Contrary to what shows like Mad Men taught us, the allure of the large, fancy corner office no longer has the same appeal as it did in the days of Don Draper. While there’s no denying the glitz and glam that’s synonymous with sparkling offices and sharp suits, we’ve got to admit one thing: that just isn’t our definition of the professional world anymore!

Before you begin to long for patterned ties or shiny kitten heels, it’s important to realize how amazing this is. In our day and age, we’ve somehow managed to redefine the way the business world works. From billion dollar companies that once began as start-ups in someone’s crowded garage to million dollar ideas born in ivy league dorm rooms, we’ve single-handedly proven that you don’t need a brick and mortar location to make your mark professionally.

Due to these incredible shifts, it’s about time that the way we work followed suit. So long, uncomfortable office chair that you likely sit in motionless for hours at a time (ouch)!

collaborative-spaces-2Collaborative workspaces, otherwise known as spaces that are open to the public and promote a serene and productive atmosphere, are the new frontier. From cult-favorites like Starbucks to local spots like Moonbeams, the McAllen Creative Incubator and Grind Coffee Co., the RGV is nearly bursting with collaborative workspaces.

Whether you’re on the verge of launching a start-up or you’re simply looking to get your work done in an environment that is open and engaging, why not give a collaborative workspace a try?

To convince you further, here are the 4 greatest benefits of working in a shared workspace:

1. Grow your network

One of the most striking benefits of collaborative workspaces is their great contrast to the traditional office. In an open space like Starbucks, you have an advantage that none of those with 8-5’s do: the ability to socialize! At coffee shops throughout the Valley, you’ll see all different types of people and entrepreneurs no matter how long your stay is. This presents an invaluable opportunity for you to network with the people around you and spread the word about your business. Who knows, you might just meet the future Ben to your Jerry’s.

2. Expand your business

While you have the chance of meeting people who can be a part of your business, you also have the opportunity to connect with people who will help it’s growth. I don’t have to go through the many benefits of networking to drive this point home, but that ‘stranger’ sitting next to you at Moonbeams might be providing a service that your business can benefit from. Be talkative and work the room! You never know who you might stumble upon.

3. Productive perks

This one goes without saying, but it’s no secret that the people behind today’s start-ups can’t exactly afford to purchase a $6 iced mocha latte every three hours. That’s where spaces like the McAllen Creative Incubator, Brownsville WorkPub and the nearly complete Mission CEED facility come in! Think endless amenities and the chance to connect with countless creative individuals who are just like you. I mean, who wouldn’t love access to a Keurig in a relaxed, energizing atmosphere? There’s also The Grindstone in Edinburg and a new collaborative workspace opening in Nerdvana soon.

4. Solid Ground

These days, launching a start-up is one of the most challenging tasks you can take on. Thankfully collaborative workspaces were created with this fact in mind. Thanks to these locations, you no longer have to worry about covering the expenses of a large office. That is certainly a blessing if I ever saw one. What’s more, the fees at places like The Grindstone in Edinburg are low and manageable for entrepreneurs as they watch their business grow and expand their staff. Entrepreneurs of the RGV, get ready to free yourselves of the worries that acquiring a traditional office space can bring.

Even if collaborative workspaces aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, for all you self-employed, freelance or start-up operators in the RGV, they might just be that missing puzzle piece you need to take things to the next level! Check out one of the many coworking spaces in the Valley to see the difference it could make in your life and business.