Coworking may be on the rise, but it’s still a pretty new idea around Charlotte. Many independent professionals understand the gist of coworking (a shared office space) but voice confusion or concern over the details.
If you are coming from a traditional office environment, or have been working from home, it’s understandable that you would be wary. After all, coworking is a unique culture, with its own customs and structures. Many professionals, used to the safety of a cubicle and the structure of a 9-5, worry about being thrown into a chaotic environment with the same scarce resources (i.e. electrical outlets) of a crowded Starbucks. Have no fear, though: this is myth.
Coworking spaces are generally organized, productive, and very well equipped with professional resources and amenities. In addition, most coworking spaces in Charlotte have a few different options in terms of membership. A floating, or “hot desk” membership usually includes use of the collaborative space and amenities like the printer and coffee, but requires you to settle into whatever open space you can find.
If you are new to coworking, or prefer the idea of a more settled, reliable workspace, a dedicated desk might be the right option for you. Dedicated desks solve many of the problems coworking newbies worry about as they make the leap from office (home or traditional) to a coworking space. Below are some common concerns for new coworkers, and why a dedicated desk might be your best solution.
So, what exactly is a “dedicated desk” membership?
A dedicated desk membership is exactly that: a desk in a coworking space that is yours. No one else will use it while you’re gone, and you’ll always know there’s a spot waiting for you when it’s time to work. Usually, dedicated desks in a coworking space are designated to one area, so they are not interspersed with collaborative or social areas where you might be distracted.
What about all my stuff?
The glory of dedicated desks is that you won’t have to schlep around your work materials or take everything home with you at the end of the day. Do you have multiple screens? No problem, bring ‘em in! Do you have art supplies, binders, important marketing materials? Do you print out every email and file it in an appropriate folder? Well, maybe rethink that (#gopaperless) but regardless a dedicated desk will have you covered. You’ll also want to consider storage and security for your work materials at a coworking space. For instance, The Launch Factory dedicated desks are large enough to fit a file cabinet beneath, and our space is equipped with 24/7 surveillance. You can rest easy at home knowing your tech and supplies will be waiting for you the next morning.
Sounds cool, but I like to decorate my workspace!
Short of turning it into a gingerbread house, you’re welcome to decorate your dedicated desk as you please.
I’m worried I won’t get into “work mode” in a coworking space.
Understandable- many of us rely on environmental cues and the ritual of going into an office to kickstart our productivity. Even if you’re someone who feels like they can’t work until they cross the threshold of their office, you’ll be amazed how fast you can harness that power of habit and apply it to your new coworking space. With a dedicated desk, your brain will quickly register that as your “work time” trigger the same way it would in your office or cubicle. Not only that, but recent studies cited in this article by Forbes Magazine found that having multiple available areas, or “modes” of working, actually increased productivity throughout the day. In a coworking space, you could reserve your dedicated desk for “focus” work, and social areas for more creative thinking and collaborating.
I’m an introvert! Will coworking be too social for me?
Just as wearing your headphones is the universal sign for, “Not trying to chat,” being at your dedicated desk in a coworking space sends the same signal. It’s your own little bubble, and part of the social contract of coworking is respecting others’ work time. Coworking spaces have a reputation for being very social, and they are, to some extent. However, don’t let the relaxed environment fool you. Members of a coworking space might be in jeans every day, and maybe they’ll crack open a beer while finishing up on a Friday, but they are here to hustle. Every member at The Launch Factory gets in, buckles down, and respects a “do not disturb” sign, even a symbolic one.
I have a team, and we have to work together.
No problem. Dedicated desks can be clustered together, giving your team the optimal environment for collaboration.
And you promise there are enough outlets by the dedicated desks?
At The Launch Factory, we call dedicated desks “Launch Stations”. Now through January 31st, 2018, we’re offering one month of free when you sign up for a year of coworking or a dedicated desk membership. Come in for a tour and see what we’re about at The Launch Factory Charlotte!