In fact, a study by Rotterdam School of Management, ERASMUS University (RSM), has identified the key benefits of co-working spaces for start-ups, SME’s and entrepreneurs, and it goes far beyond a social atmosphere.
The study asked users of one of the Netherlands’ largest co-working space providers to discuss the way in which they use co-working space, and how they have benefited from the use of the space. Users ranged from 18-65 years old and sighted ‘Expanding their Customer Networks’, ‘Improving business skills’, and ‘Development of their Product or Service’ through collaborative working as some of the positive outcomes co-working has had on their businesses.
What makes co-working so successful? The study suggests that it’s the combination of unexpected networking and the phenomenon of reciprocity that makes the difference. Co-working provides users with a unique networking platform, informal and unexpected bonds can be formed, helped along by the fact that the vast majority of those surveyed use the co-working space less than 3 times a week, meaning that there are always new faces, new businesses, new skills and new ideas to share.
And when someone shares something of value with you, you’re more inclined to share something of value with someone else. Associate Professor Vareska Van de Vrande who worked on the study describes this sharing as “social capital: their knowledge, expertise and networks.” She goes on to advise that “as an entrepreneur, your best chance of benefiting from a co-working space is by showing a willingness to listen to others and share your own knowledge.”
Co-working spaces can offer a number of additional benefits outside of informal networking, from dedicated onsite business support, to free talks & events, with the flexibility to fit your business needs, allowing you to focus on growing. There are a huge range of packages available, from Virtual Offices to Hot-desking and dedicated desk space.
Want to know how coworking could help you? Get in touch with Future Business Centre, a brand new coworking space in Hackney, east London, and see how we can help you take the next step on your business journey today.