Four ways coworking spaces are worth it

Shared office spaces, or coworking spaces, offer freelancers the opportunity to work alongside others. The spaces may offer unexpected social and professional benefits.

Wilson Ring/AP/File
A mural adorns the atrium of the rebuilt Vermont state office complex in Waterbury, Vt., on Monday Dec. 14, 2015. Shared office space offers freelancers and other workers the opportunity to work alongside others, expanding social and professional circles.

Shared office spaces, aka coworking spaces, are currently revolutionizing the classic workday. A plethora of coworking spaces have sprouted up in urban centers since the start of the global economic crisis in 2007-2012. You may have heard of them: WeWork, Regus, LiquidSpace; all are shared office spaces that claim to foster the enrichment of freelancers, start-ups, remote teams, and SMBs (small and midsize businesses). And they're not only growing in popularity because they're more affordable than traditional office space, but also because of the multitude of services and perks they offer, like free Wi-Fi, game rooms, networking events, courses, and more.

According to a 2015 (GCUC) - Emergent Research Coworking Survey by Office Nomads in Seattle, Washington, coworking spaces had a direct impact on the emotional health and personal success of employees. Here's what a coworking space can do for you.

Boost of Confidence And Well-Being

An overwhelming number of survey respondents reported a boost of confidence and emotional well-being.

  • 89% reported they were happier
  • 83% reported they were less lonely
  • 78% reported that co-working helped keep them "sane"

Professional and Social Networking Opportunities

The benefits of coworking spaces can include a support group and reach beyond professional networks and can have a positive impact on its members' social lives.

  • 87% report they met other members for social reasons
     
  • 54% met other members for social reasons after work and on weekends
     
  • 33% met other members for social reasons during work hours
     
  • 82% said coworking had expanded their professional networks
     
  • 67% reported they attended events at their coworking space occasionally (45%), or often (21%); while only 4% said they never attend events

Creative Environment and Increased Productivity

Working in close proximity to others who are entrepreneurial-minded will likely increase your workflow and could help secure new job opportunities.

  • 84% said they were more engaged and motivated when coworking
     
  • 67% said coworking improved their professional success
  • 69% said they felt more successful since joining a coworking space
  • 64% of the respondents said their coworking networking was a very important (26%) or a moderately important source of work (38%)

Personal Growth Opportunities

Coworking aims to foster growth. Many feature enrichment opportunities that include guest speakers, business courses, discounts on professional associations, and other services.

  • 69% reported they learned new skills
  • 68% reported they improved their existing skill set
  • 80% said they turn to other coworking members for help, guidance, or to find or source work

You'll also be happy to know that packages are suitable to any budget. Virtual plans that include a business address, mail handling, and virtual assistant start around $45 per month. One-person designated desk space goes for about $350 per month. Customized solutions can be designed for SMBs with one to 100 employees. Additional benefits of shared space include: front door directory listings, front desk receptionist to meet and greet visitors, conference rooms, full kitchens and, best of all; flexible lease terms.

This article first appeared at Wise Bread.

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