Tag Archives: coworking spaces

Let Creativity Run Wild – How and Why

Let Creativity Run Wild - How and Why

Except for marketing and advertising agencies and, well… creative agencies, creative thinking and creative problem solving, for the most part, took a backseat in traditional office settings in the not too distant past. More often than not, activities of the creative sort were dismissed as frivolous and distracting to the drudgery of the cubicle. In today’s more flexible coworking office environments, encouraging creativity can improve productivity, generate innovation, and possibly help save money in the long run.

Improving energy levels

When employees are encouraged to think creatively, they are allowed to take risks. Taking chances by introducing a new way of managing an issue or an operation can give your staff license to explore ways to improve on other programs and practices, in addition to helping keep the workday interesting. When your staff feels engaged in their day-to-day, that freedom opens up many avenues to discovering favorable, more efficient business outcomes.

Managers can promote creative initiatives

Encouraging creative thinking and creative problem solving can look like many different things. Managers can foster creative thinking by mixing up the day-to-day with exercises that stimulate the right brain. Some ideas include:

  • Collaboration

    Brainstorming sessions that use constructive creativity games can help your employees see different solutions other than the expected ones. In a group setting, ask your team to think about a topic or theme and then take turns as the leader discussing different aspects of that topic. Encourage team members to look at issues in different ways. More structured activities might include exercises that stimulate the right brain such as starting a narrative around a certain issue and each team member taking turns adding to that narrative. You may come up with a lot of nonsense but the collaborative effort will build trust in team members, allowing them to step outside of their comfort zones into the land of other perspectives that you may not even see yourself. Sometimes, someone else’s take on something triggers the ideas that unlock solutions.

  • Celebration

    Acknowledging natural creative thinkers and encouraging more outside of the box thinking from them can rub off on your other employees, as well. When other more reticent employees feel comfortable stepping out of their comfort zones, new ideas, even silly, outrageous and way over the top ideas can take the shape of innovative solutions. In order for businesses to grow and expand, most companies need to develop new ideas on a regular basis.

    Developing a fun, working atmosphere encourages team members to risk failure and as most creative thinkers will tell you, failing is the next step on the road to success. Creative thinking relies on failure as a process of eliminating less effective solutions. Creative thinking and problem-solving can be thought of as a process. Sometimes, the rejected ideas will come back into play as the project takes a different direction. While some ideas just can’t possibly work and some you count on every time, in between the good ideas and the questionable ones, lies the process of sorting out new solutions to many different situations. Brains like challenges.

  • Change your scenery

    As individuals, or as a group, do something different that may, in turn, stimulate your brain to think about other things, rather than the issue at hand. Going to a museum, taking a walk, or just going shopping at a different store can help get the creative forces to jump into gear.

  • Stimulate your brain

    Reading can introduce you to ideas that inspire creative thinking. While some people will grouse about reading, saying they don’t have time, they read too slow, blah, blah, blah, avid readers tend to find inspiration in things they’ve read about. Read fiction, blog posts or anything that stirs your interest. Writing is an exercise in creative problem-solving in itself, so if nothing else, reading connects you to how authors come up with ideas that keep your attention. While reading, you may be reminded of something in your past experience that helps formulate creative solutions to a current stumbling block.

  • Wordplay and humor

    Taking a look at those marketing, advertising, and creative agencies, here’s the thing: Most of the creative environments are upbeat, high energy businesses that invite their employees’ imaginations to go a little off the beaten path, or way off, if need be.  Since humor in advertising and marketing go a long way towards audience recognition and buyer response, clever wordplay, a generous sense of humor, and a drive to create new and innovative client messages are often the order of the day. Working in an environment where wordplay and humor are incorporated into the landscape can keep workers engaged with projects and thinking creatively about solutions. A little laughter and a modicum of fun allow your staff to interact with each other. Bouncing ideas off each could lead to ideas that stick.

At Venture X, you can fine-tune your creative thinking and problem-solving scenarios with a variety of different office spaces that work for brainstorming sessions, team meetings, and many other configurations that help summon the creative forces for your next innovative idea. With great spaces to take breaks and common areas to chat on a leisurely level, Venture X coworking spaces are conveniently located near popular dining, entertainment and shopping venues to keep the creative groove going until that ah-ha moment shines on the situation at hand. Get creativity to work for you at Venture X. Contact us to schedule a tour.

Join us at Venture X where creativity is your friend!

Why Networking is Important – Learn from your Peers

Why Networking is Important - Learn from your Peers

When Aristotle postulated that “Nature abhors a vacuum,” we are pretty sure he was not referring to the plight of home-based business owners and other independent contractors who experience the isolation and whacked out work/life balances from working and living in the same place. However, the ancient philosopher’s wisdom still applies today. In order to please nature, coworking spaces have changed the way we work – due, in part, to their built-in networking capabilities.

For startups, small businesses looking to grow, and most definitely, entrepreneurs and freelancers, networking not only helps you get out there and get exposure meeting other business owners, but it is also a necessity in today’s commercial landscape. When you come into contact with other like-minded professionals at industry events or conferences, you stand a good chance of learning a few things from the people you meet in between sessions and at conference social gatherings. The popularity of coworking spaces can be credited to supporting the natural peer-to-peer sharing atmospheres these spaces create.

Coworking and networking go hand-in-hand

Research has shown that coworking environments improve productivity in business professionals by 74%, according to the online publication deskmag.  One study pointed out that 86% of folks using coworking spaces increased their business networks and 93% enjoyed larger social networks. Two-thirds of these coworking members felt more creative and now collaborate more on projects, while a third even reported increased income. The bottom line: networking steps up your business game in many amazing ways.

Get and give some advice, share some insights

Learning from your peers occurs naturally when you network. Another timeless adage states, “Two heads are better than one.” With more eyes on an issue, resolutions abound. You might meet someone struggling with the same issue that is slowing down your forward momentum. By mentioning your challenge, you might find that missing link, something that had not occurred to you before this encounter. You might talk to someone who has been where you are, who can give you the tip you need to get your business back on track. On the flip side, you could share just the right magic insight to straighten out someone else’s business hurdle.

Find a freelancer

For independent contractors, networking provides a way to increase their exposure and grow their brand bases. Offering web design, photography, content writing, marketing plans, and other services to update your online presence, freelance professionals can spare you the distraction of putting your work on hold while you work on your website. You don’t have to be an expert at everything; just talk to your peers, they’ll get you in touch with freelance professionals, as well as independent attorneys that can help you with licensing, permits, contracts and such.

Hire from your coworking community

Again, coworking spaces lend themselves to networking within your work community. Businesses can find freelancers and suggest them to other businesses while freelancers, in turn, can recommend your business to other clients in the community. As your business expands and you need to hire an in-house content writer and marketing team or an IT team, well . . . you’ve got your bases covered. Hiring from within your coworking community means you save the time and expense of interviewing random candidates whose work you don’t know. Hmmm . . . hire someone you already know and like the way they work? What a concept.

Collaborate, collaborate, do that new thing

All of this networking, idea swapping, brainstorming and imagining new horizons can lead to a synergy that’s ripe for collaboration. Motivated and inspired by like-minded individuals, imaginations can soar and a shared thought evolves into a new business concept. An unintentional side effect of networking, synergy has a tendency to spark new ideas, taking on a life of its own. A strong, collaborative community can harness these ideas and turn them into new, successful business ventures. Peers can also help each other reach out beyond their own circles of support to broader exposure and brand identity building.

Growing your brand

As you grow and your circle of connections expands, peers can help strengthen your business’s footprint, exponentially. Attending business networking events should be part of any growing business’s plan. Industry-specific events and conferences can expand your peer base, as well as deepen your industry knowledge. Peers can put you in contact with others in your industry that will refer you on a local basis for services outside their geographical locations. Also, other professionals in your network may refer you to clients that require your specific skill-set or products that their business doesn’t offer.

At conferences and events

When attending industry events and conferences, make sure you do your homework and come prepared to make an impression. Look at the attendee list for other industry professionals you are interested in meeting. Formulate a list of questions you would like to ask certain peers in terms of your business’s needs. Remember to pack enough current business cards for events or be sure you’ve got an effective, alternative keep-in-contact device up your sleeve.

After events and conferences, it’s important to follow up with peers you have just met. Sending emails, joining LinkedIn groups and other industry groups can strengthen your networks and increase your company’s online presence.

In business, learning from peers is important because peers give you second opinions, additional insights, and a much-needed reality check sometimes. In addition to supporting your efforts, peer advice can increase your exposure and build stronger, more effective networks to grow your business. You stay motivated and inspired, working around other business professionals towards the same success goals.

Venture X coworking spaces are designed to create an inspiring and motivating place to work. Our contemporary, upscale facilities cater to the needs of our members with a variety of different workspaces and flexible, monthly rates to meet your business needs. From shared desk spaces to semi-private and private offices, Venture X offers many amenities and well-appointed spaces to help you network and meet new peers in the course of the business day.

But, it’s not all work here at Venture X, as our community areas offer excellent places to take breaks and grab a bite to eat. With educational networking events and a space to throw your own launch party, Venture X makes the most of peer-to-peer networking. Make the most of your networking potential and create some fun in your work life.

Contact Venture X to schedule a tour at any of our welcoming locations. Peers are where we’re at!

Coworking Spaces: Top 5 Reasons They are Good for Growing Your Brand

Top 5 Reasons Coworking Spaces are Good for Growing Your Brand

Coworking spaces, by design, are good for growing your brand, offering versatility and functionality that just can’t really happen in traditional office environments. As your business grows, you can scale up to meet the needs of your developing team or split your team into smaller groups to work on various projects. Coworking spaces allow your business to expand in place, without the disruption of moving your staff and environment to a different, larger location. Getting back up to speed in a new office can take a while and take your focus off growing your brand, in addition to the expenses incurred.

Coworking spaces work well in many ways for emerging businesses and those ready to make the move to their next phase of success. The top 5 reasons coworking spaces are good for growing your brand include:

  1. Huge savings on startup costs

    Moving into your own office space just when things are starting to click can slow your forward momentum down to a slow, angst-ridden crawl. From locating an ideal space to negotiating long-term leases, outfitting an office can derail the attention your expanding business needs to stay on track. When most of your resources and time are spent meeting with designers, engineers, IT installers and service vendors, who has time to think about new products and such? Coworking spaces, with affordable monthly leases, allow you to keep all your moving parts in motion. Working in a comfortable, well-appointed space eliminates the awkwardness of getting accustomed to a new environment. Also, you don’t waste a lot of time discussing who’s going to buy the bottled water, who’s going to buy the coffee, and who’s going to keep your new office clean and pristine.

  2. Flexibility and scaling

    Because you’re growing, your needs may change as you move into uncharted waters. At coworking spaces, flexibility is key to getting things done right in a timely fashion. You can move to a larger semi-private space to work on team projects or rent just a shared desk space for remote employees and staff that can work independently, such as an IT person or a contract copywriter. Whenever your business’ needs change and you need more space or you need a conference room to present a new project or campaign, coworking spaces provide facilities with laser-fast Internet, as well as hi-tech video and audio capabilities for live or Skype conferences.

    Additionally, you can work with a combination of different spaces. You may need a private office for the long-term and add semi-private spaces when projects call for them. Corporations are getting into this act, as well, renting shared desk space for remote employees and larger, more private spaces for think tanks and for holding monthly meetings with tech staff, who don’t need to go into an office every day.

  3. Great Locations

    The coworking spaces began to take hold in cities with large urban centers, such as San Francisco, New York, and Seattle. Centrally located in the hub of activity, coworking spaces are relatively easy to find for the occasions when your clients need to visit you. Because new businesses often can’t afford an office in a nice neighborhood, coworking spaces offer the luxury of a good address in a good neighborhood. Your clients will be impressed when you meet with them in design forward, contemporary office spaces. As part of the larger community, coworking spaces fit into the bustling commercial vibe, where most businesses are tuned into promoting growth in the area and supporting social action initiatives, such as poverty and homelessness. Supporting business and social initiatives in your community helps establish your brand loyalty and generate greater exposure to potential customers.

    Moving your business into a coworking space also gives you plenty of time to look for the right neighborhood and location when the time comes to move into your own space. By joining a coworking space, you can leisurely get to know the neighborhoods that you might like to settle in when your business grows up.

  4. Networking Potential

    The most obvious way coworking spaces work well for growing your brand revolves around the inherent nature of coworking spaces. Surrounded by like-minded professionals, growing businesses learn from other business professionals about different aspects of their enterprises.

    Suffice it to say, many an in-the-same-boat scenario from a more experienced business owner has helped fledgling businesses navigate their way through uncharted waters. By getting to know your fellow coworkers in a working environment, who knows what can happen? An idea from a passing conversation can turn into a new enterprise. Coworking spaces and collaboration just work like that. You can also increase your brand presence, building relationships with other members who will spread the word about your business to people they know, and so on.

    Also, as your business expands, you’re going to need more staff. Additionally, you may need an e-commerce site, product photography, or an SEO copywriter to add content to your website. Your search for employees and contractors you may need for projects you may not want to tackle yourself are right at your fingertips. Any number of coworking professionals, including independent attorneys, publishers, healthcare professionals, as well as financial consultants and marketing professionals, may become your go-to for legal matters, as well as for creative and IT services.

  5. Balancing work with play

    Let’s not forget about other networking opportunities that help balance your work with your play. It’s not all work, work, work in coworking spaces. Most coworking spaces are designed to encourage break taking, featuring food venues and catering events and also hosting educational, social networking events, where members mingle and have the opportunity to get to know one other better. Some coworking spaces feature yoga classes, guided meditations, and other rejuvenating amenities to help keep members motivated and balanced.

These 5 reasons coworking spaces can help grow your brand merely scratch the surface of the benefits of moving your growing business to a coworking space. At Venture X, we connect members to the spaces they need to efficiently grow their brands in a motivated atmosphere that promotes collaboration. Connect your expanding business to your local business community. Contact Venture X to discuss the features of our coworking spaces or to schedule a tour and discover why you just can’t afford not to grow your brand at one of our exciting locations!

Help Your Business Grow with Coworking Spaces

How Coworking Spaces Help You Grow Your Business

In the US alone, coworking spaces jumped from a grand total of one in 2005 to 781 in 2017, with no signs of slowing down, according to Inc.com. Originally geared towards startups and entrepreneurs as a solution to working from home or brainstorming at a coffee shop, coworking spaces are now changing the face of the traditional office. Even corporations are getting in the game, using coworking spaces as convenient, cost-effective satellite offices. Besides the built-in social networking, community spirit, and collaborative nature coworking spaces offer, the new normal in office environments can actually help you grow your business.

Coworking vibe motivates like-minded professionals

While you might think the energy level, the social element and just working around a lot of other people may be distracting for individuals, as well as businesses using coworking spaces as branch offices, the truth is, studies have shown that the open coworking space vibe increases members’ productivity and success.

A February 2017 Business.com article reported that research by DeskMag and Deskwanted revealed that:

  • 74% of coworkers are more productive
  • 86% have a larger business network
  • 93% have a bigger social network
  • Over two-thirds feel more creative and collaborate more on projects
  • A third reported an increase in income

Also, a Harvard Business Review study showed that people who were members of coworking spaces reported levels of thriving that approach an average of 6 on a 7-point scale. That’s at least one point above folks working in traditional spaces. “Unheard of,” said Harvard Business Review, as they double-checked their data just to be sure. Along with working in motivating, inspirational spaces, businesses, and individuals like the idea of saving money and avoiding the pitfalls of setting up and maintaining an office space.

Getting right down to business without overhead expenses

When you’re just starting to grow into your success, fledgling businesses often take a hit to their productivity and overheads by setting up an office. Skipping the stress that goes along with long-term leases, outfitting a space and setting up technology keeps your business on track. Coworking space members enjoy all of the appointments of an upscale office space, with laser fast Wi-Fi, plus all of the services and amenities you need to keep on, keeping on, towards more success at a fraction of what it costs to maintain a traditional office space. According to a MakeOffice.com article, “coworking spaces have been proven to reduce expenditures of small companies by as much as 75 percent.”

Coworking spaces equal flexibility

Another coworking space perk that helps companies grow revolves around the fact that whatever space needs your company encounters during different growth phases, coworking spaces deliver. You might need to rent a large space to brainstorm ideas with remote team members once a month, or you may want a private office for yourself and semi-private spaces for other team members.  Short term rentals are available whether you need to rent a conference room for a product launch or for training sessions on a new system. Coworking spaces redefine flexibility.

Most coworking spaces feature boutique hotel lobby-like community areas, with sofas and chairs that make an ideal place to meet with new clients or just to take a break from it all. Flexibility means that you aren’t stuck in a space that doesn’t fit the needs of your company as it grows. Speaking of stuck, the intrinsic, collaborative spirit of coworking spaces can help you hurdle business obstacles, as well.

Consulting, conversing and collaboration

The diverse community of coworking spaces lends itself to helping other members out. You may find answers to your specific hurdle by consulting with a business owner who’s been down the same road already. When creative ideas start bouncing around from one coworking member to another, the synergy can create new ideas, new business relationships, and new businesses. Not a bad perk.

Also, a number of freelancers working at coworking spaces can provide the support your business needs in the way of websites, marketing, photography, and other components of your business that may not be your specialty. Saving time choosing a web designer or an IT guy to set up your e-commerce site saves money and allows you to do what you do best, keep growing your business . . . even when you’re not feeling so productive.

Coworking energy is contagious

Working from home can present a plethora of distractions that can easily take a big chunk out of your work schedule and result in frustration with further distractions and down the rabbit hole your day goes. Coworkers often surprise themselves when they show up for work, not really feeling it that day and can’t help but get into their business goals because others around them are so jazzed about what they’re doing that it just rubs off on them. Then, maybe there’s a community event that day that addresses something you’re trying to figure out and . . . there it is, problem solved. Or maybe you attend a community event that day where you meet someone with an idea that grows into a new business opportunity. You gotta be in it, to win it.

Hone your skill sets

Because coworking lets you network at the business level in a professional environment, you are ideally positioned to learn how to expand your business skills and learn new skills you may not have deemed necessary before. Your whole day could turn into a series of learning opportunities that inspire you to break through the barriers that affect your progress moving forward.

Venture X Naples offers everything you need to save money while growing your business in today’s marketplace. Affordable, upscale digs with flexible monthly contracts, an open, welcoming community of like-minded professionals that motivates you and promotes productivity, with the same goal of continuing success. Visit Venture X Naples to schedule a tour of your new office space. Located in the heart of Naples, the Mercato neighborhood features top of the line shopping, dining, and entertainment venues. Take a client to lunch or take a walk on the beach in the morning – a mere five-minute bike ride away from our location. Just another perk.

Why Major Companies are Moving to Coworking Spaces

Benefits of Coworking Spaces

Initially, coworking spaces offered a professional, flexible work atmosphere for young creatives, startups, and freelancers who were looking to bridge the gap between working from home and investing in an office space. With so many of today’s business leaders starting up their careers in coworking spaces in the mid-2000s, the idea of using coworking spaces for a large company’s temporary or remote office space needs is more appealing than spending a bunch of hours and money flying employees to their corporate headquarters to attend meetings in person when using today’s technology allows for other, less expensive options.

Moving directly into coworking spaces, attractive for the convenience and amenities

Coworking spaces made a lot of sense with immediate access to upscale workspaces without going through the process of setting up shop on your own. Sidestepping the expense and time required to lease an office space, never mind purchasing office supplies, office equipment, office furniture and who knows what else in order to just get up and running, coworking spaces offered all of the amenities of a well-appointed office space without taking your focus away from developing your business. Also, for startups with uncertain futures, coworking spaces offer a professional environment that scales to your office space needs as your company evolves.

Some of the largest tech companies began in coworking spaces

While some of the largest tech companies today got their start in coworking spaces – Spotify, Instagram, Uber, Wanderfly, Charity:Water and IndieGoGo, among others –  coworking spaces haven’t really been able to shake their association with young entrepreneurs and tech startups . . . or have they?

Corporations now account for 40% of coworking space membership

It seems large businesses are finding coworking spaces preferable to establishing their own physical presences in some places. Even though we all know that large corporations possess the resources to expand into their own new spaces, coworking spaces offer instant connectivity, polished surroundings, amenities and so much more.

Perhaps, as businesses grow more mobile and global, the impact of a physical footprint on communities doesn’t mean as much as it did in the past. However, it’s not just the convenience of monthly leases or the free coffee and water that are drawing large businesses to coworking spaces, it’s . . . well, it’s everything.

Instant temporary digs

Coworking spaces come in handy for major companies as they work out the particulars of an expansion into a new geographic area. Bringing staff together or interviewing for positions at a new location can be easily accommodated at coworking spaces. With flexible contracts, coworking spaces offer semi-private offices for recruiting as well as boardrooms for brainstorming. Semi-private office spaces are ideal when teams need to convene and tech-savvy virtual office spaces work for conference calls and Skype meetings with corporate.

A community atmosphere

Many coworking space studies, like these in business.com or Harvard Business Review, have shown an uptick in productivity among professionals working in coworking spaces. Not unlike going to the gym on a regular basis, when you work out around other people, some people find motivation and focus, while others naturally switch into competitive mode, working harder than they would on their own. Just a little bit of healthy competition can keep eager business professionals working steadily towards the same goals of success. Survey subjects said coworking spaces not only helped with productivity but with confidence, self-esteem, and motivation.

Major companies can save some money that they can invest elsewhere

Why not save some money when venturing into new territories? Corporations can cut outfitting costs and the overhead required to acquire and maintain an office by setting up shop at coworking spaces in different locations. Major companies also save time by instantly getting their coworking spaces up and running. With monthly leases tied into one payment, corporations save time and money on accounting services as well as other ongoing expenses corporations incur in the day-to-day of office management. And, there’s more.

Coworking vibe can’t be found in most corporate office spaces

While your company may have the hippest vibe in town, dedicated office spaces can’t really generate the same electric atmosphere that’s palpable in most coworking spaces. A sense of creative innovation and the capacity to change the world underlies the excitement of turning professional passions into lucrative realities. The creative process hums like a pulse in coworking spaces, igniting ideas and fostering collaboration. New ideas evolve into new projects.

Connecting with the larger community

Networking and collaboration are built into the very definition of coworking spaces; they offer ties to a larger community than traditional office environments. Not just a number, a common downside of the traditional corporate structure, coworking members get to know other members and discover resources they can bring to their specific corporate cultures. Social activities and networking events lend themselves to finding new talent for large companies as corporations take advantage of recruiting the talent they need from coworking members they already know they’d like to hire.

At Venture X Naples, we welcome major companies as part of our diverse, growing membership. In the up-and-coming North Naples area, the Mercato plaza is home to many popular dining, shopping and entertainment venues that offer many options for Venture X Naples members to impress clients, celebrate team successes or to just take a break from their business days.

Contact us to schedule a visit or reserve a workspace. Large companies, small companies, startups, and others can all find the right working space for their business needs at Venture X Naples. Join us and experience the excitement of interacting with other business professionals, as well as exploring the many options for grabbing a bite or taking a well-deserved break such as heading to the beach that’s just a five-minute bike ride away!