In an age of freelancing, remote work and digital nomadism, co-working has become increasingly popular around the world. In South Africa alone, there are already over 100 co-working locations, with this number expected to grow.

While we had to endure hard lockdown and intense isolation, co-working spaces are open and are still proving to be popular for many. Clearly it’s not just a trend, but more like a way of life. 

If you’ve just taken the leap of faith and started your own business, joined the freelance revolution or maybe grown from your one man operation to a small team, there are some major benefits to choosing a co-working space as your productive zone.

But before we dive in, how does co-working space work?

Essentially a co-working space is an office environment for professionals or teams who work remotely. According to local co-working space Hustle House, it allows you the ultimate space to focus on your work, to get things done while connecting with fellow remote workers. 

Depending on the size of your team and the work you do, you generally pay for the amount of space you need and the amount of time you spend in this space. 

Most co-working spaces include the following features:

  • 24 hour access
  • Various spaces to suit different work needs
  • Wi-Fi
  • Conference rooms
  • Kitchen use with free tea and coffee

Now that we’ve established how it all works, let’s get into why co-working spaces are worth a try.

Complete work day flexibility

From quiet zones to collaborative meeting rooms and all-hour access, co-working spaces give you complete freedom and flexibility over your work day. It provides you with the necessary spaces to create a structure for your needs.

If you need complete silence to get a good few hours of work done, there’s a space for it. If you need a space for a meeting or you need some social time, there’s a communal space for it. And if you want to take a gym or lunch break at any point in the day, there will be a space waiting for you when you return. You can work as long as you like, where you like and there will always be a space for you to maximise your productivity.

Travel support

Working for yourself often comes with moving around or travelling, particularly if your business revolves around travel or the nomadic lifestyle. Co-working spaces are perfectly positioned to support the freedom of movement with branches available in multiple cities, and even countries.

It’s the perfect solution for those who are often on the move, but don’t enjoy the loneliness and isolation that comes from working alone 24/7. 

Co-working space entrance hall with reception area.

Sense of community

The mitigation of isolation, particularly after hard lockdown has become increasingly important. Co-working spaces offer numerous quiet zones, but they also offer a number of spaces to connect with and  meet other professionals. 

From open-plan workspaces to networking events and communal kitchens, there are spaces to build connections. These spaces don’t force social interactions, but offer the freedom to find and build a community and a professional network of like-minded individuals. 

Cost effective for startups

Starting up as a freelancer, a consultant or small business can be costly, no matter your profession. Whether you’re looking for co-working space in Cape Town or other major areas of South Africa, these spaces give you the flexibility to pay per month, as well as scale-up or down as your business or personal needs change. 

Are co-working spaces worth it?

While co-working office spaces may not work for everybody, they certainly do provide a space to help remote workers get the most out of their days. From structure and community support, to travel flexibility and affordability, they offer a number of benefits that allow you to build structure to your day without forcing you into a monotonous routine.