Coworking - a classic office without a boss

Service Business

There are more and more texts on coworking appearing on the Internet, but this is usually a dry theory. To learn more about the advantages of this unconventional office, it is better to see what it actually looks like in practice. Therefore, especially for you, we interviewed Ms Katarzyna Zalass, who runs the Creative Cooperation Studio, i.e. a Krakow coworking office.

Agnieszka Vincenc / Where did the idea for creating a coworking office come from?

Katarzyna Zalass: My partner moved to Krakow. He was looking for an office where he could work. I have already rented a small premises for the company. We accidentally found the first information about coworking on the web and thought that we could run a coworking center, thus avoiding lonely work in small rooms, making new contacts and creating a place where freelancers and people running small businesses would be happy to return. We wanted to combine the atmosphere of the office with the atmosphere of home corners. We dreamed that a group of dynamic, enterprising people, open to the world and people, would come together. Today we know that we have succeeded.

A.V .: How does such an office operate?

K.Z .: Each coworking office has its own atmosphere, character and gathers people with various needs. So I can only say how the Creative Cooperation Studio works on a daily basis. Everyone who buys a monthly subscription from us (permanent access to the office) gets a desk to which they are permanently "assigned", a handy cabinet and a key-locked cabinet for documents. So he can leave his belongings and feel at home in the Studio. Coffee, tea and water are available to coworkers free of charge. The use of office equipment (printer, scanner, fax) and the conference room are also free of charge. In short - purchasing a monthly subscription ensures that you can use everything that Studio offers.For people who travel a lot or cannot work every day, it is possible to purchase a 10- and 5-day subscription, as well as a single working day in the office.

A.V .: Who can take advantage of your offer?

K.Z .: Anyone who no longer wants to work at home, who has a small business and for social reasons prefer to stay in a coworking office instead of renting small rooms solely for their own business purposes, can take advantage of the Studio's offer. We do not narrow down to specific industries. The only important thing is not to disturb others while you are doing your job.

A.V .: What does such an offer include?

K.Z .: Generally speaking, the offer includes access to a fully equipped office. Coworkers only need their own laptops to work. In addition, the Studio also provides other services for freelancers and entrepreneurs. We have packages of secretarial services, and we also rent training and conference rooms.

A.V .: How big is the interest in this type of services?

K.Z .: I don't have a specific answer to this question. Many offices have closed due to lack of interest, which could indicate low demand for this type of service. In February this year, we opened a second office in Krakow (at Królewska Street) with 21 workplaces, which are systematically filling up.

A.V .: Why do freelancers choose coworking offices?

KZ: Freelancers and independent entrepreneurs who often worked at home and longed for contact with other people (not only via Skype "a), especially appreciate the social side of such projects. which provide advice and opinion. Discussions sometimes give rise to unexpectedly shared projects or interesting ideas that would be difficult to come up with alone.

A.V .: Are there any other advantages?

K.Z .: Coworking creates the atmosphere of a classic office, but without a boss. Other working people are motivating. There are no typical home office temptations such as watching TV, taking a short nap or walking the dog. Going to the office brings some order to the life of freelancers. When you do your work at home, there is virtually no beginning and end of the working day. Private life is mixed with professional life, which usually has a very bad impact on efficiency. Coworking offices help to make the day rhythm. Leaving home to go to work and then coming back draws the limits.

A.V .: Can novice entrepreneurs also benefit from coworking?

K.Z .: Of course. For micro-entrepreneurs, a place in a coworking center is often just an economical option of an office. For less than PLN 400 net per month, they use the premises equipped with all the necessary office equipment. In addition, they have kitchen facilities, a conference room with a projector, etc., so they do not have to invest in furnishing their own office and deal with administrative work.

A.V .: As you can see, coworking has many advantages, but each medal has two sides. Now let's talk about the disadvantages ...

K.Z .: The disadvantages will only be seen by people for whom the features of coworking offices are not of value. If someone appreciates perfect peace, does not need people, or is afraid that any idea that is said out loud may be stolen, he will not feel comfortable in such a place.

A.V .: Coworking is quite an innovative business idea, so why is it?

K.Z .: Out of passion for people, to develop innovative ventures. And out of need - the partner and I need a place to work. And in such an office it is much easier and more effective to work alone or in two.

A.V .: Were the beginnings difficult?

K.Z .: We expected difficulties, but it turned out that fate was in our favor. Coworking was and probably still is very little known in Poland. Few people know what it is. Therefore, the biggest challenge for us was the promotion of the Studio. Although I deal with marketing professionally, I knew that advertising a specific place must be preceded by an information campaign on coworking as such. Nobody was looking for us, because they did not even know that such offices exist. I was afraid that the whole process would take too long - in terms of the budget of the project. But it worked and the first customers (who are still with us today) appeared after two weeks. After six months of operation, we had no vacancies.

A.V .: In closing, please tell me if you can derive pleasure from such work? Do you find yourself in it?

K.Z .: I must have answered this question indirectly a few sentences earlier. Yes, we find ourselves because we like dynamics, we love being with people, sharing experiences. It's nice to see the place we dreamed up actually exists.

A.V .: Thank you for an interesting conversation and I wish no vacancies.

K.Z .: Thank you too.