What is Coworking?
Kent Coworking Offers Alternative To London Creative Buzz
Coworking was a term coined in 2005 by Brad Neuberg who opened up Spiral Muse in San Francisco. Brad Neuberg wanted two things, and that was to have the freedom and independence of working for himself with the structure and community of working with others. Around that time coworking spaces opened up in London & Manchester.
Millennials in the workforce mean a change in working environments. Used to working in teams Millennials want to make friends with people at work and they work well with diverse coworkers. Coworking, especially in the creative industry, is particularly attractive to Millennials as it allows them access to brainstorming and creative sharing with like-minded individuals.
Used to balancing lots of activities such as teams, friends, and philanthropic activities, millennials want flexibility in scheduling and a life away from work. It can be both lonely and distracting working entirely from home and of course, you can’t really hold client meetings in your “ofﬁce” bedroom. Coworking allows a base without the 9-5 Monday to Friday if they so desire.
Icing On The Cake Is That It’s Significantly Cheaper
Back in 2010 Fruitbowl Media www.fruitworks.co had an ofﬁce in Canterbury in a run-down Victorian warehouse where their website design & digital marketing business is based. They had a lot of spare room. They realised there were a large number of creative startups in Canterbury when more than 40 businesses turned up to pitch to angel investors at an event called 10×10 Labs, aimed at young start-up companies. Canterbury has 3 universities and consequently, there are a lot of small, innovative and creative companies that arose from work going on in those campuses.
Owing to the extremely high cost of office space, especially in the South East of England, lots of people start their businesses from home. ‘Creative people love to collaborate and associate with other creatives but you don’t meet many working in your spare bedroom! We converted part of our offices into coworking space. Seven years on we offer totally flexible working from 1 day per week to 6 days per week,’ says Paul Andrews owner of Fruitworks Coworking space.
‘We have 120 plus businesses using our facilities. We’ve now significantly expanded our facilities and recently opened an onsite coffee shop that has quickly become a meeting place for young creatives to meet up, sip coffee, use wifi and bounce ideas off each other. And the icing on the cake is that it’s signiﬁcantly cheaper. We have a thriving community where as well as providing workspace we stage events such as Fruitworks Create, a venue for Wise Words storytelling festival, small theatre group productions as well as information and advice workshops,’ Paul enthuses.
Setting The Medway Coworking World On Fire
Medway is lucky to already lay claim to some of the fastest growing companies in Kent. Many young companies are looking for a base in this bustling hub. Being able to work remotely from anywhere in the world is a definite bonus but sometimes office space is necessary for client meetings, networking or when the business is expanding.
Many creatives have resorted to the daily commute to London in order to capture the buzz of the city but Roland Stanley is confident he can offer a solution with the opening of his Dragon Coworking Space-based within the St George Hotel in New Road Avenue Rochester.
‘We’ve invested in a cool, funky, modern, industrial, open space designed specifically for young, creative and innovative businesses in Kent,’ says Roland ‘it’s not just a workspace it’ll be a creative community where the coworking businesses will collaborate, communicate and help build each other’s businesses up.’
With astroturf flooring, bean bags, stand up desks, river views, creative whiteboards and barista style coffees and teas this coworking space will make working in an office space affordable and a pleasure (prices start from as little as £15 per month).
Dragon Coworking offers free parking on-site, draught beers, creative and community events, hot desk facilities plus a limited number of fixed offices and desks available to rent. Open from 10 July creative businesses will need to get in quick to reserve their space. Creatives can connect on @DragonCoworking on Facebook or Twitter for more information and events.
In the new digital age, distance and geography are no barrier, technology enables you to work from anywhere in the world. Coworking and shared space is becoming a new way of working and is ﬁrmly established, with more spaces opening up in towns all over the country. It has a rosy future as the ability to dip in and out, expand and contract as needed are all features of community hubs not found with ﬁxed lease ofﬁce rentals.