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Is co-working a must for the creative industries?

What is co-working and what role does it have to play in revolutionising the creative industry?


Conventional offices are no longer the mainstay of corporate success. In an economy of start-ups, freelancers and the self-employed, the shared office offers the artistic freedom to let creatives thrive in a collaborative atmosphere.


Over the past two years, the number of co-working spaces has doubled worldwide with an increase of 36% in the last 12 months alone, proving the popularity of this new and flexible way of working in not only London but all across the UK.


What are the advantages of a shared workspace? We explore what makes co-working a preferred option for creatives, from its community benefits to engaging price points. 

Flexibility

A flexible co-working space can provide creatives with the best of both; the home comforts of a traditional office and flexible luxuries of a start-up. It’s a rare marriage where workers receive structure and independence alike.

Leases are typically much more flexible than traditional office spaces - you can book a desk in an office share on a month by month basis, some spaces also provide the opportunity to book day by day. Commercial office shares like WeWork on London’s Fore Street also allow companies the chance to experiment in a ring-fenced environment without the need to change things on a company-wide scale.

Community

One of the most common and intractable problems for freelancers is the loneliness of working from home. A co-working space can solve that.

With a ready-made community to provide ample opportunities for networking, reputation building and frequent contact with prospective partners, it’s clear why co-working spaces are becoming a more popular option. Freelancers can remain transient and free-flowing in their daily working lives while enjoying benefits offered by a nine to five office.

Cost reduction

Collaborative offices are increasingly viewed as a practical alternative to conventional workspaces, providing a cost-effective and low rent option for freelancers and start-up companies in the creative industry.

An office share in an affordable workspace is often the most practical way for small creative businesses to hit the ground running, often allowing them to trade in places such as London’s Silicon Valley which may have not been achievable if renting space on an individual basis. Companies can utilise as much space as necessary and will never need to pay for an empty desk.

Collaboration

Co-working isn’t just a way for professionals in the creative industry to cope with the demands of the modern economy, it’s the means by which they can flourish within it.

Dan Brown, Serviced Office Agency Director, JLL, said: “the way businesses operate is changing, there is now an emphasis on collaboration and creating an environment that empowers employees and allows for greater creativity and productivity along with the feeling of being part of a wider community, offering further opportunity to network with like-minded businesses.

“Given the technology now on offer, co-working allows employees to have more control of their work day, increasing flexibility whilst allowing businesses to cut fixed real estate costs by using a more flexible membership model.”

Promoting a collaborative, collective and positively competitive approach to creative work, an office share is ideal for workers in the ‘sharing economy’. 77% of co-workers say that the ‘sharing of information and knowledge’ is their favourite aspect of working in a shared workspace, and with the free and open exchange of ideas at an all-time premium, it’s one of the most vital benefits of a co-working office space.