Many people seem to think that traditional office spaces and coworking hubs are basically the same and differ only in their policies concerning working-hours flexibility. They both, after all, offer professionally-equipped bureaus aimed at providing a reliable and welcoming place where one can carry out one’s daily work-related tasks in the company of like-minded individuals. In reality, however, these two types of work place have many more differences. You may already be aware of a few key disparities between these two different ways of working, but there might be a handful of dissimilarities you are not so aware of.
Check out five differences between working in a traditional office and a coworking hub that you might not know about:
Amenities and Facilities
Whilst both coworking hubs and traditional offices are equally well-equipped with desks, chairs, computers and other utilities necessary for providing a functional work place, they tend to differ somewhat in their layout. Traditional offices are mostly made up of cubicles, conference areas, private offices and maybe a kitchenette.
Coworking hubs, however, aim at providing not only practical work places, but also spacious areas where networking with others is highly encouraged. Thus, they often offer several communal rooms, game areas and lounges with fun, colorful designs, contributing to an informal meeting area where future collaborations and business partnerships can form and flourish.
Community and Culture
When you work in a traditional setting at a regular company, the culture and community atmosphere is probably already established by the time you come on board. This rarely changes or transforms in any spectacular way, so you are mostly left to conform and adapt to it if you want to keep working there.
Coworking hubs also quite often have a set atmosphere, but because visitors to shared office spaces come and go as they please, the community environment is not as rigid. Such spaces are also continuously transforming in accordance with the people who frequent them, giving the impression that they’re always changing and that there’s always something new going on.
In a traditional setting you are somewhat at the mercy of your superiors when it comes to rising professionally to a higher position, getting a promotion or advancing in your field. This can be seen as advantageous to those awaiting natural promotions from their peers because of their long-standing performance at the company and disadvantageous to those looking to level up more quickly than their bosses intend them to.
In coworking hubs, on the other hand, it’s every freelancer for themselves. You probably don’t have a place in any company’s hierarchy, so getting a better position will require different tactics, plus there’s the fact that virtually no one can vouch for you to help your professional advancement.
Networking and Collaborations
At a conventional office in a traditional company you are mostly presented with selected possibilities for networking, restricted by the establishment you work for and by the projects you’re working on—which have likely been picked out by your peers. You mostly collaborate and arrange meetings with people working on the same tasks as you, which pretty much limits one’s horizons and the potential for other types of networking opportunities.
At coworking hubs, in contrast, you have the chance to meet and mingle with not only like-minded entrepreneurs but also with individuals from different lines of work and expertise in different professions. Networking with people coming from contrasting backgrounds can offer you great insight into other domains from which you may even get inspiration for your own job.
Scheduling and Itineraries
Traditional office spaces are somewhat restrictive with their itineraries, mostly offering the long-established 9-to-5 access to their work spaces. While many have become accustomed to this universal schedule, not everyone is at their most productive during this time interval. This is one of the main reasons why coworking hubs have extended their access hours, offering a well-equipped space to night owls, early birds and creatives whose productivity levels aren’t exactly in line with conventional work hours.
It is also worth mentioning that the greater organization and structure offered by traditional offices is a characteristic that is highly appreciated by many. Some workers prefer to have someone else dictate their schedules and to have face-to-face meetings to make them more productive. Those who don’t welcome these things or even find themselves less productive because of this control, can always opt for working remotely, so that they can set their own timeline and keep up with clients and bosses continuously through various online platforms.