A typical office environment was once a place made up of cubicles and walls that divided the workplace and those working inside of it. However, in recent years the corporate mentality has shifted and the workplace has evolved into a shared environment where collaboration is key. Big players such as Microsoft, Verizon, HBO and Univision are just a few companies who are tearing down both literal and figurative walls and encouraging their staff members to get to know each other, bounce ideas and create a foundation for a company culture that is fluent in every sector. Accounting should be communicating with creative, Human Resources should be building relationships with the production team and legal should be learning from marketing (and vice versa). This, in turn, makes everyone understand the full scope of the company and invests everyone at every stage of the game.

It is important to note, however, that shared workspaces are not the invention of corporate giants. Entrepreneurs, start-ups and artists have benefitted immeasurably from co-working facilities and big companies, like the ones mentioned above, have started taken notice! So what makes co-working so awesome? You would think that working privately in your home office without the constant buzzing of other people around you would be more productive and efficient for your workflow, but surprisingly the opposite is true. If you have ever heard the expression “Keeping up with the Joneses” you know that watching other people work and succeed is perhaps the biggest motivator of all! In this day and age the F.O.M.O. (fear of missing out) is real, and sometimes that extra push we need in order to be productive, is that person sitting next to you making a fortune off of cat sunglasses.

Another great aspect of shared workspaces that is commonly overlooked, is the ability to network and trade services. Helping eachother grow by applying your different skill sets will be extremely beneficial and less expensive for you in the long run. If graphic design is your forte, why not trade an awesome new logo for a full website audit from the tech specialist two desks down? Or if you happen to have skills behind the camera why not take a few product shots in exchange for help on your business plan? All of these are examples of how co-working spaces can help you facilitate many aspects of your growing business.

Shared work spaces are an inexpensive and helpful way to catapult your business to the next level. It is a great place to bring in your clients for meetings, a restorative place to get refueled with new ideas and a place to evolve yourself as a business owner by surrounding yourself with others who are on your level of grind. There is nothing wrong with starting your business from your bedroom or your parent’s garage but in order to expand, you must eventually leave the nest and take the next step towards establishing and growing your business.