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Quelling 5 Common Co-Working Myths

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A relatively new option in the world of workspaces, the idea of co-working has blossomed in the past decade. While a considerable amount of people have taken in the benefits of co-working with open arms, there tend to be a few misconceptions or myths that get circled around and create misunderstandings. It remains a fact that nobody can argue co-working is for everyone. This is because each company and individual has a specific set of values or types of work-environment that helps them maximize their effectiveness and productivity. But nevertheless, it’s important to fully understand what co-working actually offers so you can find the ideal space to work in. Here are 5 common myths that are often the culprits of misconceptions:It’s no secret that noisy, distractive work environments lead to unproductive and stressful work lives. Over the years, co-working has gained a reputation of including lifestyle features that people, at first, think won’t distract them – but do. Unfortunately, this misconception leads people to believe that all co-working spaces are similar in their lifestyle focus. While some co-working spaces are indeed heavily focused on providing this lifestyle orientated environment for members to enjoy, others have an entirely different atmosphere instead aiming towards raw productivity and concentration within the workplace. theDesk, for example, has clean and minimalistic work areas designed to provide a clean slate for their members to work in without distractions. They instead direct their members towards the lively neighborhoods they base their locations in for entertainment and down-time.

1. It’s hard to be productive

It’s no secret that noisy, distractive work environments lead to unproductive and stressful work lives. Over the years, co-working has gained a reputation of including lifestyle features that people, at first, think won’t distract them – but do. Unfortunately, this misconception leads people to believe that all co-working spaces are similar in their lifestyle focus. While some co-working spaces are indeed heavily focused on providing this lifestyle orientated environment for members to enjoy, others have an entirely different atmosphere instead aiming towards raw productivity and concentration within the workplace. theDesk, for example, has clean and minimalistic work areas designed to provide a clean slate for their members to work in without distractions. They instead direct their members towards the lively neighborhoods they base their locations in for entertainment and down-time.

According to a report from Udemy, 70% of people could benefit from learning how to block out distractions and achieve focus, while 38% of people think that providing designated quiet and noisy spaces is a great solution. Interestingly, this is exactly what co-working spaces offer with a mix between quiet private office space and more sociable open work areas to network and get inspired.

2. Co-working is only for young creatives and freelancers

Arguably one of the most unfortunate myths about co-working spaces is that they are simply for the newer generations with a creative or freelance career. This couldn’t be more wrong, however, as more and more co-working spaces are heading in the direction of pitching a professional work environment as an alternative to traditional office spaces. With locations across Hong Kong Island, theDesk is an example of a co-working space that has a diverse spread amongst its members from all walks of life: the majority in fact come from corporate and SME enterprises, while many mature and late-stage startups join for the strong community and professional network. 

3. Co-working spaces can’t give me the privacy that I want

Perhaps one of the biggest misunderstandings of co-working spaces is that they don’t offer as much privacy as a traditional office. While arrangements like hotdesking work great for some businesses and individuals, they simply don’t work for others that require more privacy. In reality, all key co-working spaces in Hong Kong offer private offices that afford you a space of peace and quiet, much like what many people are used to in traditional office spaces. What this means is that you can get the best of both worlds: a personalized space but also a happening communal area where you can network and make valuable business connections. In fact, this flexibility and being able to perfectly suit your needs, whether it be anything from privacy to personalization, is exactly what co-working is all about.

4. They all offer the same thing

People at times have the notion that all co-working spaces look and feel the same in terms of their work environment. While some co-working spaces have become known for their clean, white interiors that invite their members to a place of focused productivity, others like to promote a warmer, more lifestyle orientated environment with a more casual feel. And while almost all the leading co-working spaces offer a similar tier of hardware in terms of front desks, pantries, meeting rooms and event spaces, the main takeaway is that each of these operators curate their locations to have a unique charm.

5. Co-working spaces can’t cater to enterprise clients

Another common misconception about co-working spaces is that they can’t cater to enterprise clients. These larger, more mature and established businesses are in fact thriving in some co-working spaces. In fact, the number of enterprise clients that moved into co-working has shot up in the past few years. Part of the reason why is because co-working spaces have expanded significantly and now occupy multiple addresses in central business districts, enabling them to cater to more of these customers. These spaces provide both comprehensive facilities for any stage business such as conference and meeting rooms as well as an address in a respected location. Find the right place for you and expect a serious, yet comfortable atmosphere where real work can get done.

In sum, co-working spaces should not be viewed through a lens clouded by misconceptions that no longer ring true. After their rapid evolution over the past decade, as we talked about in a previous article, they now pose a viable alternative to traditional workspaces with an array of benefits. Find the right co-working space to suit your needs, give your productivity a boost and make great use of both private and open work areas.

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