networking & inspiration: Since the space is shared with other professionals and/or entrepreneurs a co-working office can offer valuable opportunities to build your professional network and promote your services. In some cases co-work spaces are geared toward a particular industry or niche, for example green business or non-profits. That means you can seek out the environment that will be the most inspiring and valuable to you.
Financial savings: Taking part in a co-working space is likely to be much more cost effective than setting up your own office. If you only need the space a couple of hours a week you can even "hotdesk", which refers to sharing a desk with someone on an opposite schedule.
Professional impression: If you normally work from home, but occasionally need to meet with a client, the co-working environment can provide a private and professional option. These spaces commonly provide meeting rooms as well as shared office space.
Work/life balance: For those who work remotely, but prefer to keep a clear distinction between work and life, the co-working office provides an alternative to working from home.
Co-working opportunities in BC
- Kelowna | co+Lab
- Nelson | Nelson Independent Workers Collective
- Penticton | Cowork Penticton
- Prince George | Two Rivers Business Centre
- Rossland | The Hub
- Vancouver | Hive & The Network Hub
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Co-working in the Kootenays. Kootenay Association for Science and Technology.
Kessler, S.(2010, December). How to get the most out of a coworking space. Mashable.