Coworking may be the road less traveled, but it has some surprising advantages.
1) A lack of guilt. If you’ve ever set up shop in your local coffeehouse, you know what I mean. The barista eyes you balefully unless you purchase a coffee an hour, and patrons grumble when your conference call runs overtime. Ditch the crowded café (and the public wifi) for the comforts of flexible workspace, free coffee, and password-protected internet access.
2) Serendipity. One of the things I’ve noticed about Stamford is its incredibly visible, and incredibly insular, business community. Certainly there are clients, consultants, employers, and even friends around every corner, but how do you meet them in the first place? Like moving to a new city, breaking into the business scene is difficult unless you know someone already involved. That’s the benefit of a coworking space: it’s a central hub where professionals from all areas can find each other.
3) Peer review. Speaking of discovery, how does a global finance expert find a brilliant designer to create a custom font for his publications? While the worlds of finance and graphic design rarely overlap, networking events that pull attendees from a wide audience can put you in the right place at the right time. Membership in a community facilitates introduction and recommendation, so you know you’re gaining from others’ positive experiences.
4) Flexibility. The Stamford Innovation Center, like most coworking spaces, has both couches and desks, so you can lounge and work, or spread your project all over a table. Lockers are provided so you can leave your things overnight and pick up right where you left off in the morning. Burning the midnight oil? No problem. Keycard access ensures you can work when you feel most inspired, not just during 9-5 business hours.
5) The library effect. While working at home can be distracting (there’s always laundry to do, corners to stare at, or the ever-present allure of Netflix), just being in the presence of people working can motivate you and encourage focus. And since productivity is the goal, the ordinary chaos produced in a room full of humans is reduced to quiet conversation and the sounds of typing.
6) Privacy. As your business grows, you’ll need a place to meet with clients, brainstorm with teammates, or churn out that quarterly report in complete isolation. SIC coworkers have their pick of four different conference rooms, and a monthly allowance of hours in which to use them at no additional cost. Try pulling that off in your coffee shop.
7) Company. A coworking community allows you to work by yourself, without working alone. There’s always a workshop, networking event, or party to attend. Looking for the best place to eat? Downtown Stamford has amazingly delicious food within walking distance, ask anyone. If you ask me, I’ll probably invite you to lunch. That’s just how we roll around here.
If the Stamford Innovation Center sounds like a great place to cowork, it is!
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