Co-working Defined – It Beats the Coffee Shop
RBA Creative is a co-working space, photography studio, and art gallery that also offers professional creative services. The business is owned and operated by yours truly, Erica Wright Belle and my husband, Randolph Belle. This is our third year in business, but as of late, I’ve run into a few people that have asked me what co-working is.
The idea of independent groups and individuals working on their own yet surrounded by others in the same space started in 2005 with Software Engineer, Brad Neuberg. He is credited with starting the first co-working space in San Francisco. The idea was to maintain the freedom one seeks from being independent, but keep the feel of structure by working in an office space with other independent workers. Since then the idea has grown and evolved.
Space is a hot commodity, especially in California. Taking your individually run business to the next level with office space is expensive. However, sharing office space with other business owners makes it affordable. You get the credibility and comfort that meeting space, a business address, and your own desk offers. Not to mention, you have access to reliable WiFi, printers/copiers, kitchen space, and the coffee shop and restaurants are still near by. You have everything you need in an office space without the hefty cost to your business.
However, I think the largest benefit to co-working is being with a community of like-minded people. In recent years, co-working spaces have evolved to cater to specific industries. There are co-working spaces for architects, independent workers in health care, tech, writers, artists, etc. It takes the idea a step further by cultivating a natural networking atmosphere. There is a sense of community, collaboration, and structure while maintaining the freedom and independence you need. You will meet individuals you would have never met otherwise. Many find ways to collaborate with others and share work, creating new opportunities you will not get in the isolation of working from home.
Co-working beats the distractions of working from home as well as the spotty WiFi at the coffee shop. If you are an independent contractor or business owner, consider co-working in an environment that works for you. You will take your business to the next level by gaining credibility, legitimacy, and the chance to create more resources by networking with other like-minded individuals. Most of all it gives us humans what we need, CONNECTION to others and a COMMUNITY to thrive in.
RBA Creative is a co-working space in the Laurel District of Oakland, catering to entrepreneurs in the creative services industry providing work space and a photography studio.