Real estate

4 perks to using coworking space

From cost benefits to collaboration opportunities, here's why startups are flocking toward coworking spaces. Getty Images

Over the past decade, there has been a dramatic increase in a new form of loosely structured, open-focused offices known as coworking spaces. These spaces are changing the way that entrepreneurs are approaching business, proving to be a valuable alternative to the traditional office setting.

Coworking spaces differ from conventional office spaces mainly due to the fact that they are often occupied by a multiple of different companies. Usually startup and small business focused, coworking spaces can house companies anywhere from individual freelancers working solo to teams of 20, 30, or more. While every tenant has different needs and priorities when it comes to office space, there are a number of advantages to the coworking model that any entrepreneur considering a change in scenery should consider.

1. Cost effective
Startups and entrepreneurs are frequent tenants of coworking spaces, leading to managers of those spaces understanding the frugal nature of their potential tenants. Coworking spaces will often be flexible in providing a package that fits the entrepreneur's schedule and budget. While a traditional office space might force you into a long-term lease on space, coworking spaces will likely offer a number of membership packages, including day passes, open desk seating, dedicated desk seating, and private offices.

2. Collaboration
Traditional office spaces carry a stigma of individualism and private focus that can hinder collaboration among tenants. Coworking spaces thrive on the opposite approach, establishing a culture of collaboration and community. For example, imagine an entrepreneur fresh off exiting their 8-5 corporate job and agonizing over the scary new world of startups. A quick walk into the kitchen can lead to striking up a conversation with a fellow community member, potentially securing an immediate connection to a mentor, investor or service provider. While those sorts of interactions may seem impossible in office, it is common for individuals from multiple companies with multiple strengths to interact and help each other.

3. Resources
In addition to merely encouraging a collaborative atmosphere, many coworking spaces will put the idea into practice themselves by offering a number of services in addition to office space. Some will offer educational speakers and workshops to come for a period of time to inform community members on a variety of topics. In addition, many have preferred service providers who can give discounts to community members.

4. Energy
Arguably one of the most important factors when considering coworking versus a traditional office is the enthusiasm and energy of the space. While potentially difficult to put into words, the atmosphere can have a powerful impact on how you approach new challenges and solve problems. The feeling of electricity in a coworking space when a fellow member signs a major client, closes a round of fundraising, or finishes a crucial project is contagious.

The future of work is changing every day. Digital collaboration is increasing exponentially and reducing the need for everyone to be in one room. Laptops are more popular than ever, allowing the flexibility to work wherever you have fast wifi and a strong cup of coffee. As these changes become more commonplace, coworking will likely continue to be a popular solution for entrepreneurs across the world

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Jake Askew is the director of member relations at The Cannon and Cannon Ventures.

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Building Houston

 
 

After working with thousands of interns, Allie Danziger of Ampersand Professionals says she's now got a product to upskill and train new hires for employers. Photo courtesy of Ampersand

After seeing success with her internship training and matchmaking platform, Allie Danziger, founder and CEO of Ampersand Professionals, has expanded the concept to include a new hire training service that allows employers to better optimize the onboarding process and have a well-trained new staff member from day one.

In just over a year, Ampersand has worked with over 7,000 professionals through its original concept of upskilling and matching young professionals to internship programs. A few months ago, Danziger and her team expanded to include career development training for students first entering the workforce with the City of Houston's Hire Houston Youth program. Danziger says it was developing out the platform for this program that proved there was a need for this type of training.

"While we have focused on matching professionals with businesses for paid internships, we recognized a further gap with employers that have their own recruiting/talent acquisition teams, or just their own preferred way of bringing on entry-level talent, and didn’t have a need for our matching platform," Danziger tells InnovationMap. "But, they recognized the benefit of our proven training platform that pre-vets and de-risks their hires, and still wanted access to the training for their own hires."

The new program has evolved from training interns to new hires, so parts of the program that focuses on interviewing or applying for a job have been removed. Instead, the 8.5 hours of training focuses on networking, best practices for working with a manager and team, performance reviews, common software training, and more.

Danziger says usually new hires need the most experienced mentor or manager, but they don't usually get that support — especially when it comes to businesses that don't have their own built-out mentorship or training program.

"Ampersand’s new training product fills that gap — it gives employers of any size any easy solution to provide basic job readiness training to employees, access to our team of dedicated coaches, and a detailed report at the end of their training summarizing how their new hire did in the training and any trends recognized and tips for managing this employee based on what the platform uncovered," she says. "Businesses can also sign up for additional coaching sessions and customize training materials, as an add-on if interested."

The program costs the employer $100 per new employee, and checkout online takes less than a minute. Through both this program and the original internship program, Ampersand is constantly evolving its training content.

"These professionals are going through the same training experience that we have proven out over the last year, and we are constantly adding to based on data we see in the user experience," Danziger says.

Danziger recently joined the Houston Innovators Podcast discuss some of the benchmarks she's met with Ampersand, as well as the importance of investing in Gen Z hires. Listen to that episode below.


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