Matthew Bass faced a bit of a problem. Instead of continuing to work from home, he wanted to have office space. However, balancing his freelance software development business with his part-time EMT work meant that he’d never be using an office full time, but would have to pay full-time prices. Turns out that for Bass, and a growing number of independent workers, the answer is coworking.
Coworking emphasizes shared space and community over traditional office cubes. By offering space where members are encouraged to help others when they can, all members benefit. Members can help each other both informally, and at regular member “show and tell” sessions, where members can share their expertise with others.
Coworking comes to Wake Forest
Community coworking has also just landed in downtown Wake Forest, bringing a community-oriented approach to work to Wake Forest’s small business owners and independent freelancers.
“The support for coworking spaces in the Triangle has been growing over the last several years, and I’m glad to help develop a coworking space in Wake Forest,” said owner Michael Kimsal. “We’ve seen both Durham and Raleigh growing coworking communities, and Wake Forest’s growth makes it a great place to open our doors for local workers.”
All about sharing
“I freelance so I can set my own schedule, but the trade-off is that I often find myself working alone. Wake Forest Coworking solves that problem,” said Matthew Bass, an independent software developer coworking at Wake Forest Coworking. “I enjoy the support I get from others without having to deal with the politics of a regular office job.”
Brett Geoffrey, a WordPress consultant in Wake Forest, agreed. “I’ve got 24/7 access to a location where I can do work on my schedule, meet clients and give presentations in a conference room, and I get to tap in to some great brain power from others when I need it.”
In addition to shared desk space, members have access to a conference room with projector, whiteboards for brainstorming, and unlimited coffee and soft drinks to keep them fueled.
“It’s really like a gym membership for your business,“ said digital strategist David Shives. “I like having one flat price instead of getting nickel-and-dimed for extras.”
Flexibility for a growing independent workforce
A global survey by deskmag.com in 2012 showed almost 800 coworking facilities in the US, and the number is continuing to grow.
“Coworking is not an overnight fad – with companies increasingly turning to contract workers, the need for flexible space for mobile workers is growing,” said Kimsal. While most coworking spaces primarily serve independent/freelance workers, companies are also starting to colocate small teams at coworking facilities, with a reported 10% of coworking members being employees at larger companies looking to reduce their real estate costs and increase employee communication.
“Coworking also offers a great flexibility for many work-at-home professionals who actually need to get out of their house. Working from home is often a great benefit for people, but almost everyone needs more social connection and peer support than they can get from a home office, ” said Kimsal. “Financial planners, freelance writers, insurance agents, photographers – all of these professionals can boost their business with coworking. And we’d like Wake Forest Coworking to be the space to help them do that.”
Wake Forest Coworking is a community coworking service in downtown Wake Forest, North Carolina. Wake Forest Coworking hosts free coffee open houses Friday mornings from 8 – 10am at 335 South White Street. Shared desk space is available from $99/month, and more information can be found at http://wfcoworking.com