By: Chaymeriyia Moncrief
When I first opened my co-working space State of Creatives Co-working Space in May 2015, one of the biggest obstacles I knew I would face was; getting others to understand the co-working concept and the benefits its offer. With co-working not being as poplar in Montgomery as it is in places like Atlanta, New-York, Tennessee and other states; it would be essential to get others on board with the meaning of co-working before they’d actually try out the space or see any meaning in joining a co-op space.
What is co-working?
Co-working is a style of work that involves a shared working environment, yet independent activity. Unlike the typical office environment, a co-working space is generally shared by individuals from different organizations and professions.
This style of work is attractive to creative types, entrepreneurs, independent contractors, work-at-home professionals, and people who travel frequently and end up working in relative isolation. It provides independent workers a place to get work done, meet clients and professionally “show up,” both mentally and physically. Co-working also provides a social environment where individuals can work independently while still being part of a community of talented individuals with shared values and synergy.
In the 07-08 there was a major downturn in the economy many people decided to create their own job vs. waiting for the “recovery” one might say. Others have found that working for someone else is frustrating, unfulfilling, or just doesn’t fit their personality and goals.
If you work at home, you know the cons. Sometimes it can feel isolating or distracting. Receiving all your business mail at your home means you are giving your home address out to anyone who asks, and separating work from home life is a big challenge.
Some looking for a sense of community turn to working from coffee shops – which often means fighting for a table, begging someone for a plug, or being distracted by a group of noisy teens sitting next to you. Believe me I’ve been there many times!
Co-working gives you a professional space where you can be more productive… and potentially more prosperous. Another benefit is, it is inherently more economically sustainable, and shared resources means that it’s more eco-friendly.
Co-workers can also take advantage of meeting and conference rooms to do conduct professional meetings and workshops.
Finally, co-working allows members to network and connect with a like-minded group of people for ideas, feedback, and resources.
One other important point… we are increasingly living in a world where, although we feel connected (thanks to social media), we’re actually very isolated and therefore many people are feeling a sense of loneliness and work depression.
What impact does environment have on creativity?
The fact is that when you are in an environment that appeals to you and inspires you, you can’t help but be more creative and more productive.
We’re also social creatures and in order to function at our best, we have to have a certain amount of social interaction. Deprive us of this and we tend to shrink in on ourselves instead of expanding our thinking
Deemed as the “future of work,” co-working is growing in popularity across the United States, Europe, and Asia. According to Deskmag.com, as of 2013, more than 110,000 people currently work in one of the nearly 2,500 co-working spaces available worldwide. Compared to 2012, there are 83% more co-working spaces that serve a total of 117% more members!
Co-working isn’t a trend… it addresses the new way we work. In the last twelve months, three new co-working spaces opened daily. Only taking the workdays into consideration, there was an average of 4.5 new spaces opening per day, offering workspaces for creative people in more than 81 different countries.
State of Creatives was among 10 new co-working spaces opened across U.S in May 2015..
The Rise of the Independent Workforce
Currently 30% of U.S. knowledge-based workers are independent (freelancers, consultants, entrepreneurs). This figure is projected to reach 60% by 2020. (MBO Partners – State of Independence Report)
Most of these independents work (and will continue to work) from home. While this can be cost effective and convenient, many experience isolation and report difficulty focusing due to many distractions.
Who uses co-working spaces?
- Individuals who enjoy working for themselves but not always by themselves.
- People who are looking for a sense of community and a focused place to work.
- Those who enjoy networking and sharing ideas.
- Individuals that are looking for a cost efficient place to work.
While many of State of Creatives members are professional service providers – graphic designers, developers, property managers and contractors– we also host a fair number of student start-ups in app creations, technology and etc.
With the entrepreneurial and innovation scene rise here in Montgomery, having a place where these individuals can refer to for resources, ideas, and work relationships will be essential and extremely beneficial on their path of growth within their start-ups and businesses.
For more information email [email protected] for more information.