Startup Diaries: Women And Coworking

Coworking appealed to Victoria so much that she started a business around it. Victoria Arnold, coworking enthusiast and founder of online ventures Desk Union and Homestayfriend, talks to The NextWomen about the growing trend of coworking, considering how this trend can help startups to progress, and why it particularly appeals to women in business. 

Coworking … it’s a word that’s new to most people’s vocabulary, and it’s transforming the way we work globally. Entrepreneurs, startups, freelancers and growth businesses are embracing this collaborative way of working, with some fantastic results!

I absolutely love coworking, so much so that I started my business, Desk Union, around it.  Having been part of a bustling coworking community in central Edinburgh for the last 10 months, and having spent time in coworks all over the world - including Washington DC, Barcelona, London and most recently Las Vegas - I know why this trend is building in popularity so quickly, and why it particularly appeals to women in business.

(By the way, the coworking space I used in Vegas was incredible! It is a disused casino, part of the downtown project, fit with an ice rink, fire pits and patio ... much better than a kitchen table!)

Women, by their very nature, build relationships and interact with others differently to their male counterparts.

In business, women provide an incredible support network, which is one of the main principles of coworking - support from likeminded people in a collaborative environment.

The industry has even developed to include single-sex coworking spaces, such as Hera Hub in California, which is a beautifully engineered space for female only entrepreneurs. Personally, I enjoy the dynamics of a mixed gender workspace, but if it works for some, why not!

Regular interaction with fellow space-users is at the heart of any successful cowork. This is particular relevant to women; according to online coworking magazine deskmag’s 1st Global Coworking Survey, interaction is the most important criteria for females when choosing a coworking space to join.

The article also suggests that women also believe that “belonging to a community” is an important factor – again another aspect central to successful working.  

Coworking is all about working collectively, learning from peers, supporting one another and showing encouragement. Even if you are set up as a one-man-band, you can still work as a team if you join a coworking community. Deskmag’s survey also revealed that women work in teams more often than men, spending less time working alone and attending more events.

Many women (and men, for that matter) with family commitments find it hard to accommodate a set 9 to 5 routine. The majority of coworking spaces accommodate flexible working and are open very early in the morning, late in the evenings and all weekend, hugely reducing pressure.

Networks effortlessly blossom in a coworking space. Relationships build quickly, and success breeds further success.

Positively rubs off on those around you, and this is exactly why coworking is priceless!

Victoria is based in the UK and currently operates two growing businesses, Desk Union and Homestayfriend. As a coworking evangelist, Victoria is always looking for new opportunities to collaborate and pay it forward. Her favourite thing about her job? Taking her dog Alfie with her to work! Read more about Victoria here

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