I recently talked to a small business in downtown Denver with a lease that expires next month. Their five employees each had their own dusty desk but would rarely be at the office at the same time, meaning they were often alone when they were there (awesome sometimes, but boring most of the time). Because cell phones and laptops allowed for everyone to work remotely, the office was used solely as a space to gather for weekly meetings, catching everyone up on new product features, sales, and housekeeping details. Spending thousands of dollars for the space each month seemed as wasteful as buying a Super Bowl-sized sub every night for dinner and taking a few bites.

Cut the fat. Up the Awesome.
To reduce their office “fat,” one of the employees suggested Creative Density and coworking after tying it out for a day while working remotely. Coworking spaces are shared and open work spaces for freelancers, remote workers, and small businesses that are tired of working alone and don’t need much more than strong Wifi, amazing coffee, some meeting space, and a casual yet professional work environment. Since the space is open (no cubicles,) a sense of camaraderie and idea sharing happens between members as they work besides each other and help one another out. The spillover knowledge is like listening to a new Ted Talk every day (awesome, right?)

Coworking also ends up also being cheaper than renting an office because you buy a membership based on what is needed. The total for the Denver small business of five employees will be around $600 and doesn’t require a lease. They will meet once or twice a week in the private conference room but everyone can work remotely or cowork so nothing is ever wasted- The universe seems aligned.

But this potential move will be more than a way to reduce cost and space-waste. The small business is also considering the move because the employees will be surrounded by creative designers, consultants, and many other professionals to learn from, and hire for projects (make it rain!). This cuts even more wasted time. The company will be able to swivel around and hire some pretty smart people right next to them, versus going to an expensive agency or searching for weeks for the right guy/gal. I bet the downtown office and sense of being isolated from other business will start to feel dated after a few weeks of coworking.

Mixing Space and Energy.
Many people might think of a coworking as a place you graduate from being a startup and grow your head count, but coworking has many more benefits aside from being an affordable office. The community of people, the flexibility, and the fun creative environment help small business stay focused and motivated with the constant energy and discussions happening in the space. Plus, the team can still duck away into the conference room or huddle around one table for important group discussions. This balance of energy and space can’t easily be replicated in a private office or a typical small business headquarters.

Coworking is more than a nice workspace for freelancers and startups: it’s a new alternative for small businesses. Take advantage of the community of awesome people that you could work beside by checking out Creative Density in Denver or your local coworking spot.