Medium sized productive coworking space

By Ed McLaughlin and Wyn Lydecker

Coworking space – the antithesis of working alone in your garage or basement home office – has redefined the workplace for startups. This new kind of work structure, the 2005 brainchild of Brad Neuberg, has changed the way entrepreneurs, sole proprietors, and employees in established businesses go to work. Small businesses of all shapes and sizes are now sharing the same WiFi, office equipment, coffee maker, conference rooms, community lounges, and social atmosphere – all under one roof. Their business plans have nothing in common, yet they are an integral part of each other’s workday. From August 4 through August 9, 2015, coworking spaces around the globe celebrated how this vision of just one man has grown and is gaining momentum.


The Power of Serendipity and Synergism

During Coworking Week, some of the 1500 centers worldwide offer free one-day trials of their coworking spaces and samples of the solutions they provide for business founders and workers of diverse interests who want to move from isolation to community. It reinforces how the deliberate design and use of workspace can facilitate the otherwise unlikely migration of ideas from one company to another. A freelance writer may make an off-hand comment in the lounge that turns into a breakthrough idea for a tech innovator. An accountant may share best practices with newbie startups while gathering around the coffee maker.

Coworking spaces provide organic support systems. The melting pot of different businesses in one place produces a synergism of resources that can turn people on to new clients and unfold brand new opportunities.


Coworking Increases Productivity

But research shows it’s not just about bottom line business success. It’s about happiness, too.

The 2015 GCUC/Emergent Research Coworking Survey by Jacob Sayles produced the following feedback from people involved in coworking spaces:

  • 89% reported they are happier
  • 83% reported they are less lonely
  • 78% reported that coworking helps keep them sane.

In addition to boosting emotional well-being, other benefits included these findings:

  • 82% said coworking has expanded their professional networks
  • 80% said they turn to other coworking members for guidance to find/source work
  • 67% said coworking improved their professional success.

Even the verbiage surrounding the coworking industry is relational. Your choice of space is referred to as various levels of memberships, not leases.

Coworking has come a long way around the globe, and with 53 million Americans (34% of the workforce) making a living as independent workers in the U.S. alone, it’s no surprise that the number of U.S. facilities providing space and that the number of participating members are on the rise.


Source: Coworking by the Numbers, Emergent Research, Steve King, 2014

Source: Coworking by the Numbers, Emergent Research, Steve King, 2014

An Opportunity for You

You don’t have to wait for Coworking Week to explore the coworking spaces in your area. If you are looking for a place to set up your business, take a look at your local coworking spaces now. In addition to learning what they have to offer for work space, you may find them offering events that give you the chance to learn from experts in technology, digital marketing, business operations, community building, and more.

For example,  Stamford Innovation Center in Connecticut offers ongoing classes and events and Innovation RoundtablesCitizen Space in California recently sponsored events in San Francisco including The Sharing Economy Hackathon and The Pitch Club 5. Workbar in Boston is currently sponsoring events in conjunction with General Assembly.

In addition to the right space, you will need to get on the right path to success. We have created a startup guide that will help you center your new business on profit – the key ingredient that will allow you to fulfill your entrepreneurial vision. After all, profit enables you to pay your bills and fuel growth, sustainability, and social impact.

You need a step-by-step process to guide you through the uncertainties of starting up, so we designed a business tool to get entrepreneurs on the right track from the get-go: The Startup RoadmapFor a limited time, you can get a complimentary eCopy of The Startup Roadmap: 21 Steps to Profitability by clicking this link. If you prefer the print edition, you can purchase it directly from Amazon for $9.99.


Once you have read The Startup Roadmap, please let us know what you think by emailing us at:

Ed McLaughlin is currently co-writing the book, The Purpose Is Profit: The Truth about Starting and Building Your Own Business, with Wyn Lydecker and Paul McLaughlin.

Copyright © 2015 by Ed McLaughlin All rights reserved.