In part four of the guide to the Rochester entrepreneurial community, we explore the city’s coworking spaces. Coworking facilities can be great value adds to an entrepreneurial community. They serve as membership-based places where entrepreneurs, freelancers, remote workers, independent professionals, and small businesses can access cheap office space, expand upon their professional network, and receive motivational support.
Coworking spaces can greatly reduce barriers to entry for entrepreneurs. They typically offer inexpensive desk space and may even have private offices. In some instances, these facilities contain conference rooms and even bring in professional speakers or other educational programs. They also take away internet, heating and cooling, and electric expenses from emerging businesses and provide a mailing address that’s not your home.
Coworking facilities bring professionals from all different industries and spectrums together, under their own coworking “brand,” and can create distinctly unique communities. Association with a particular coworking space can be a powerful way for an emerging business to increase their validity and name recognition.
While coworking may not be for everyone, these space have proven value. Studies have reported higher levels of thriving in people operating in coworking facilities. These professionals have an overall higher performance level than their regular office counterparts, normally have less burnout, are more satisfied, and take fewer days off.
So why have coworking spaces been so successful?
Camaraderie may be one reason. People working in coworking facilities are from many different companies with greatly varied professional backgrounds. There might not even be two people in a coworking space associated with the same business. This diversity decreases competition and lets people just be…people. In turn, coworking spaces foster a culture of collaboration and giving. They can also make entrepreneurship feel less lonely. Instead of working out of a home office, coworking facilities offer emerging entrepreneurs affordable space outside the home where they can interact and gain support from others.
Coworking spaces also build your professional network. Your next collaborator, who has a completely different skill set than yourself, might be right on the other side of the room.
These facilities also allow for more job control. Most spaces offer 24/7 access, allowing members to work whenever they want. This offers a balance between structure and independence. Members have the freedom work at home when they want or work in the space during quieter hours. Coworking facilities also allow for flexibility as a business grows. Small businesses may only need a single desk when they are first starting out. But quickly afterwards they might require several desks or perhaps a private office. Coworking spaces can typically meet these demands, eliminating the need for relocation.
Motivational support is perhaps one of the largest value adds from a coworking facility. From personal experience, people in these spaces might be working multiple different jobs to support their “main hustle.” They work long hours, odd hours, and sometimes show up in sweatpants and sandals. Nothing is odd or out of the ordinary. Everybody just works really hard.
As the entrepreneurial and startup community in Rochester continues to grow, collaborative environments like coworking facilities become even more important. We have four distinctly unique coworking spaces here to support this emerging sector of the economy: The Vault, Rochester Area Foundation, Collider Coworking, and the Mayo Clinic Business Accelerator.
Join us over the next month for a new, multi-part series, called “The Rochester Startup,” as we explore these coworking facilities and speak with the high-density clusters of startups and small businesses operating within them.
This series is in partnership with Ambient House Productions, a Rochester based full service video production company specializing in high quality corporate, commercial, & promotional videos.