It never CEASES to amaze me about the variety of people who can work out of co-working spaces. However, I have come to realise that there are a few distinct types of people who work in a co-working space and there are some people who have a higher chance
This is by no means comprehensive and many people may have more detailed information but for the sake of convenience, I like to group folks into the following categories:
1) Start-up entrepreneurs
These are the people who want to start their own companies. Most of these individuals are in technology due to the ease and relative low cost of starting up a business, but it can be extended to any creative business where getting started means just having technical skills, a computer and an internet connection (and some clients).
2) Bootstrappers and digital nomads
A lot of people in the west have figured out a way to make money online or using online tools to create a virtual business which can operate automatically or semi-automatically. They travel perpetually, hopping from one paradise and tourist hotspot to another, ending up in an Internet cafe or more often a co-working space.
3) Corporate refugees
These individuals may use a co-working space temporary as a back-up office, a creative activity space or event space, and will use the office more as a “client” than a “member”.
4) The transient
These corporates and individuals jump from one place to another, often to organise a workshop. They are there purely for the functional benefit of the space, maybe mildly interested in what is a co-working space and have very little curiosity or interest whatsoever of getting plugged into the community. Nonetheless, not everyone in the four categories above will stay at a co-working space. Since collaboration and community are what make a co-working space, and are inherently in the DNA of people at co-working spaces, the people who end up there and stay the longest tend to be categories one and two: start-up entrepreneurs, freelancers and bootstrappers and digital nomads.
I believe it all boils down to two things: collaboration can mean a better chance of survival and being in a community is fun.
Ultimately, being in a community of likeminded people with similar goals, dreams and aspirations is much more fun. It is how we have always felt work and life should be. A team effort. No one is good at everything and even if you are an expert in something and can run your business on your own, sometimes there are down periods and bad days.
Entrepreneurship is often regarded as one of the hardest things a person can undertake. With so many things that can go wrong, such a high chance of failure and so many doubters, sometimes you get lonely, question yourself and lose morale. Sometimes all we need is just a person to talk to, share our thoughts and experiences with, unwind and grab a beer, hang out and make fun of. Whatever your social needs may be, humans have always created groups of friendship (also known as communities) to fill that void.
But to cultivate such a community takes time. Why not just plug into an existing community that is welcoming, fun and well functioning and have fun right away? To all those start-up founders, small business owners, freelancers, bootstrappers and digital nomads out there, you’ll never work alone at a co-working space.
Amarit Charoenphan is co-chief executive officer and co-founder of Habba Cowoking Space.