Ever wondered how effective your time could be if you combined your business networking activities with your daily work activities? That is a major part of the concept behind co-working environments. These are offices such as The Business Loft, in Newport (South Wales) that offer daily, flexible rental of work space and individual desks (co-working desks) where space and time are made for networking and collaboration.
When I was appointed as the Business Incubation Manager for the University of South Wales I had no idea what co-working environments were and how they could benefit business growth. However, I was lucky enough to be put in touch with Mark Hooper, the founder of Indycube a social enterprise providing co-working spaces for start-up and small businesses in Wales. Working in collaboration with Indycube we have adopted their philosophy that businesses grow best in an environment where the people take a genuine interest in each-other’s work in a supportive and reciprocal way that aids business growth.
Co-working has many advantages:
- Offers a professional work environment on a day by day flexible basis – As a co-worker you can turn up and hire a desk for a day with no more commitment than that.
- Avoids the isolation of working from home – Face to Face interaction is a huge motivator for most people
- Offers businesses the room to expand – Desks can be put togather to make team working efficient
- Enables you to understand what businesses around you are doing and how you can collaborate or support each other – Makes coming to work more productive and enjoyable
- Increase your potential for business growth and new clients – Through building relationships with other businesses collaborations materialise and lead to more work.
- Increase the potential for collaborative projects – Freelancers and small businesses working together on a joint project
- Increases the flow of creative ideas – Tapping the creativity of people outside your own business can increase creativity further
- Offers you a team of supportive people around you at work even though you are all working in different businesses – Supportive help and thoughts on a problem or a skills gap make working alone so much easier
- Increases your contact database – Exchanging useful contacts without having to go out networking every day
- The opportunity to network every day with different businesses – Different people turn up every day to book a desk which adds new dimensions to the co-working environment
Chrissie Webber is the manager of the University of South Wales, Graduate Business Incubator Centre, The Business Loft in Newport, South Wales. With over 30 years experience as an entrepreneur Chrissie also runs her management development and coaching business CD Consultancy & Training Group and Chrissie Designs Jewellery a wire work and wedding jewellery business.
She is a published author – Weight Loss life Gain – and an ardent blogger. Her passion is helping people grow and develop and find the work they were born to do.