This article appeared in print as part of “Remote Control”

 

You’ve heard of co-working, but what is it exactly? And is it for you?

A co-working space is a shared office environment available for rent. It’s often an open floor plan area where freelancers, remote workers, or entrepreneurs can rent a desk or office for work and be surrounded by others in similar working scenarios.

Often, space can be rented for full- or part-time increments, and the myriad industries and individuals represented allows for networking and shared skills.

It’s an opportunity to work in a professional environment without the responsibilities of maintaining and paying for a full-time office. It allows more privacy than working from a coffee shop and more professionalism than working from home. Oftentimes, co-working spaces offer a collaborative and social environment, which can be beneficial for those who work alone.

At The Hatchery, a co-working space in Columbia, founder Amanda Quick says most of her clients are “solo-preneurs,” many who worked from home and find themselves to be more productive when they have an office to go to (and a reason to get out of their sweatpants). She also has remote workers utilize her space.

Though a well-known concept on the coasts, co-working spaces are still a bit of an unknown in Columbia. “We’re having to do a lot of education on what it is and how people can benefit and showing there really is a better way than working from home by yourself,” Quick says.

 

What makes a good co-working space?

Amber Monaco is a founding member of The Hatchery, and she’s spent the last two years traveling full time and running her creative content marketing business. She’s worked in over 40 co-working spaces across the globe and spends time with her sister, who lives in Ashland. Here, she gives us some factors that can make or break a co-working space.

  • Events where members of the space can get together for skill shares or accountability or even a happy hour. Being a solo-preneur can be lonely. It’s office bonding, without the office politics.
  • Private options. Most co-working spaces are open floor, which leads to discussions and sharing ideas. But private rooms you can jump into for sensitive client calls or Skype sessions are key.
  • Good light. It might sound silly, but good, natural lighting can boost mood and energy, and it creates an inviting space where you would want to go to work.

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