The definition of office space has shifted in the last decade. Like many entrepreneurs or startups, working from home is considered the most economical option. However, working from home has since expanded to working in public places such as Starbucks or a library. Today business professionals are utilizing coworking spaces.
What is a coworking space? It is a place or environment where people, often those who are self-employed or from different companies and industries, utilize the same working space.
Working from home does have it benefits but you also probably know the drawbacks. You are aware that working from home can sometimes be lonely and distracting. Your children, significant other, pets, extended family, neighbors and pretty much anything else can distract you. You might also have a difficult time separating work and your personal life. It can be hard to know when your day ends. Are you a workaholic?
Coworking is more than just about the actual space. It allows you to feel a sense of community and offers a chance to network. Often times, you need to be around people to bounce ideas off of. Coworking spaces allow you to collaborate with others. If you don’t have that, you can suffer in productivity and creativity. Coworking spaces give you more opportunities to be efficient and social. Coworking spaces are also about sustainability, which focuses on strategic planning to ensure growth of the business along with positive environmental and societal continuity.
Features of Coworking spaces
Many of these spaces are modern and stylish. Unfortunately to utilize the space a bulk of these require a membership fee. The memberships can range from a daily, monthly or yearly pass. All of the members can benefit from some of the additional amenities each space offers. Coworking spaces will commonly include free WiFi, coffee shops, conference rooms, kitchen, scanners/copiers, office desks, and additional seating. Some of the more financially stable coworking spaces include games and alcoholic beverages, while others may only have a coffee machine or vending machine. In addition to these amenities, coworking spaces gives you the option to take advantage of the networking events or workshops.
Coworking spaces can be a great resource if you are in search of a new job. This is where a daily pass might come in handy if you don’t want have the money to pay for a membership. Regardless of whether you are looking for a job or just started a business, instead of networking online via LinkedIn, try researching online to find local coworking spaces.
Our Local Coworking Spaces
Indianapolis has two popular and well-known coworking spaces, Launch Fishers and The Speak Easy. Both organizations are membership-based clubs for entrepreneurs and startup companies.
The Speak Easy is a 501(C) 3 non-profit organization located in Indianapolis (Broad Ripple). The organization wanted Indianapolis entrepreneurs to collaborate, learn, and create with other like-minded and driven individuals. The Speak Easy began in 2011 but fully launched in February 2012 as the first coworking space in the Indianapolis area. Since opening, many other spaces have popped up throughout the state.
You are able to apply for a membership at The Speak Easy online. However, you must visit the location before making a final decision to join. *Fun fact: Simplexity Marketing Group’s president holds a membership at the Speak Easy and participates in some of the events. *
- Common spaces, rooms for conferences and private meetings
- Secure, monitored access
- Entrepreneurial-focused programming and semi-regular events
- Cold local beer on tap
Launch Fishers is another great local example of a coworking space. Launch Fishers started with the help from John Wechsler and the city of Fishers. Launch is specifically for entrepreneurs looking to grow their business and connections. The unique thing about Launch is that they accept members all across the state and even those that are out of state.
- Print/fax/copy/scan facilities
- Work and meeting spaces
- Lounge areas
- Work bar
- Phone booths
- Treadmill desks
- Conference rooms
- Coffee shop
- Mailing address (optional service for members)
In addition to the $500 annual fee, members have the option to pay $150 more each month for their own workspace at Launch. This also includes a provided desk and chair from the organization.
Coworking spaces have become quite popular in the last few years. They are a great resource that aids in exchanging of ideas and increasing your connections. Plus, they can eliminate any fighting distractions at home while reducing the stress of starting a new business.
What coworking spaces are you a member of?