The world of work has changed almost beyond recognition in the past few years – and Cheshire offers some superb options for those who toil neither full-time in the office nor remotely. Before the Covid pandemic, the thought of not being at their desk between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday was alien to most. But being forced to work from home has opened eyes to the possibilities, and advantages, of flexible options.
And Cheshire offers some of the best coworking spaces to make the transition a breeze – from Altspace in Altrincham to Assembly in Manchester’s trendy Ancoats district.
What is a coworking space?
Put simply, a coworking space is a shared office or premises that allow individuals or smaller companies to work independently or collaboratively. Since they first appeared in San Francisco in 2005, they have developed into hubs of creativity and offer a host of modern features to encourage a pleasant environment.
These include in-house coffee shops, state-of-the-art kitchen facilities, trendy decor, lightning-fast wifi and social events that build a sense of community.
Who uses coworking spaces?
The most common users are freelancers, especially those in the creative and technology industries, and small startups. That means you can find yourself hot-desking alongside graphic designers, marketing consultants, computer programmers, artists and the people behind the latest mobile phone apps. This is one of the major strengths of coworking spaces, the fact that collaboration on projects is so easy with all of the talent at hand. Making connections with people from different sectors means that projects can be split up, utilising the specific skills of different experts to achieve shared goals.
What to look for in a coworking space
There are a host of factors which will help you decide on which coworking space is the one for you. Aside from the obvious convenient location, atmosphere is often cited as crucial with many people being guided by the feeling they get when stepping inside for the first time. The number and range of community events are important to those wanting to make worthwhile connections, while the noise and ambience are often deciding reasons for those with more focused projects. Seating can play a major role in the decision. Do you want a truly communal space with hot-desking options, or are you after something a little more permanent and private as you look to launch your new venture?
Last of all, pricing will determine whether you think you’re getting value for money or not. Be sure to check out all of the options and speak to staff to see if they can help you understand the pricing structure.
Is coworking for you?
In the brave new world of work, it can be tough to decide whether or not to stick with the kitchen table or branch out into coworking spaces. In a recent survey, 75% of people said their productivity has increased since they started using a coworking space and 80% said their business network had widened.
If you live in Cheshire, we have rounded up the best coworking options so you can quickly find the best one for you.