I have been doing the co-work thing for some time now. I was initially very intrigued with the idea for two reasons:
- The amount of overhead saved by sharing resources is amazing.
- The connections that are made are lasting and meaningful and usually lead to more work
After doing it for a couple years I learned that there are many other reasons that make it make sense. I have learned a lot from teams such as Sparrow Spaces about how there is a whole additional level of collaboration that can benefit entire communities, not just the small businesses that are renting space. It’s one of those “greater than the sum of it’s parts” type of things. For the purposes of this post I am just going to focus on my experience.
There are opportunities that naturally arise where you genuinely want to help your office mates by lending your services. The benefit to having an in-house ‘whatever’ are incredible. We have gained business though this, and we have also given others business. Proximity is a really amazing thing. It seems to open the doors for collaboration that online communities or ‘work from home’ groups can’t quite touch. It has me thinking of ways to tailor a perfect ecosystem of businesses that can all compliment each other in some way.
The hustle and bustle nature of small businesses or individuals working their hearts out to make it in their field is inspiring to be around. Our whole team felt invigorated when the third tenant in our current space moved in. It changed the vibe of our ‘sleepy little space’ into a place where things were happening! Deals were being made, meetings were being had. This is why I decided to move out of my home office a while back. This is what attracts people to share space.
There are some obvious things that should be noted here:
Things can get hectic. Similar to roommates, not everyone is always going to see eye to eye on things. Dishes don’t get done, floors don’t get cleaned. But truthfully, if you get the right group and everyone is excited about the concept it just works, like a family. People learn that they have to exist with one another daily and it becomes important to everyone to make sure these things work themselves out. The ones that can’t keep up with that way of thinking will eventually find a new situation and things will inevitable progress into a self sustaining flow.
We love coming into work every day and seeing the familiar spaces at Sparrow Spaces – Westmount. It’s been great getting to know everyone involved and we are excited to see how it will change Sonder over the next couple years.