Picture this: you’re a brand-new startup. You’ve got an A-class team, a unique idea and 1 lakh in savings to keep you afloat until your first major client comes through. You could rent expensive office space, but by the time you shell out for rent, deposits, furniture, and utilities, you’ll be lucky if you have enough left over to pay for a box of tea, never mind marketing or payroll. You could invite your team to work around your kitchen table, but it’s hard to keep even the most hardworking employee motivated when they’re working in a dark and cramped space with no room to adapt as your company grows.
So, what’s the solution? That’s where coworking comes to the rescue. On the face of it, coworking is a simple enough concept. Companies can rent a desk, chair or private office for a reasonable daily or monthly rate and have access to unlimited Wi-Fi, tea, and coffee. In reality, coworking is so much more. Imagine, instead of wasting your precious savings on costly rent, utilities, and furniture, being able to spend it on payroll for the best staff and supplies for your product. Imagine, instead of wasting hours trying to find office space which fits your budget, being able to focus on the things that matter, like your investor pitch, while the coworking space takes care of the rest. Imagine, meeting room space and front desk services for your client meetings and training sessions. Imagine, being able to adapt your space at the click of your fingers, from a desk to a pod to a private office, growing your space at the same rate as your company grows. Imagine, finding your website designer, accountant, PR manager, and new anchor client, all on the way from your desk to the kettle. Imagine, having access to regular networking events, investor meets and skill building sessions with a like-minded community of entrepreneurs. Imagine, impromptu mentoring sessions and elevator pitch workshopping happening right at your desk whenever you need someone to bounce ideas off. That’s what coworking is.
It’s a community of entrepreneurs, striving for the same goal and supporting each other in their journey. It’s small businesses, startups, freelancers, digital nomads, teams from large enterprises and remote workers, feeding off of each other’s creative energy and different perspectives to be more innovative and productive than ever. It’s the office of your dreams.
With that in mind, it’s no wonder that Impact Hub declared that there were 15,500 coworking spaces globally with over 1.27 million people using them. The industry as a whole is projected by Emergent Research to grow by almost 41/% annually over the next four years, and WeWork, one of the largest coworking franchises broke records in 2017 when it was valued at $21 billion making it one of the few “unicorn” companies in the history books.
According to Forbes, 9 out of 10 startups will fail due to a lack of support and funding. However, research from DeskMag has shown that not only are businesses based in coworking spaces are four times more likely to succeed but are also 85% more motivated and 67% even reported experiencing improved professional success.
Thankfully, Sri Lanka is now moving in on the Coworking revolution and now boasts nine coworking spaces, from small artsy spaces for creative freelancers to larger hubs for companies looking to grow rapidly. Michael Moonesinghe, CEO of Business Hubs, a network of 4 coworking spaces in Colombo had this to say, “When we first opened, we weren’t sure whether to only market our spaces to creative and tech freelancers or to only market to small businesses. Then one day, we had a brainwave and decided- why choose? That’s the beauty of Business Hubs Sri Lanka- we have four spaces and plans to expand to 16 by the end of next year. Every space has its own vibe, and we encourage our new hubbers to try every hub before settling on one that feels right for them. That’s the wonderful thing about coworking- it’s more than just an office- it’s a community of entrepreneurs working together to take the business world by storm!”
If you’re ready to enjoy working differently, get in touch with us at [email protected] to find out more about becoming a registered hubber!