Debunking Coworking Myths
MYTH #1: Coworking is only for tech startups
Old myths die hard, and the assumption that coworking is synonymous with the tech world still persists. The diverse community at The Working Capitol flies in the face of this stereotype: our members hail from a wide variety of industries, including marketing, design, HR and education. In fact, this rich diversity is what draws many people to coworking in the first place.
Coworking is a great way to build contacts and grow your network, regardless of the industry you’re in. Coworking spaces regularly organise networking events for their members, like community lunches, entrepreneur talks and professional development workshops. There are many opportunities to collaborate with other members or build your client base – and you don’t need to be in a tech startup to take advantage of these perks.
MYTH #2: Coworking is the same as hotdesking
The most common misconception about coworking is that it’s essentially a fancy term for hotdesking. While this may have been true a decade ago, coworking now encompasses much more than flexible desks and unlimited wifi. Coworking spaces often provide different types of membership depending on your needs. For instance, at The Working Capitol, you can choose between hotdesking, dedicated desks, or getting a private office. This variety of workspace options means you really have the flexibility to pick the right working environment for you.
MYTH #3: Coworking offers zero privacy
Many people picture coworking spaces as a hive of activity, with a soundtrack of constant chatter and the clacking of keyboards. While it’s true that coworking often creates a lively atmosphere, this is only one part of the story. In reality, members of a coworking space are primarily there to do their work – not to socialize all day. People who are looking to chat and connect with fellow members will usually do so in the pantry, over a cup of coffee, or in other common areas. Everyone has their own stuff to do, so the chances of being pestered at your desk are actually quite slim.
But what if you need some privacy for a phone call or a meeting? Many coworking spaces are increasingly savvy about their members’ needs, and have started offering a variety of facilities to accommodate them – from phone booths and meeting rooms to designated “quiet” areas. For every person who thrives in a buzzing, convivial atmosphere, there is another who needs a bit of peace and quiet to work. If you belong to the latter camp, fear not: there’s always some privacy to be found in a coworking space, whether it comes in the form of a secret nook or a quiet zone.
MYTH #4: Coworking isn’t relevant for big companies
A common assumption is that coworking spaces are mainly designed for freelancers and startups – but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, according to a survey by commercial brokerage firm CBRE, 44% of U.S. corporations already use some type of flexible office solution. So why are larger companies suddenly flocking to coworking?
One major reason is that coworking can give big companies the best of both worlds: the comfort of a private office while gaining access to a wider community of entrepreneurs, freelancers and creatives. Coworking spaces provide countless opportunities to collaborate, network, and source talent. By embracing coworking, larger companies can shed the stereotype of being too corporate and traditional, and rebrand themselves as innovative, forward-thinking organisations. As flexible working trends gain momentum around the world, it’s safe to predict that more and more big companies will jump on the coworking bandwagon.
MYTH #5: Coworking is only suitable for millennials
If you believe the many stock images online, coworking spaces are primarily populated by 20-something hipsters who are constantly attached to their laptops. Fortunately, these images don’t reflect the true diversity that exists within coworking. According to Deskmag’s Global Coworking Survey, the average age of coworking space members is 36.
This actually isn’t that surprising, given the increasing number of startups and large companies that are embracing coworking. At The Working Capitol, for example, solopreneurs and freelancers rub shoulders with more established companies like Stripe, Zuhlke and Accedo. With coworking spaces rolling out more and more amenities like meeting rooms, printing facilities and gyms, the early days of hotdesking in makeshift venues are long gone. So if you’re over 30 and worried about joining a coworking space – don’t be. You’ll fit right in.
Curious to see what coworking is all about? Come explore The Working Capitol with our complimentary day pass.