The Collective is a new kind of property company, redefining the way people choose to live by offering entrepreneurs and start-ups a creative co-work space. One of the official sponsors for the Health Blog Awards, we caught up with The Collective to find out exactly what co-working is all about, and how it can benefit bloggers and entrepreneurs.

What is The Collective?

We are the UK’s first and the world’s largest co-living provider. We combine an agile start-up mentality with our proven design and development expertise to bring about innovation in the property market. We create spaces that allow you to engage in a collaborative community through shared experiences, chance encounters and social events, aiming to design, develop, and manage each community we create.  

Co-living is a new way of living inspired by the old, with community and collective experiences at its core. Starting with the basics, we offer shared spaces such as a bar, restaurant, gym, library, laundry, roof terraces, hot desks and more. Using this space to bring everyone together, we are creating collaborative and fun environments that expose members to new people, new ideas and new experiences. If you’re a native Londoner, it’s your new scene. If you’re new to London, it’s your home away from home. If you’re an entrepreneur, it’s your future network. In essence, co-living is by the people, for the people with something for everyone.

Co-working shares the same great benefits of co-living community, convenience, and collective experiences just this time with a desk instead of a bed.

The benefits of working in a co-work space

Anyone working alone, be it a blogger or entrepreneur, will benefit massively from being surrounded by other people going through similar situations and dealing with similar challenges. Starting a business or a new venture by yourself can be daunting, particularly during those early stages, and sometimes it feels good to know you’re not alone; that there are other people you can relate to and vice versa. Working in a co-working space allows you to surround yourself with other like-minded people – whether you interact or not is up to you, sometimes it’s enough to just know they are there. Another huge benefit is access to a pool of talent, who are usually willing to help. As a tech start-up you may want advice on how to brand yourself, and if you’re based at a co-working space it’s more likely that there will be someone there to give you a hand than if you stayed curled up in bed. Finally, many co-working spaces, like ours at 14 Bedford Square, offer a lot more than simple access to a desk in a fun environment and a community; we also host regular events focused on our members, ranging from yoga to panel discussions.

The top three benefits of working among others (rather than at home in your PJs!):

  1. Community – It’s good to know you’re not alone. Having people around who you can relate to can feel good, especially in the early stages of setting up your business.
  2. Skill-sharing – In order to grow, you need to be inspired. At The Collective, you’ll have access to a talent pool who can share with you their knowledge, skills set and ideas.
  3. Networking – You never know who you might meet at The Collective; from your future business partner to your muse, there’s a world of opportunities for chance meetings.

Co-work can actively support your business

The major benefit gained from co-working is that you never know who you are going to meet; an investor, a future business partner, a future client… these spaces are full of opportunities for chance encounters. It’s these spontaneous meetings that can often be the most fruitful for your business.

Chance encounters vs organised fun

It’s important to strike the right balance between allowing chance encounters to happen naturally, and at the same time encouraging them through engineered situations. You don’t want to have too much “organised fun” so it’s important to listen to your members and understand what they want to get out of the space and their time there. Then you can program your events calendar around their needs.

Incorporating health

Wellness can come in many different forms, from the way a space is designed to enhance productivity and inspire creativity (we even have a Playroom at 14 Bedford Square with a darts board, lego board and table football!), to the food and drink on offer. Including activities such as yoga, mindfulness and meditation is also a great way to remind members of the importance of taking a break for some self-reflection and to gain some perspective on life when things get stressful!