When you join a coworking space you may have some expectations or standards of what the experience should live up to. In fact, some people get the wrong idea about coworking spaces and so that’s why this week we’re discussing the realities of coworking spaces and some of the misbeliefs that come with the coworking lifestyle.
People assume that coworking spaces are full of traveling freelancers and entrepreneurs planning the next big thing! While these audiences are certainly represented at coworking spaces in Europe, people forget that corporates are also one of the main audiences you can find at coworking centers.
If we take a look at our space; International Coworking Valencia (ICV), we have a big open space which is free for coworkers of all kinds to use. However, about a quarter of our space is occupied by fixed corporates and local start ups who have their main offices here with us. While digital nomads do pass through, our main coworking audience are local and international professionals who actually live in Valencia long term.
Maybe you expect an international community when you sign up for coworking but this is not always true. You definitely need to check out the space to see if it is open and friendly to internationals. Some spaces host local SMEs and are maybe not so open to traveling internationals, where as others are friendlier and more easy going with things such as short term contracts and work desk availability.
At International Coworking Valencia we are very open to international clients and our community is a mix of internationals and locals. We offer short term contracts for as little as one day or one week. Make sure before you sign up to a space that you ask about its community and contracts, so it suits what you’re looking for!
It is assumed that there is a lot of networking in coworking offices and while it is most definitely possible, it’s not just presented to you as you walk through the door! Most likely you’ll walk into an office where everyone is busy, either taking phone calls, in meetings, or sending emails. Meaning they are not immediately at your disposal to network.
Networking is made easy when coworking spaces organize events but in the current health crisis this has been difficult to provide. One thing you can absolutely do is get to know the coworkers around you day to day. Be friendly and open when you arrive, and if you grab a coffee or take a break, maybe talk to those who are willing and are not too busy. This can make for great networking but the main idea is that you have to make the effort.
If you’re in a new city alone, like Valencia, then a coworking community is a great idea! It can help you meet people and feel like you belong to a certain place in the city.
It’s true that most coworking spaces are pretty flexible due to the nature of their clients! Remote workers and digital nomads often need flexible contracts, part-time plans, different payment options etc. Coworking spaces usually have an open area for everyone to share and also meeting rooms to book for conference calls, in person meetings or presentations.
At ICV we have exactly this. While our main space is pretty quiet with people taking calls now and again. Our meeting rooms are for those who need longer calls, conference calls and other requirements. We book meeting rooms on a week by week basis. So, if a coworker needs a room that week, they simply email us and we add them to the meeting room schedule. It keeps the space organized but at the same time allows coworkers privacy when they need it.
Productivity depends on you but your environment has to be taken into account! If you know you’re a person who can work with background noise, then a space with lots of activity may be fine. But if you’re a person who needs a more private work area and less noise, then you must consider this when looking at the facility.
Productivity is definitely a huge advantage of coworking spaces – it’s an office away from home that many remote workers value greatly. At the same time, distractions from other coworkers and office staff can be an issue so maybe take a trial period if it’s something you’re unsure of.
For more updates coworking and the remote work lifestyle, stay tuned to our ICV Blog.