Since we started The Daily Muse , we've spent a lot of time working virtually with our team, and we've done great work that way. From our editors who could be as far away as Denmark to our leadership team who travels (a lot), being virtual made a lot of sense.
But recently, we moved into a co-working space called StartupHQ in San Francisco, and I discovered some of the unexpected benefits of being in person. If your company is still small and getting your own office seems like a budget line item you can't afford, here are five reasons to consider a co-working space.
1. You Cut Down on Email (a Lot)
I love email as much as the next woman does, but sometimes it can get a little out of hand . I never realized how much email traffic was being generated just keeping people in the loop, until I could look up and share a thought or idea with the team instead of busting out my laptop. It's also been easier to keep the whole team involved in projects (or at least aware of them) when we're all in the same space.
2. Instant Sales Leads
We work in a space with dozens of other companies. By meeting them and learning about their products, we've started to do business with many of them. In some cases, we've become their clients (we now use Xero , a cloud accounting solution), and in others, our deskmates have wanted to work with us. If you offer services to other companies, co-working can be a great source of sales leads, and you really can't beat in-person customer service over coffee.
3. More Down Time for Bonding
Lunch. Coffee. Happy Hour. These are some of my favorite times with The Daily Muse team, and moving to StartupHQ has increased the frequency of our team events significantly. I've also learned how to make delicious lunches in mason jars from Niki, and started to make improvements to my wardrobe (read: free start-up t-shirt + jeans) thanks to Adrian.
4. Amenities You Couldn't Otherwise Afford
Once your company gets to a certain size, you'll likely start looking for office space. But as many founders of early-stage companies know, budgets can be tight, and when choosing between a kitchen in your tiny office and a marketing budget, you'll often go for the latter. Co-working has been great for us because we get access to a fully stocked kitchen, a lounge area, and lots of conference rooms—without breaking the bank.
5. New Ideas
Anyone who knows me knows that I like to brainstorm . But that's a lot harder to do alone. Being around my team means that we can riff of each other's ideas and generate new, and often better, ones. Co-working has allowed us to have more serendipitous moments, and to better integrate sales, marketing, and editorial initiatives.
Learn more about co-working at Startup HQ at companymuse.com/startuphq.
Alex is a Founder of The Muse, where she focuses on the product, engineering, and operations of the fast-growing business. Her book The New Rules of Work, written with her co-founder Kathryn, comes out in April 2017. Outside the office, Alex can be found on her road bike or deep in a book. She also loves productivity hacks more than candy.More from this Author