More than a desk: The perks of coworking

CoworkingVisaMap

Guest post by Jane Lytvynenko

With self-employment on the rise in Canada, so are coworking spaces — large offices for individuals to work out of, a substitution for bringing your laptop to a coffee shop.

More than a desk and a guaranteed working outlet, a coworking space is a community. The area around the coffee maker becomes a birthplace of ideas, the unofficial whiteboard for the bright minds inhabiting the room. At any given time you have access to professionals who can help with advice, work, or collaboration. When you walk through the doors of a coworking space, a whole new culture is waiting to greet you.

It’s easy to the sing praises of coworking once you dive into the environment. When I first inquired about about it on social media, I was in for a Twitter storm of positive reviews. Even on the surface, coworking is unmistakably cool. The idea of belonging to a community of driven and talented go-getters who are known for unorthodox collaborations picques the interest of like-minded workers. But it’s when you’ve opened yourself up to the experience that the fun begins.

The Foundery, for instance, hosts endless workshops and events, celebrating diversity and acquisition of new skills. Its ever-growing list of initiatives and partnerships is both inspiring and practical for those utilizing its desks.

It is a proud member of the Coworking Visa program, which promises a desk will be there to welcome you even when you’re travelling. If you’re looking for a room with a different kind of view or need a space to concentrate when inspiration strikes abroad, this is right up your alley. The program has 450 locations worldwide that offer a space for up to three days in return for a promotional tweet.

But no matter where you gather the freelancers and the self-employed, if you ask us about the downsides of our gig, we will curse lack of health insurance. The answer? COHIP. This unique program, which the Foundery is a part of, provides customizable health insurance to members of the coworking community, even if they’re not registered at a space full-time. All you have to do to be eligible for health and dental benefits is purchase a Day Pass at any participating coworking space.

All in all, coworking is a culture worth dipping your toes into. With an expanding list of perks, including the little things like free WiFi and ongoing access to a fresh pot of coffee, why not check out a desk?

 

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