Pros and Cons of Coworking Spaces
Should Your Business Utilize a Coworking Space?
Pro: It Can Be More Affordable Than Leasing
Unfortunately, the cost of leasing office space is high. When you factor in all the extra expenses that make the space usable for your business, it can quickly become an unaffordable option.
In comparison, renting a coworking space could prove to be a more cost-effective alternative. Renting a coworking space will vary in price, depending on your location and the facility where you’ll be working. For example, WeWork, a company that has opened coworking spaces worldwide offers plans for as little as $220 per month. If you need to run your business in a space that’s affordably priced, you might benefit from starting out at a coworking space until you can invest in a permanent location.
Pro: Provided Amenities
Depending on the type of business you’re running, there are certain amenities that could help your business remain operational, or simply make your employees happier. A perk of coworking spaces is that they’re equipped with everything you’ll need, including a reliable internet connection, office equipment, and furnished meeting areas. Each coworking space will have its own unique amenities to keep members comfortable, from coffee and snacks to lounges. If you own a small company and offering amenities to your employees is important to you, a coworking space could be a great fit!
Pro: A Sense of Community
Working from a home may be comfortable and convenient, but it can also feel isolating. Joining a coworking community is an opportunity to network with other professionals, share ideas, and support fellow entrepreneurial ventures. Getting to know people who are working for themselves or running small businesses can be incredibly motivating. Often, there will even be networking events and social gatherings for members to get to know each other outside of the work day, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to make valuable connections. You never know, these people could become customers, or might be able to connect you with potential patrons!
Pro: Continued Improvements
With the rise in popularity of coworking spaces comes an increase in options that you can choose from. According to research from the Global Coworking Unconference Conference, the number of individuals choosing coworking spaces is rising by over 24 percent each year. Due to this, more spaces are opening and coworking companies are expanding the features available to members so that their spaces stand out. If you’re interested in a coworking space, you’ll likely be able to choose from a few different options, which will allow you to select the best possible space for your company!
Con: Cost Still Might Be Out of Budget
Yes, a coworking space will most likely be less expensive than leasing office space. However, it’s still a big expense that might not be in the budget. If you’re self-employed, you might find that free workspaces like libraries and coffee shops with Wi-Fi are a better option until you can afford to pay the monthly fee for a coworking space.
Con: Too Many Distractions
Being around other people can be a great motivation to stay productive during the work day, but it can also mean being surrounded by distractions that will limit productivity. In a coworking space, you won’t have control over other companies’ meetings, the volume of people talking on the phone, or someone at a neighboring desk listening to music while they work. When you have your own business space, you can make the rules, but at a coworking space you’ll need to be prepared for potential distractions that you can’t control.
Con: Considerable Restrictions
There’s a lot to be said for a space that’s already designed, furnished, and equipped with amenities. On the other hand, it means that your options for customizing your work space are limited. For instance, you most likely won’t be able to decorate walls with artwork or bring in your favorite desk chair. You’ll also need to deal with the restrictions that come with sharing your space with a large group of people, including waiting for private meeting space.
Con: Limited Space
Along with the restrictions on how your space looks, there could be limitations on how the space is used. Depending on the coworking space you join, you’ll have options for the type of space you’ll get. At WeWork, for example, you can choose between a hot desk (which means choosing any open seat each day), a dedicated desk that will only be yours, and a private office with a lock. Clearly, some options offer more space, privacy, and security than others. You’ll need to find the balance between those needs and your budget to decide if the space makes sense for your business.
Conclusion: Coworking Spaces Are Great, But They Aren’t for Everybody
Coworking may not be the best solution for everyone, but for many it can be the answer to the need for an affordable, well equipped workspace. Would you consider running your business from a coworking space? Let us know in the comment section below!
Editor’s Note: This post was updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness in November 2018.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.