Coworking Spaces — What are They?
All ITMO students come from different countries and cities. We all travel from campus to campus, from dormitories to lessons, from meetings to lectures. For example, I am a participant of many activities at the university. They all are located in different places and sometimes even in opposite parts of St. Petersburg. Very often I hear questions about how I can do everything. There is a simple answer — coworkings!
A lot of students come to ITMO from small towns. Earlier I only needed ten minutes to get to school and now I spend 1.5 hours commuting to university. That is why after two weeks I understood that I spend more time on the road than on my studies and the rest put together. I started looking for ways to save time. The biggest problem was the gap in time between my morning classes and evening activities, like sports, concerts, volunteering, and so on. At first, I used to go home after classes. I would stay there for 1−2 hours and then go back to university again. In fact, I spent more time on travelling than on relaxing. I needed to change this.
Everybody who has been to St. Petersburg has seen small chairs and tables in all public places. In bookshops, they look very old and stylish, sometimes there are some books on them. In cafes, you will not even understand if it’s a chair or a piece of contemporary art. If you come to a museum you will see such places too. A lot of people think that they must pay for sitting there. But these places are not usual cafes. They are coworkings.
A coworking is a special place for studying, working, and relaxing. Most of the time, it is free. It means that you can go there, take your laptop with you, and sit there for all the time you need. What are the advantages of coworkings? First, they save you time. Instead of going home from university and losing 3 hours a day for it, you can come to a coworking and spend this time usefully. The second advantage is the possibility to work there. Nowadays, there are a lot of freelancers and remote workers. Of course, they can all work from home but for lots of people it is inconvenient. When you are in a coworking it is easier for you to make yourself work than when you are lying in bed with a cup of tea. That is why lots of people who do not need to go somewhere for work come to coworkings. Very often you can also buy coffee and some snacks there.
Students use coworkings more than anybody else. We need to study in groups, do homework with people who understand the subject, and in 2020, listen to online lectures. ITMO is a modern university, so there are a lot of coworkings on every campus. But they are not usual tables and chairs like in libraries. Coworkings in ITMO are closer to contemporary art. Each of them looks different. The most popular one is located on Lomonosova St. inside the Student Services Office, and it is very convenient for those, who like working in pairs or small groups. Of course, near every table there are a lot of power sockets, so everybody can always charge their gadgets.
Another coworking on Lomonosova is better for those who prefer studying by themselves. It is very quiet so you can always come there and work in silence.
One more coworking is on Birzhevaya street. It is very big and bright and very comfortable to sit there between lessons.
Just a couple of weeks ago, a new coworking space opened in the main campus of ITMO University, on Kronverksky Pr. It looks incredible. There are new MacBooks in it and every student can sit there and use them. A lot of chairs, armchairs and beanbags are available there. You can go there anytime you want, because this coworking is open 24/7. It is made by modern designers and looks like a Google workspace. You will always love spending time in this coworking. You can read more about ITMO’s coworking spaces here.
If one day you are in St. Petersburg without any ideas of what to do — you can go to a coworking and see how different and convenient they can be. Enjoy this time!