Co-working Spaces: The Next Gen Office?

Our company’s home office is currently being renovated, so when it came time to consider options for a temporary work home for our team it was either rent a similar building across the street or move to a co-working space downtown. Guess which one they picked?

If you chose the co-working space, you’d be correct. Don’t know what a co-working space is? It’s a collaborative work area generally in a hip part of town that the public can rent via a membership to share an open space (and sometimes a small office) with other “co-workers”. It’s popular among freelancers, small businesses and creative agencies. Co-working spaces usually come with additional amenities like gym memberships, conference spaces and access to onsite workshops and events. You may even get lucky and find a membership that offers travel perks as well, allowing you to use your membership to work at other spaces in another part of town or a different city.

If you do a quick google search, you’ll realize that there’s no doubt co-working spaces are the next generation option for groups or individuals looking for a cool, cross-functional place to do their work. Our space in particular has an industrial vibe with high ceilings, mismatch furniture and lots of open work areas. To top it off, they even have a small cafe on the first floor – and yes, we get a discount on everything, including the fresh, local coffee!

When I first started working there I was skeptical. I loved the look of the place. It’s essentially a three story renovated warehouse and it’s beautifully done. But, I just didn’t know how I would feel about working around a other people that I don’t technically work with. And if you’re looking for privacy or a quiet place to think, then a co-working space may not be for you. I can’t speak for every place out there, but ours is located downtown, near the heart of the city so you might get a little peace in the morning, but as soon as 12 pm hits, people start pouring in. Next thing you know you’re on the hunt for an open conference room just to take your phone calls.

But, even with some initial setbacks, I have to admit that it’s really not that bad. Even more than that, it’s kind of fun. I’m actually glad to have ditched the corporate, stuffy office in the suburbs for a new spot downtown. So bye-bye cubical and hello couch!