Coworking in Colchester

Coworking is something we all know significantly more about now than we did four or five months ago here at CreativeCoop. Generally, our understanding before the research we carried out in preparation for setting up our own coworking space was largely based on guesswork and a few tales of people we know who use them frequently or have dabbled in the idea. 

Initially, our research led us down a bit of a rabbit hole as we found ourselves flitting between price packages, usage options and added benefits etc. All whilst being completely sucked in by the contemporary, stylish and extremely inviting decor that some of the well-established coworking spaces have adopted. Leaving us thinking – who wouldn’t want to work in a space like this?!

By speaking to lots of people in our local area, visiting existing coworking spaces and trawling the internet for information, what became apparent was there are lots of different opinions and perspectives on coworking with many stemming from experiences during lockdown. We know we are all trying our best to move on from the harrowing reality of the pandemic as we rebuild our businesses and re-establish who we are and what we are doing, all whilst continuing to work on reconnecting with society more broadly again. But lockdown has changed the way many of us work. Whether you are part of a large organisation or a small team or self-employed, you are probably working quite differently today in comparison to 2019. 

Those of us who had no choice but to ‘WFH’ during the pandemic tended to sit in two camps. We were either reaching a point where we were almost craving to be in the company of others sharing office spaces again, engaging in impromptu conversations, face-to-face, and enjoying office snacks over a decent cup of coffee or tea etc. Or we were able to fully embrace the solitude and complete independence that ‘WFH’ brought to us, happy to go it alone because we got more done and relishing in the idea that we could put a load of washing on between Zoom calls and team meetings and run the hoover round in our lunch break. 

There was also the practical side; economy. Some saved a huge amount of money on the commute which meant that cash could go towards other things but the flip side of that was the extra cost to heat your home when you would usually not be there, to charge laptops, work with the light on etc. Those costs added up and utility bills rose (and continued to do so!) 

The reality is that many office spaces were sold as companies were functioning pretty well with the new technology that made remote working very accessible. So for some, working from home was no longer a choice, it was expected. Hence the rise of the coworking space, an option that helped bridge the gap between working remotely and being around other like-minded people

Whatever camp you sit in, research suggests that coworking can increase productivity. Take away the distractions that might usually occur within the home and replace them with new opportunities such as collaboration and learning from like-minded individuals, aka your coworkers. 

Another plus side is that coworking spaces have given many people a better work/life balance. This is something we have talked about before on our Blog and something we work hard to instil within Creative Coop. For some, a place to go to work; a different space and environment has become very important since a more ‘normal’ approach to day-to-day life resumed. Coworking can enable people to re-establish boundaries between work life and home life/social life. It can help to prevent long working hours from creeping in because the laptop isn’t constantly open on the kitchen table, enabling us to ‘shut down’ and enforce the idea that we are not ‘available’ 24/7;  A common downside for so many who adopted a less structured and disciplined approach to working from home because we didn’t know what else to do.

So, to conclude, in a period where we have seen a significant amount of change in the way we work, the jobs we do and how we are expected to do them, good coworking spaces, it would appear, offer a socially engaging environment and a sense of community. A place to establish routine for those who strive for it as well as an opportunity to learn from others. On a side note, did you know that Instagram, Spotify and Uber were all thought up, developed and realised within coworking spaces?! So there you have it, coworking can pay off!

If you are interested in coworking and want to come and check out our new space, check out our spaces page and get in touch. We would be more than happy to discuss it with you.