By Mary Bolling Blackiston, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – A new kind of work-environment in which professionals from different organizations share the same space while working independently has increased in popularity in Rio. Freelancers, artists, entrepreneurs and independent professionals are especially drawn to co-working spaces, as they are productive work environments away from home.
Co-working, mostly composed of young people working in the creative industries, also centers around the formation of a community of like-minded, motivated individuals who share the same values. It is about creating a unique synergy, in which individuals can exchange ideas and inspire one another.
Being a part of a co-working space of course also comes with many operational perks. In addition to offering fast internet connectivity, many of the spaces also provide free coffee, kitchen space, conference rooms, printing and other services – sometimes even courses and workshops.
From Centro to Barra da Tijuca, there are a bundle of co-working spaces to choose from in Rio. One example is Templo Co-working, a two-level, indoor-outdoor co-working space in Gávea where professionals benefit from a cozy garden, unlimited hours and unlimited use of the conference rooms, discounted homemade lunches and a fully equipped kitchen.
Templo also provides workshops; upcoming topics include branding, art and co-creation. Additional benefits are happy hour and yoga lessons. Alfonso Soares, co-founder of Templo, states that, “We believe that connected entrepreneurs, empowered with knowledge and tools, can together create a better world. This is why we create connections and structures that defy the standards of education, work and production, lower enterprise costs and allow each individual to be an agent of change.”
Giancarlo Bozza, the Italian creative director and co-founder of YMEE, is a part of Templo co-working and raves about its “extremely laid-back atmosphere”, amongst other things.
In Botafogo, Space Co-working offers homemade lunches and drinks in a house that is made up of two floors, in which there is a balcony, library and conference rooms. Liga Experimental in Santa Teresa boasts an exclusive network of partners and business with other entrepreneurs, along with a network of experienced mentors.
In Barra, WeCompany is a modern space inside the Downtown Shopping mall that has annual, monthly and daily plans, depending on one’s needs. In Centro, Porto Virtual has a variety of rooms to choose from, including a conference room, a lounge area and a café area.
For those who travel a lot, Regus, a global co-working space present in more than one hundred countries around the globe, is a safe bet. Different plans are available, with the possibility of access to all the spaces in one’s city, country or worldwide. In Rio, Regus has offices in Botafogo, Centro and Barra.
Whichever space one picks, the benefits of joining a co-working space are appealing. Bozza finds that the main advantages are “…the possibility to collaborate with other co-workers, make ‘connections’ and definitely learn from each other.”
He finds that, “In terms of collaboration, when you join one, you become part of a larger community, almost a ‘cooperative.’ Often we find synergies developing projects together, complement our services or introduce to our client other co-workers that may be perfect for them. We try to keep it ‘in the family’. I have also seen new businesses and projects developing within the walls of Templo.”
Bozza has also found that, as a foreigner, it is an excellent source for contacts, “I would say that if I need to get in touch with someone within Rio, I will find someone that can put me in direct contact.” Finally, he has also been able to learn a lot from those around him and stresses, “The ability of being in direct contact with people from a series of different backgrounds and industries [which] definitely helps if you need any advice, opinion or help.”