We live in a world where the word ‘‘start-up’’ evokes the idea of a group of friends who either dropped out of the university because they had a bright idea, or started a company in their bedroom with pyjamas on and all of a sudden, investors fell at their feet at the latest invention promising to change the world. However, not all of them started in bedrooms, with pyjamas on and looking scruffy – some kicked off at a collaborative workspace.

Collaborative Working or Co-Working sounds like a novel term and it is a fairly new industry; in the past, people prefer working in a more established and conventional workspace with cubicles, desks and people facing their own laptops. Co-working wants to achieve something different and is a break from the norm of what a workspace should look like. What co-working does is something that most big organizations can learn from, as it is a working community where talent and expertise converge in a single environment. Despite the challenges that may come in working under an environment that may be seen as ‘‘unprofessional’’ or what we prefer to call ‘‘unconventional’’, co-working has unique benefits and opportunities.

Benefits of Collaborative Working

A collaborative workspace has numerous benefits and there are many things that can be achieved by working in this sort of working environment which both start-ups and corporates can benefit from and learn.

Community within a Community

Imagine running a freelance business at home and you begin to feel isolated, especially as you spend a lot of time in front of your computers. Co-working helps you develop a relationship with a community of freelancers in workspace where you also find people in other communities who are either working remotely from the same workspace or doing something else. This creates a feeling of community which co-working strives as these people work collectively and collaboratively.

Business Opportunities

The next big idea can literally be sat next to you. That’s right; an angel investor can be sat next to an innovator, who could be sat next to a developer, who could be sat next to a social media expert, who could be sat next to a lawyer, who could be sat next to a graphic designer and the chain can go on and on. What does this bring to mind? It shows a pool of talented people can come together to establish a company in a matter of minutes and the next big idea has been born that can tackle modern day such as climate change, food waste etc. These are some of the benefits of working in a collaborative workspace as business opportunities and ideas could literally be sat next to you!

Creativity

For big businesses, they survive on innovation and the inability to innovate could have dire effects on big businesses. As Albert Einstein said ‘‘we cannot solve a problem by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.’’ For big businesses in search of creativity, they usually focus on the big stuff and fail to realise that co-working promises to make this happen.