A Shared Work Environment is Much More About the Community than the Space
When the idea of co-working first emerged people were really much more intrigued by the economics of it all. Business owners and entrepreneurs who were looking to cut expenses by reducing the high cost of rent, and avoiding the long-term commitment of multi-year leases, were very interested in the lower cost and flexibility that shared office space provides. From a practical standpoint co-working makes sense for many, including expanding (and shrinking) businesses that might be uncertain about their future size and growth.
Nowadays, as you see from many of the local co-working spaces in Ottawa, increasingly co-working is becoming less about the space to set up your laptop for the day, and more about the community that’s growing around these spaces. We’re all human after all, and our most immediate requirement is to connect with other people, to share ideas, communicate and collaborate. These are the aspects of working from a home office that entrepreneurs and small business owners are missing, and craving. Despite what some may believe, collaborative work environments are also not really found in coffee shops, or at libraries. Although many solopreneurs use these spaces for the day to “set up shop”, it’s the not the ideal environment for connecting with other entrepreneurs, or discussing a unique business idea, that you may not want everyone around you over-hearing.
If you regularly check out Eventbrite to see what’s happening in Ottawa, you’ll quickly see that both the well-established, and the up-and-coming co-working spaces are becoming the city’s activity hubs for events that cover a wide spectrum of categories, from general business networking, to informative seminars, to game nights, to social events organized by hobbyist, fashion shows, mini-trade fairs, and everything in between. It’s clear to see that these co-working centres are not just about spaces that provide all the go-to office amenities – board rooms, audio-visual equipment, faxes/printers/copiers, comfy couches, etc. – but rather people and community are the fundamental elements.
We often get curious people that drop into our co-working spaces throughout Ottawa and the first question they ask is often “what is this space?” Our answer generally starts off by explaining that we’re a shared workspace, closely followed by “the use of this space is really only limited by your imagination”. A great co-working space fulfills that need that we all have – not a need for a spot to perch our laptop or to use a printer – but a need to be part of a COMMUNITY. It’s a space where a vast array of knowledge and skill can find common ground, blending together to stimulate success. Where a chance encounter can be the catalyst that transforms and enhances your future. A place that inspires you to forge new partnerships and create new ideas.
Next time you’re in downtown Ottawa, stop by 140 O’Connor Street where community is thriving and you might just stumble upon your next exciting business opportunity!