It's been 10 years since betahaus Barcelona was founded. Ten years in which we went from being a dilapidated building with 20 brave people inside, to a community of more than 650 creative professionals, remote workers and entrepreneurs of more than 35 different nationalities.
These are our conclusions on how Coworking has changed our lives and the basic reasons why we continue to introduce more services and improvements to adapt to the future (already present) of work.
1. Coworking makes you more productive.
Anyone could say that if you are alone, at home, with nothing but your computer and your dog (or cat), there is no other consequence but productivity. Nothing could be further from the truth. The chances of finding yourself in your pajamas, without any hint of good manners and procrastinating with any youtube video you come across are extremely high.
The first impression most people have the first time they come to betahaus is that they will not be able to concentrate. Many people fear that in an environment of about 150 people (85% of whom are highly social), quietness and 'focus' are terms that will not usually be visited. The conclusion they come to is completely logical: +people, +distracters.
In the time we have been open, we have found against all logic, that people are much more productive working in a more sociable and crowded environment, than at home, for the simple fact that seeing others working, inspires us to work.
Working in a coworking the inertia that is generated between everyone in the room, makes it possible for everyone to give that 'little bit' more that productivity requires. Many times I have seen myself exhausted, about to open that viral video, and when I raise my head and see other people concentrated, focused on their work, it automatically makes you go back to work, at least out of embarrassment so as not to be out of tune with the others.
2. In a coworking you become more educated
One of the side effects that we like the most about working at betahaus is the amount of valuable information I am in contact with on a daily basis. An informal chat in the Café becomes the beginning of a new route to be walked. In this last year we got to know in depth, through our members, the maker movement, crowdfunding, new marketing tools, I met new authors, practiced my English, my German, and started to feel an attraction for Japanese, chatted with people of at least 40 different nationalities and fascinating cultural backgrounds.
That little 6-story tower of babel that is betahaus has become an endless source of information that does nothing but give you a broader view of the world
3. In a coworking you can test your ideas.
One of the biggest problems an entrepreneur has is having the possibility to validate his idea in an efficient and fast way. The reality is that most entrepreneurs move in academic or 'non-entrepreneurial' environments. Both places are lousy places to go to validate concepts, mainly for the sole reason that we cannot expect adequate feedback from the wrong people. On the other hand, working in a coworking, any trivial lunchtime chat can turn into a very valuable feedback. Especially because we entrepreneurs tend to think we are somewhat unique and it is good to see quickly that your idea is not as disruptive as you thought, and that encourages you to improve yourself and give things a new twist. Therefore, for an entrepreneur, there is nothing better than a diverse ecosystem of nationalities, knowledge and cultures.
4. In a coworking space, your social life improves.
What could be better than living daily with dozens of people from different countries and cultures? Not only, as we said before, that you become 'more cultured', but also that there is always something to do. For me coworking doesn't end the moment you leave the space, it's more like an attitude that lasts throughout the week when you end up having a beer or attending the birthday of a member of the community.
What I like most about betahaus is that there is always a plan. There's always someone willing to go for a beer or a bike ride in the countryside.
5. You are happier
Because in the end that's what it's all about. Those of us who are lucky enough to do what we like and find it hard to distinguish the line of what is 'work' and what is 'leisure', but rather see the terms in an amalgamated way, going every day to work at the coworking space can't make you anything but happy. It's (almost) everything there. My work, my friends, my source of information, my source of fun.
During all this time we have lived through sentimental breakups, we have found new friends, also partners for our ideas and ventures. We have celebrated birthdays, weddings and also some funerals.
Yes, this is what life is all about, we only have one life and it is worth living it with intensity and fullness. To give the best of oneself every day surrounded by good and talented people.
That's why I fervently believe that coworking changes your life.