Have you heard of coworking spaces? Perhaps there’s one in your city or you know someone who works in one. Coworking spaces are membership-based workspaces where workers from all walks of life and professions - freelancers, remote workers, or independent professionals - work together in a communal space. They have been proven more effective and productive than conventional office settings.

Why is that? What is it about coworking spaces that make them so popular and so effective? There are quite a few benefits to coworking spaces that make them a prime place for individuals to work and build their small businesses or freelancing careers.

Little to No Competition

Because people who use coworking spaces come from varying professions, they don’t feel limited or pressured by the people around them who, in a convention office, may be competing for the same resources, raises, or praise. Instead, they see the people around them as inspirational and helpful.

Creating Identity

When working at a coworking space, you have to define what you do to others on a regular basis. This means that individual worth and value as a professional is constantly being reexamined and refined, which results in more targeted and passionate work. With coworking spaces where you rent a designated office space just for you, you can decorate and organize your space however you want to show off your brand’s unique identity and goals. Doing this at home or in a regimented office setting can be challenging.

A Helpful Space

Working in a coworking space means that everyone helps each other. A freelance web designer, IT specialist, and PR consultant may work in the same hallway but not compete with each other. Because of this, they are available to help and counsel each other in their various areas of expertise. Individuals in a coworking space have unique skill sets they can share with others and this often promotes growth.

More Control

Coworking spaces are available to be accessed 24/7. You get the formality of going into a structured work environment outside the home, coupled with the flexibility of whatever work hours you want. Individuals can work long hours if they have a deadline or take long breaks without fear of getting in trouble. They can choose to work with others or in a quiet, private environment. They can work by the window or away from distraction.

The Feeling of Community

In addition to getting help from others in terms of skills and services, working in a communal environment results in emotional support which many people cite as extremely important to their professional growth. No one is managing you or competing with you, but everyone is supporting each other and holding each other accountable. You can go next door and talk to someone who understands the stress of freelancing. This community feeling skyrockets productivity for most people, especially if they have previously worked from home and know what it’s like to be lonely while working.