Co-Working Pros and Cons

8 Ways Coworking Spaces Are Changing the Culture of Work

Whether you are a freelancer or an independent entrepreneur, you might find yourself in need of affordable yet professional workspace to call your own. Coworking is the latest trend to hit the startup scene in a way very few others have managed. According to recent research, coworking spaces will be populated by freelancers and part-time workers up to 40% by the year 2020, with more than one million individuals operating in these spaces in the US alone. Similarly, property owners and building managers are more and more comfortable with allocating office space ranging from 15 to 30% towards hosting a coworking environment.

What coworking represents is a public office space dedicated to individual work and occasional collaboration and networking. It allows people to finally work as freelancers in a way that mimics daily work routine commonly found in the corporate industry without the strings attached. But how does it really impact everyday workflow and the culture of work ethics as a whole?

  1. Pro: Constant Networking Opportunities

The most obvious benefit we can attribute to coworking spaces is the fact that you can constantly network with other freelancers and “coworkers”. You can ask for professional help with your development or project, or even develop friendships during breaks and lunch hours. This type of networking is fairly difficult to pull off if you opt for independent freelancing from the comfort of your home, no matter how alluring the idea might be.

  • Con: Lack of Complete Privacy

A huge minus for coworking spaces comes in the general lack of genuine privacy. Coworking spaces are usually retrofitted from larger complexes and warehouses with large expansive rooms which are then segmented and furbished into office environments.

While this adds a lot of square feet to the property, thus allowing for more coworkers to operate there, it also bears the uncomfortable stigma of 24/7 public workspace. You will be hard pressed to find a quiet, isolated corner of the office space to call your own if you’re not prepared to pay premium for a more private office.

  • Pro: Affordable Office Space

Speaking of premium, coworking environments are highly affordable to the general public. You will typically only pay for your desk and/or any snacks and beverages you consume while on the property. This makes coworking a great choice for beginner freelancers, individual entrepreneurs and students who want to focus on their work.

Marie Fincher, content management specialist at Trust My Paper spoke highly of the prospect: “I started my digital marketing career in a local coworking hub. The low price point coupled with the ability to talk to others in your field and better your skill set each day is something I would highly recommend to anyone who wants to start building their career the right way.”

  • Con: Easy to Get Distracted

While coworking spaces offer a lot of space (pun intended) for work and development, they also provide workers with a plethora of distractions to keep them occupied. This is not done for the sake of distraction, but to allow individuals to take a breather between long work hours and sitting in one spot.

In that regard, you will often find game rooms, bars, lounges, lazy bags and other convenient items and rooms around the coworking hub. These spaces do provide an incentive to network further with your peers and establish professional and personal contacts for later use. However, they can also severely hamper your productivity, resulting in less output and work motivation than you’d expect.

  • Pro: No Administrative Paperwork

Given the centralized administrative nature of coworking hubs, individuals rarely need to worry about paperwork beyond their contractual obligations. The staff of each coworking space will always be in charge of filing paperwork necessary for the freelancer or entrepreneur to operate on their premises.

However, you might have to handle bookkeeping and taxes yourself depending on how well-established the coworking hub is in your local area. This fact alone is enough for inexperienced freelancers and young individuals to consider working in a hub while they get their professional feet wet. It alleviates a lot of unnecessary headache and allows workers to focus on their projects instead of distracting paperwork.

  • Con: Organizing Work Hours

Even though the coworking hub might have its open hours and closed days, you will still be in charge of your own time management. This can prove to be troublesome for individuals who lack personal discipline or simply don’t like to work in strict work intervals. Subsequently, a lack of constant work may result in a dip in your performance, income and overall morale in terms of working in a coworking hub, to begin with.

Make sure to arm yourself with a notebook, a time management app and a friend who will constantly nag you about work at least for the first several weeks. Once you go into a routine of waking up in the morning and going to the hub eager to get started on your projects, you will be good to go.

  • Pro: Numerous Seminars & Events

In order to keep up with the latest trends, technology and professional development of their clients, coworking hubs often organize seminars and events in their premises. These are based on on-demand skills, latest breakthroughs in industries which relate to the work freelancers work on in the hubs, as well as public how-to seminars.

No matter how developed your professional resume and skill set may be, you will always find something new to look forward to in a coworking hub. These events also take place predominantly during the weekend or at late hours meaning that you will be able to attend them no matter what kind of a schedule you maintain.

  • Con: Hard to Expand Afterward

Lastly, the bane of working in a coworking hub is that you often feel content, safe and isolated from the outside corporate world. Coworking freelancers usually find themselves in problematic situations when it comes to finding stable work in a company, starting their own business or simply leaving the coworking space altogether.

While the staff will never hold your hand in terms of work and client relations, they will always point you in the right direction when it comes to the logistics of working as an individual. The lounge will never be too far away and the bar with fresh coffee and snacks will be available to you no matter how long (or short) ago you took your last break. Make sure to take this into consideration if you plan on using coworking spaces as a jumping-off point for greater things down the line – don’t rest on your laurels just because everything is great at this very moment.

In Conclusion

Coworking spaces are undoubtedly a breakthrough in terms of allowing individuals to build their careers from scratch. They can easily be used by both professional individuals and ambitious students who want to start learning from the early days of their graduation.

However, it’s important to take both sides of the equation into consideration when deciding whether or not coworking is for you. The best way to find out is to visit your local hub and talk to the staff and several constant members of the community about anything you might be worried about. Once that’s out of the way, you can take the space for a spin and spend several days there before making the final decision about whether or not hubs are the right place for you.

Tips for Setting up a Team Remotely. BootUP ventures

Tips on Successfully Putting Together a Remote Team for Your Business

When you’re a business owner, you face many challenges every day that shape the way you run your operation. From making decisions about your business plan to sticking to a budget, there are so many details that go into running a successful business that things can easily become overwhelming. One way business owners have learned to navigate an increasingly competitive market is by focusing on their hiring procedures and building the right team. Fortunately, advances in technology have made this process easier than ever. Now, you can hire employees remotely, which will allow you to add the right people while saving money.

Finding the right resources to put you together with ideal candidates is essential. Whether you want to hire freelancers or you are looking for permanent team members, it’s crucial to know where to look and how to express your needs so there’s no confusion. Letting your team know what you expect of them will help the process go much more smoothly. It’s also important to make sure that you trust the members you select since they will need to work independently. Remember to vet each person carefully before making a final hiring decision. Below you’ll find a brief guide to hiring remotely and managing your team for success.

Research Freelancers

A freelance employee can give you everything you need to build a successful website or keep your schedule flowing smoothly. However, it’s crucial to find the right people for your team. Figuring out what your needs are is essential, because next you have to be able to easily communicate them with your freelancers. Once you know exactly where you need help, look through job boards to hire the right candidates for the task — these days you can find everyone from web designers to graphic artists to marketing experts to accounting freelancers.

Keep Communication Open

When you have a team of remote workers, it’s important to make sure you keep communication open with everyone. Having weekly team meetings will keep everyone on the same page and will allow you to make sure there are no issues that could pop up down the road. Talk to your employees about your expectations, their concerns, and any new developments as they arise. It’s impossible for everyone to work together with cohesion if communication falters. It may be helpful to create a monthly newsletter that will compile all the most pressing news together.

Have Some Face Time

When your company relies on remote employees, it’s crucial to have some face time now and then. Not only does this help to boost morale, but it also allows your remote workers to see the people they work for and put faces with names, which could help to improve their motivation. Schedule regular video calls — a feat made much easier these days now that almost everyone has some type of smartphone or tablet — and remember that you don’t have to turn these calls into hour-long meetings. It’s just a good way to check in with everyone.

Make Sure You Have the Right Tools

When your business relies on remote workers rather than an office-based team, it’s important to make sure you have the right tools to maintain success. Of course, the specific tools will vary according to your personal needs, so think about which things will help your business run smoothly. File sharing, for example, is a major concern for most businesses that rely on remote employees, so look for a service like Google Drive that will help you connect everyone.

Putting together and managing a remote team for your business operations can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be stressful, expensive, or time-consuming. Think carefully about your company’s needs and how you can address them without breaking the bank, and keep communication open to ensure nothing gets overlooked.

Real Change comes to BootUP – The Next Generation!

Family-owned companies – founded by one generation handing over leadership to the next generation – different perceptions of success; different thoughts on which way to move the company forward; learn from the past or just look ahead – all on the minds of these leaders.  BootUP was honored to be included in Real Change’s NexGen Learning Expedition including a variety of iconic French, family-owned companies, stemming from an assortment of industries including industrial manufacturing, e-commerce, supply chain management, and gaming and entertainment. Mukul Agarwal, CEO and Founder of BootUP Ventures, spoke with this multi-generational group about how to navigate intergenerational differences these entrepreneurs may face. Each company brought in current leading family executives along with familial successors. Mukul’s talk about the entrepreneurial mindset, what innovation really is, how to move from success to significance, balancing this all from the perspective of leadership, family responsibility, and expectations, inspired the group and led to an engaging dialogue throughout the evening. These 24 families came with the goal of bringing a new way of thinking to their medium and large size businesses to help innovate together for a better world, and BootUP Founder & CEO Mukul Agarwal certainly delivered, guiding them along the path of entrepreneurial mindset and innovation.

Additionally, we would like to extend a special thanks to the Real Change Network and the following companies for joining us and participating in our Corporate Mindset Workshop: Actual; Airbus; Antvoice; Armor Group; CETIH; DMD Group; Eram Group; ESSCA; Essilor; Guesneau; Guillemot Corp.; Hotel Gascogne; Idea Group; Intermarche; Isai; La Florentaise; Leclerc Saint Nazaire; Ludylab; Montlimart; Mousset; Seainvest; Sogeclair Aerospace; Tetrac; and Ubisoft.

BootUP Ventures regularly holds workshops on mindset and innovation for corporates from around the world. If you are interested in learning more, please feel free to contact jayne@bootupventures.com.

Another Bridge with India – Maharashtra

Over the past year, BootUP Ventures has had the privilege to welcome many delegations from India.  The most recent was a very distinguished business delegation led by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) in conjunction with the Government of Maharashtra.  The delegation included 16 promising Indian entrepreneurs, joined by top officials from the Government of Maharashtra and FICCI.  These startup companies were in Silicon Valley to attend TiEcon, the world’s largest entrepreneurship conference.

Before making their appearance at TiEcon, the startups were hosted by BootUP for a 30 second interactive pitch workshop with Mukul Agarwal, CEO & Founder of BootUP. Each startup received critical and constructive feedback to help them craft their message in order to pique interest for a second meeting.  Throughout the workshop, Mukul Agarwal shared his perspectives on the entrepreneurial mindset and what it takes to move from success to significance.   BootUP also invited leading entrepreneurs, influencers, and investors from the Indian tech community in Silicon Valley to join the evening program, providing great insight and knowledge sharing to the delegation.

Special thanks to key support provided by: Priya Rajan and Silicon Valley Bank for the sponsoring the evening; Raj Fiber, Shehzad Merchant and Radhesh Kanumury for their insight; Nikhil Agarwal and  FICCI for bringing the group to BootUP; and Shri Aseem Gupta, IAS, Principal Secretary of the Government of Maharastra for supporting the vision of a strong  entrepreneurial community and network throughout Maharashtra with a strong dynamic bridge to Silicon Valley.  BootUP looks forward to building that strong bridge with Maharashtra.

BootUP regularly welcomes Governments and their delegations from all over the world.  If you would like to learn more, please contact jayne@bootupventures.com

BootUP Hosts Swedish Startups

BootUP was honored to welcome 24 startup entrepreneurs from Sweden recently. These 6 teams, comprised of 4 people each, were awarded a trip to Silicon Valley for winning a prestigious Swedish startup competition.

Their visit consisted of discussions and a taste of what a 30 second pitch workshop with BootUP’s CEO and founder, Mukul Agarwal, is like. Annika Steiber, Menlo College professor and Founder and CEO of the Swedish company A.S. Management Insights, brought the startups from her home country to BootUP. Kelly Davis, Menlo College’s Assistant Director of Career Services and Study Abroad program, spoke about how the college collaborates internationally and options foreign students have to continue their education in the Silicon Valley. BootUP Ventures Vice President, Eric Malis, gave an overview of BootUP and the various programs BootUP offers for startup companies. One of the most popular workshops at BootUP is the Startup Bootcamp, a one week course where 10 startups are given the opportunity to spend an intensive week, meeting some of the brightest and most talented mentors across Silicon Valley in small groups and one-on-one sessions. The workshop focuses on mindset, model and messaging where these startups are able to network, strategize, transform business models and improve pitching skills. Mukul Agarwal explained the pitching culture in the Silicon Valley, discussing the art of the 30 second pitch. The Swedish startups were then able to practice this first hand, with Mukul providing positive feedback as well as constructive criticism to help enhance and better their pitching skills. BootUP and their Swedish guests are continuing the dialogue and network building – BootUP looks forward to staying in touch and to having the participants back as part of our Startup Bootcamp!