Collabor8te is a co-working space situated in the heart of Glasgow's city centre. Offering shared and individual desks so that you can decide what works best for you, and in addition there is an encolsed meeting space and comfy seating area to help create the right environment for you. We talk to Teresa Jackson, Founder of Collabor8te, to find out a little more...

You know, when I opened the doors to Collabor8te last May, I literally had no idea of what I was starting.  I knew I wanted an office space in town and I knew I wanted to work alongside other business owners, having long held the belief that small businesses are better working together to help each other than alone against each other… Let’s leave that to corporate world!

What’s been wonderful and unexpected is that the office space is the least valuable resource to me and to our members.  I mean let’s face it, without a community of amazing people, an office is just a building with lots of stuff in it! 

Here’s some of the benefits members have noted from being part of a coworking community which they (and I) didn’t expect!

It helps your business grow faster

One of our members recently said that since joining Collabor8te, he has realised that while you can run a business from home, you can’t grow it from home.  You may disagree and have evidence of growth from your home base, but what I take from this is that you can’t expand a business all alone….ever. 

I’ve seen in in action.  Challenges are resolved more quickly because you’ve a pool of experts around you to assist, complementary business work together to deliver bigger projects, skills gaps are filled by outsourcing to other members.  And because they’re right there working alongside you, there’s no problem with communication which remote working can sometimes bring.

You expand your personal and professional networks

Every day is a networking day in a coworking space.  A chat by the coffee machine, asking your peers for advice on a challenge you have, a giggle over lunch on a Friday.  Connecting, establishing trust and building relationships.  Plus most coworking spaces run events which gives you more chance to meet new people.

This is what networking is actually about.  Not working the rooms handing out as many cards as you can in the allocated time slot and then following up with a generic email.  People buy people.  Trust comes first and business later.

You’ll get new clients

What happens when you hear your coworking colleagues interacting with other members and their customers and prospects, is that you really get a great view of how they do business.  This leads to easy referrals because you can genuinely say ‘I know you’ll get a return phone call when they say they will, because I see it happen’.  It’s a transparent environment and only those who are prepared to be openly evaluated for their work, will want to be a part of it.

That and of course fellow members also become clients.  Some might say this could lead to a problem if you later decide it’s not working out but hopefully the culture of the space you work in will mean that everyone’s able to be pretty honest with each other and move on with no hard feelings.

Be more productive

Another quote from a member just this week, “What I’ve got done this morning that would have taken me all day at home”.  On the flipside someone told me at a networking event that they feel that are very productive at home and they don’t get distracted. 

I wouldn’t say there are no distractions in a workspace.  You’ll still chat to colleagues, make a coffee, people may be chatting when you’d rather have silence.  But on the whole, people working around me motivates me (but like picking up on others energy when you’re in the gym).  You can still work alone in a coworking space, you’re just not by yourself.

The new working day will be task-related.  We will choose our environment depending on what we need to do, and the mood we’re in, so that might be home, coworking space or coffee shop. 

Improve work/life balance

One reasons we get into running our own businesses is to have a better work/life balance so working from home makes perfect sense right?  Well as Brad Burton, MD of 4Networking has said, being self-employed is great, you get to choose which 18 hours of the day you work!

Having a ‘today list’ and not a ‘to do’ list, can improve your productivity enormously and so can having a professional space to do your work.  And when your house remains your home, it returns to being somewhere you can relax not a self-imposed jail.

If you already use a coworking space, do you agree?  Would you add any other benefits?  If you never have, what would you expect from a coworking membership?

Coworking spaces are becoming more and more popular in the working world and we are delighted to have Collabor8te on our very own doorstep.

Click here for more information on Collabor8te!

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