When you think of or hear about Co-Working, what do you think?
- A building full of start up business owners?
- Millennials (Sorry, Generation z) who spend as much time at the free beer tap and they do on their computers working?
- A bunch of business owners cramped in a shared office to save money?
Although this may be how the media and other portray life at a shared office space, none of those descriptions accurately describe or capture the true nature of most co-working spaces. While back in the beginning years of co-working this may have been closer to describing the co-work experience, things, including those who utilize shared space have changed dramatically over time. Now and days you can find everything from Lawyers, Scientists, IT Professionals, Operations Directors, Business Owners and more using co-working in a variety forms for a variety of reasons. From a businesses home base of operations to a place to work outside of the house or a secondary office location, those who take advantage of co-working’s great amenities, flexible rental options and amazing community atmosphere don’t ever want to look back on the work from home or traditional office experience!
Member Lauren A. Working at PIVOT Work Spaces in Ellicott City
In order to give a clearer picture of the types of people who use co-working space, and to show how wide of a range it really is, we reached out to several co working spaces around the DMV area, as well as including our own members from PIVOT Work Spaces , to get a poll on the types of members are working at their spaces.
Here is what we learned:
Co-Working spaces around Maryland, DC & Virginia, including PIVOT Work Spaces in Catonsville, Ellicott City & Clarksville feature a large amount of what we refer to as ‘Professionals’. These are people who work for a variety of small to medium sized enterprises, contractors and other businesses. For example:
- Operations Directors
- Administrative Assistants
- Financial Analysts
- IT Professionals
- Website Designers
- Human Resource Managers
Most professional members of co-working spaces utilize their workspace several days a week. About 40% work for a company that is based in another state while appx 55% work from a business local to the DMV Area, but are able and encouraged to work from home the majority of the time. When it comes to how most professionals pay for their work space, some people choose to pay for the space themselves while some choose to have their employer handle the cost (Check out or Ideas To Convince Your Boss to Pay For An Office Space For You)
Small Business Owners use co-working space for a variety of purposes. Some use it as their primary office where they conduct business from and work at daily. Some use the space as an out of town office for when they travel and others simply to have a creative, innovative space to work outside of their traditional ‘drab’ office space and to have the ability to connect with other businesses and business owners on a more frequent basis.
Small Business Owner Erin C.. relaxing at PIVOT Work Spaces in Catonsville
The types of Business Owners who you will see using co-working spaces varies widely. You may see a 20 something CEO’s and Start up Owners all the way to 50+ year old small business owners and CEO’s of large companies. Everybody these days seems to see the benefits of the collaborative, innovative and beneficial features that co-working spaces offer – as well as the flexibility offered. PIVOT Co-Working even offers month to month rentals so you can cancel anytime should your plans change, or needs be revised!
Some examples of Small Business Owners Include:
- Marketing Agency Owners
- Real Estate Brokers
- Property Management Company Owners
- Restaurant Owners
Entrepreneurs, Business Owners, what’s the difference, right? For this poll, we look at entrepreneurs as those who currently run, own or manage more than one business or job at a time. This could include someone who works a full-time job but owns a small business on the side, to someone who owns multiple enterprises and products.
Today more than ever before, people are taking their skills & applying them to make money on their own! Some examples of freelancers you will see at a co-working space include:
- Graphic Designers
- Video Editors
The list of freelance members of PIVOT Co-Working specifically could go on and on! Freelancers offer their services to individuals & businesses on a contract basis, often at an hourly rate. The biggest difference between a freelancer who offers a service and a company that offers the same service is that freelancers work for themselves; This saves them big money on overhead, allows them to be more picky on who they work with to assure there skills match the customers’ needs and offer more customized and personal service.
The flexibility, amenities & convenience of co-working spaces has made them a great option for various industries & people from all walks of life. As the trend of new business owners, ‘gig workers’ and freelancers continues to rise over the coming years, co-working will not only continue to be a vital & important workspace option, but will continue to grow in availability, options, amenities & styles!