Co-working: It’s not just for creative types.
As of July 2013, more than 3,000 co-working spaces have opened worldwide – up from only 600 spaces in 2010. These flexible work spaces serve more than 100,000 people, making co-working a trend that can’t be ignored.
Once the bastion of creatives and IT start-ups, co-working is now proving to be more attractive to a variety of professionals, including – yes – attorneys. Co-working for lawyers is an increasingly popular alternative to the traditional law firm model that most attorneys have come to know. So, why are so many people choosing co-working spaces over traditional office settings or, for solo ventures, home offices?
Here are just a few benefits of co-working:
Peers in a co-working setting often swap ideas and opinions, and many collaborate on client projects. Your next business lead might come from the lawyer in the seat next to you at your co-working space. At LawBank, whose membership is limited exclusively to attorneys, members share their legal and business expertise, talk through client and business challenges together, and some collaborate on cases.
Professional relationships are key to building any business. Staying connected to the local business community is easier with a community of peers at a co-working space, and networking events bring co-working members together to foster those connections.
Your home office might be cozy, but can you envision meeting with your clients there? Probably not. Your co-working space offers a built-in professional feeling, complete with a proper conference room, which helps your clients feel confident in your skills and services. In addition, reliable Wi-Fi, phone connections and printing capabilities help you run your business more seamlessly.
In Deskmag’s Global Coworking Survey, 50 percent of respondents reported working at their space at all hours of the day. Around-the-clock access to a co-working space like LawBank allows you to work when you want; you’re not limited to traditional business hours.
A co-working space also helps separate work life from home life, which can be a sanity-saver for an entrepreneur seeking work/life balance.
“There is a plethora of research that shows flexible workers experience lower levels of work-related stress and higher levels of work satisfaction,” said Mark Dixon, CEO of virtual-office company Regus, in this Fast Company article.
A co-working environment reduces the feelings of isolation many solo entrepreneurs feel, but it also lacks stress-inducing office politics and hierarchies. Entrepreneurs report feeling more energized and productive in co-working spaces.
What benefits have you experienced from co-working? Let us know.