Chamber Chat – Stephanie Conway, Premier BusinessCare
With office space at a premium, some small businesses or new start-ups could struggle to set up or expand. However, the idea of co-working provides a modern day affordable solution that could boost Lancaster’s economy.
So, what is co-working?
Put simply, co-working is individuals or groups from different businesses working together in the same area. Think of how many cafes you walk past with people sat working on their laptops – this is the same concept and can be really cost effective.
Rented office space can get wasted because of people working from home, out at meetings or travelling, and whilst working from home can have its benefits, it can also be isolating and distracting. Co-working enables businesses to come together in a working environment where ideas can be shared and the individuals still feel part of a ‘team’, but without the huge overheads!
At a recent round table meeting, Ambassadors of the Lancaster Chamber discussed the growing need for office space in the area but whilst buildings are available for development, the renovation costs involved versus the rental income a developer can earn make it hard to justify, meaning office spaces are not being developed at the rate to meet the growing need.
Perhaps co-working could be the solution!
Lancaster is easy to commute to with great bus and rail links and good digital infrastructure. It also has many small businesses and students looking to set up a business of their own.
Co-working spaces provide a sense of community, convenience and a reduction in expenses, and are great places for small businesses to come together to network. If this allows businesses to grow in the local community, it can only be a good thing.