Co-Working Space: The Wave of the Future for Entrepreneurs
I live in two cities – both in Santa Clarita, California and also in Santa Barbara – and have home offices in each. This has been my way of running my online business for many years now, but this past week I added something completely new to the mix; I joined a co-working space in Santa Barbara. Little did I know I’d be in for a huge surprise.
This concept of sharing a work space is not a new one, but I had never been even remotely interested in having an office of any kind away from home. It just didn’t seem necessary to go to a remote location in order to get my work accomplished. But I was intrigued by the networking possibilities, and loved the European design of the co-working space Santa Barbara had just opened.
I chose a day to experiment with how it might work for me and showed up around nine in the morning. With my laptop bag slung over one shoulder and my sack lunch in my hand, I was ready to begin. The staff showed me a few things, like where to plug in and why you must put your name on your lunch if you expect it to be there later and I got to work.
At first I was keenly aware of the nature sounds playing in the background. Water making its way down a creek, going from a trickle to a stream to a waterfall, along with the unrelenting chirping of birds turned my hopes for a quiet day at work into a cacophony of torturous sound. I started writing anyway, and within fifteen minutes I forgot all about this background noise.
Also, I had decided to be open to anyone and anything around me that day. When people stopped by my desk and struck up conversation, I stopped what I was doing on my computer and engaged them fully. When I went into the kitchen area to have my lunch, again I interacted with the people there. Unlike my home offices, where I demand complete silence in order to accomplish my goals, here I was actually having conversations with other entrepreneurs throughout the day.
One of the projects I had planned to work on that day was to outline and summarize a book on preparing and presenting TED Talks. I had brought along my headphones so that I could listen to some of the speeches I was using as an example without disturbing anyone. This was perfect in that fewer people stopped to speak to me, and I ended up leaving the headphones on for a couple of hours after I had finished listening to the speeches.
Then I went on to finish outlining and summarizing the book, putting together a training on how to create online courses, and writing the sales copy to offer that course to my community. And it was joyous work that flowed effortlessly through me and out onto the internet. What a joy!
During my eight hours at the co-working space that day I accomplished more than I would have in three days at home. Not only was I massively productive, I also enjoyed my time there and believe that more creative ideas flowed to me because of my surroundings. And as for that annoying background noise I mentioned earlier? I now own a CD of similar sounds from nature I can play while working in my home offices. It turns out these sounds help with focus, clarity, and productivity.
Would you ever consider working at least on a part-time basis at a co-working space in your community?