Renting a desk downtown might be more expensive than working from home, but some people are willing to pay for shared workspaces anyway.
For them, a variety of pros outweigh cons such as costs, which has led to more co-working spaces popping up across the country, CBS MoneyWatch reports.
This month’s issue of the Harvard Business Review describes co-working spaces as “membership-based workspaces where diverse groups of freelancers, remote workers and other independent professionals work together in a shared, communal setting.”
Companies with names such as Pipeline, WeWork, Grind and NextSpace have opened about 4,000 co-working spaces in major cities in the U.S. and worldwide, according to CBS:
While prices vary by city and company, in Miami the spaces offer barrier-free communal desks starting at about $200 a month, fixed solo desks at about $500 a month and private suites starting at about $700 a month.
Amenities available to tenants (often referred to as “members”) can include:
- Conference rooms
- High-speed Internet
- Phone booths for privacy
- Coffee, artisanal tea and beer
Another key selling point is the networking opportunities that come with joining what CBS describes as “a shared workspace community.”
University of Michigan business administration professor Gretchen Spreitzer tells CBS that such communities make members feel like “they’re part of something more than themselves”:
“[Co-working spaces] have a community manager, somebody who is the heart and soul of the place, that welcomes new members, that helps make connections between people in the workplace, organizes social events, shared lunches, happy hours, seminars.”
The Harvard Business Review says members of co-working spaces often report “levels of thriving” that are higher than those of workers in traditional office settings. Based on surveys of several hundred workers, the Review attributed these levels of satisfaction to three characteristics of co-working members:
- They see their work as meaningful because “they could bring their whole selves to work.”
- They have more job control, with spaces usually accessible around the clock to work long hours or take a break in the middle of the day.
- They feel part of a community.
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