If you are considering starting in a coworking space, then you will need to know the advantages and disadvantages. This is especially true of one-person or small business startups that need office space to get things done.
It was not long ago that most small startups, particularly online businesses, had to either rent expensive standard offices or work from home which also has many disadvantages. A coworking space offers the best of both worlds in having an inexpensive, yet professional setting with everything you need to get your business going.
Low Cost: With renting a standard office, you are not only paying for space that may be far more than what you need, but also the IT infrastructure, office furnishings, and security which can all add up to a large bill.
A coworking space is the opposite, offering everything you need at a monthly rental fee that is often a fraction compared to standard office settings. This means that you can get what you want for less and grow your business with a lower overhead.
Everything You Need: Coworking spaces may have you sit at a desk in the common area next to others or a private room that is just big enough for your work. In any event, you will have the IT, phone, and printing support needed to run your business from the laptop that you bring. This means that you plug in your laptop or connect through the wireless service and you are off and running.
Networking: The importance of networking with other businesses cannot be overstated. By being in the same common room with businesses owners in different industries, you can make connections quickly and easily. The community atmosphere in a coworking space is such that finding someone with the services you need may be as simple as asking your neighbor what they do. In areas with many startups such as San Francisco, the networking benefits become one of the core benefits of such coworking spaces. SOMAcentral as an example, has been home to many infamous startups from Instagram to Etsy to AngelList. Goes without saying that there is enormous value in building relationships with startups of such calibre in their early days.
Flexibility: Many coworking spaces offer short term leases and rental fees that make it easy to leave when you are ready to expand into your own office space. Plus, you can rent by the day, week, or month a space in the common area or a private office which provides considerable flexibility. For many, this type of working environment is the perfect way to start as you come and go as you please.
Improved Working Atmosphere: It may seem counterintuitive at first, but the working environment in coworking space is quite pleasant. This is because you are part of a community that are all working at the same time, but for yourselves and not someone else. That leads to a positive working atmosphere that is infectious, helping you to get more done while not having to deal with the stress and strain of working together.
Events: Many coworking spaces offer events that bring together everyone in a common celebration. This can be a great opportunity for networking, gaining insight into other businesses and industries, and getting along better with those who you work next to every day.
While there are strong advantages to coworking spaces, there are a few disadvantages that you need to consider before taking the next step.
Little Privacy: Arguably the biggest disadvantage is not having enough privacy, an obvious flaw of coworking space. While the noise level may be low, it’s still may be difficult to focus on specific tasks within your company while having to keep everyone else in mind. Glass dividers and renting a private room does help, but you will still overhear phone calls of the other coworkers which may provide distractions you don’t need.
Crowded: The more popular the coworking space, the more crowded it will become. Since the primary purpose of such places is to provide you with a calm, professional working environment it becomes annoying when so many people are crammed together in the same area. Unfortunately, this is an issue with the more successful coworking spaces, so you’ll have to deal with it.
Events: The same advantage can also be a disadvantage. Most coworking spaces have events which brings everyone together. Unfortunately, they may happen at a time when you it is inconvenient for your business operations. If you want to get something else done, you may have to reschedule around the event taking place. All in all, the advantages and disadvantages of coworking spaces provides you with everything you need to know. Whether such spaces are right for you depends on your business and what you are trying to get accomplished. So, be sure to check out as many coworking spaces as practical before making your final decision.