Coworking: Meet Your Coworkers
October 20, 2016

Defining types of coworkers.

The Community Coworker:

Charlie Burke, treasurer for The Isabella County Restoration House, a homeless shelter, came to cowork when he started the process of establishing the organization.

“We needed a place to have meetings (and) access to computers, and we needed a legal address for tax purposes,” Burke says. He adds that cowork also provided important credibility.

“Without any doubt, specifying our address at cowork helped us (raise seed money),” Burke says. “Knowing we were associated with a cowork organization, people figure out that you’re serious about your mission. It helps you look professional.”

The Remote Coworker:

Escaping cubicles and business attire may initially seem ideal to people who work remotely, in addition to the theoretical idea of the increased work/life balance that is associated with laboring from home. However, lack of effectiveness is often the reality.

“The great news is remote work options are – and have been – on the upswing within companies,” says Sara Sutton Fell, founder and CEO, Flex Jobs. “Even large corporations like Apple, Jet Blue, and Amazon allow workers to work remotely to fill the high-demand jobs. In order to stay focused, coworking space can provide the non-distracting discipline needed.”

The Serial Coworker:

Jack Pritchett, home-based out of Chicago, is chief financial officer for a Michigan company and utilizes coworking space at both locations. Pritchett, who has assisted three entrepreneurial ventures and recently closed on a nine-month project to secure funding, says the ability to prove the success of a venture, without a doubt, is crucial to gaining capital.

Pritchett says coworking spaces provide every aspect of what is important to entrepreneurs, at every level, and are equally important to capital investment firms.

“If there’s a person or project that is worth keeping an eye on,” Pritchett says, “investors want to know the buzz first.”

The Professional Coworker:

Fisher, of Gray SKY & Associates PLLC, says spending time in coworking spaces can generate clients if that’s the goal. He finds the relationship-building aspect of coworking to be especially beneficial. He participates at cowork to give back to the community through mentorship.

“Sitting down to an informal conversation (at cowork) is like a semester of Business 101 in college at an accelerated pace,” Fisher says. “You get focused, direct, relevant knowledge on your terms.”

The Startup Coworker:

Office space and perks, credibility at the outset, connections and relationships, advice, knowledge, and mentorship throughout: Startups stand to gain much from coworking.

“The biggest problem for startups is that they are undercapitalized,” Burke says. “For the young entrepreneurs who ‘know it all’ but blow by the proof of minimizing quantifiable risk…it’s a non-threatening environment to get the support, the knowledge…it’s a very unique, high-class opportunity.”

In truth, no entrepreneur sets out to fail, yet according to www.Forbes.com, a whopping 90 percent of startups do. And while statistics of this nature can seem discouraging to some, the savvy entrepreneur – not just hungry, but honed – already knows the numbers and chooses to cowork with like-minded entrepreneurs, seasoned veterans, and expert mentors to defy the odds.