Renting a coworking space is the right option for business owners who want a professional workspace that fosters collaboration and communication, incurs low costs, offers flexible terms, affords networking opportunities, allows for growth and provides remote access.
Today’s digital economy allows business owners to operate in all kinds of workspace environments, including coworking spaces, traditional offices, home offices and more. However, out of all of the available options, coworking spaces have become popular as they offer a number of benefits and few drawbacks.
Business Owners Need More Flexibility
Flexibility plays a huge part in choosing a coworking space over a traditional office. Coworking spaces can often be rented by the hour, day or week, allowing professionals to use them without a long-term commitment or the costs associated with moving into and maintaining a traditional office.
Working at Home isn’t Always Ideal
Although working at home has become easier due to the availability of networking and communications technologies like video chat, home offices aren’t always ideal. When working from home, it can be easy to get distracted by family obligations, and the home environment may also make some people feel and act less professional. A coworking space promotes professionalism and reduces distractions commonly found in the home.
Offering Different Network Opportunities
Because a coworking space is a shared workspace, these workplace arrangements often come with networking opportunities. When you share a coworking space with other professionals in your area, you have the chance to get to know others in your industry or business owners in complementary industries.
Creating a Sense of Community for Employees and Clients
Coworking spaces also foster a sense of community for employees and clients. Instead of shutting employees away in closed offices or tiny cubicles, most coworking spaces provide open areas where communication and collaboration can thrive. Business owners can also entertain clients in many coworking spaces by holding meetings with small groups in a relaxed atmosphere.
Cutting Costs with Affordable Options and Square Footage
Costs are often lower at coworking spaces compared to traditional office spaces as well. Because a coworking space is shared with other professionals, costs are shared and tend to be lower per square foot. Additionally, costs are generally lower since you only pay for what your business uses.
Expanding to Major Cities and Beyond
For businesses seeking to expand into new territory, the cost of a traditional office lease can be expensive, and the process of setting up an office can also be costly. Coworking spaces provide a cost-effective option to establish a business presence in new areas without a long-term commitment or capital investment.
Addressing Short-term Space Needs
Coworking spaces address short-term space needs because most coworking spaces require no long-term commitment. Business owners can usually rent coworking spaces by the day, week or month, but some service providers may even rent workspace by the hour. If your business will only be in a new location for a short period of time, the ability to rent a coworking space can save money over the long-term leasing of a traditional office space.
For Collaborative Projects and Team Bonding
Team bonds often form through collaboration, and coworking spaces foster these bonds by allowing team members to work side by side. Although many coworking spaces offer an open-plan floor design, others provide individual group workspaces where team members work only with one another. In either scenario, a coworking space can facilitate team building and help create stronger professional relationships.
Types of Coworking Spaces Available
All coworking spaces are similar in concept, but the ways in which coworking spaces are designed can differ. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the different types of coworking spaces to determine which solution works best for your company’s needs.
Dedicated Desks, Private Offices, and Hot Desks
Dedicated desks, private offices and hot desks are the three main types of service options available in a coworking space. A dedicated desk is a desk space that is reserved exclusively for one member of a team. Private offices are offices that can be locked and are used by only one team member. A hot desk is a large desk that can seat multiple team members who can be swapped out as needed.
Traditional Office Space versus Coworking Office Spaces
Traditional office space generally requires a long-term commitment, and this reduces flexibility for business owners. A coworking space allows for flexible scheduling, and business owners also have more flexibility when assigning work areas in a coworking space that features hot desks.
Long-Term Leases or Flexible Workspaces
A long-term lease at a traditional office space may require a commitment of at least a year, but many office leases can require a multi-year commitment. This locks business owners in and can make it difficult to relocate or expand a business. Coworking spaces usually have no long-term commitments and can be utilized in hour, day, week or month intervals. These shorter commitments offer greater flexibility to relocate or scale a company.
Specialty and Industry-specific Coworking Spaces
Some coworking spaces are industry-specific or cater to specialty businesses. These types of workspaces can be very beneficial to business owners seeking to network with like-minded professionals.
Things to Consider Before Choosing a Coworking Space
Before choosing a coworking space, there are some things to consider, including price and location. Every business is unique, and the factors that matter to your company may not apply to another business.
Price is an important consideration when choosing a coworking space. You want to find a coworking space that is affordable based on your budget, but you will also want to think about your future needs in terms of scaling your business. Some coworking spaces charge per team member using the space, and your costs will likely rise as you add more team members.
The duration of your commitment to a coworking space is also important. Many business owners choose coworking spaces because these spaces don’t require a long-term commitment. Business owners are encouraged to read over any agreements they sign prior to renting a coworking space to avoid entering into commitments that stifle the needs of their businesses.
Many coworking spaces provide amenities like Internet access, break rooms and common areas with entertainment. The availability of amenities varies from provider to provider, but the value of amenities should be factored into any cost-benefit analysis you perform before signing an agreement with a coworking space provider.
Additionally, the terms of your rental agreement should be scrutinized carefully to ensure you understand your rights and obligations. Business owners considering a coworking space may benefit from having an attorney read over the terms of a rental agreement to ensure the terms are lawful and create a productive work environment.
Location, Location, Location
The location of a coworking space can be a key component in deciding whether to rent space. Coworking spaces located in metropolitan areas typically provide the added benefit of being close to other businesses and manufacturing or distribution centers. This can make it easier for business owners renting a coworking space to network and take advantage of nearby resources.
Privacy can be a challenge in a coworking space, meaning businesses that need private work areas may not benefit as much from renting space from a coworking service provider. Some coworking spaces do offer semi-private meeting rooms and work areas, but these may be available at an additional premium.
Ease and convenience
The ease and convenience with which a coworking space can be accessed should also be considered. You’ll want to look for a coworking space that can be easily accessed by your team members. If your team members are remote, make sure your coworking services provider offers networking solutions to allow for remote access.
Access to Additional Resources and Services
Business owners considering coworking should also look into any additional resources or services that are provided by and available through a coworking services provider. Each provider is different, but with a little bit of research, you can find coworking spaces that offer the most value for your dollar.
Coworking Space Culture and Environment
Your company culture should be a consideration when researching coworking spaces. You want to find a coworking services partner that matches the culture of its workspaces with that of your company.
The Benefits of Coworking Spaces
There are a number of benefits of coworking spaces, including cost, community and turnkey solutions.
The cost of coworking spaces tends to be lower than that of traditional office leasing. Location and the amount of space needed can affect cost, so business owners need to account for these variables.
Coworking spaces create a sense of community among renters, and this can be good for productivity. When workers feel comfortable and supported, they will usually focus more on work and spend less time feeling resentful.
Some coworking spaces host regular events for renters. These events can be fun and educational ways to network with other business owners and build a sense of camaraderie.
The smart office concept is implemented in many coworking spaces, allowing renters to take advantage of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. Smart coworking spaces also open more opportunities to get remote employees involved, potentially improving productivity.
Most coworking space rental agreements are turnkey, meaning business owners only need to sign up with a service provider and receive access to the workspace area. From there, the coworking services provider takes care of everything else.
Networking and Collaboration Opportunities
Working around other business owners in a coworking space opens up new networking and collaboration opportunities. These can help business owners get more done in a shorter amount of time and may open the door to future partnerships.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some frequently asked questions about coworking spaces:
Why rent a coworking space
Flexibility and networking opportunities are two good reasons to rent a coworking space. Another reason is that coworking spaces are typically more affordable compared to traditional office spaces.
What to consider when choosing a coworking space
You should consider the cost, location, amenities and availability of a coworking space before signing a rental agreement. These factors apply to most business owners, but your company may have unique factors to consider as well.
Do you think that coworking spaces are a good idea
Coworking spaces are a good idea for startups, small companies and entrepreneurs. Coworking spaces generally are not a good idea for large companies with many employees or companies that require dedicated workspaces.
What is the disadvantage of coworking
The biggest disadvantage of coworking is that your company doesn’t have control over the workspace. Since coworking spaces are shared, workspaces are generally less private, and nearby distractions can become a problem as well.
Who uses coworking spaces the most
Coworking spaces are used most often by solo entrepreneurs, small business owners and startups. Coworking spaces are used the least by major corporations and companies with large workforces.
What are the biggest challenges faced by coworking spaces
Some of the biggest challenges faced by companies using coworking spaces include a lack of privacy, workspace distractions and the inability to control who else rents nearby space. Whether these challenges can be overcome depends on how big of a problem they are to your specific business.
Why coworking is better than working from home
Coworking is better than working from home because it puts you in a professional work environment where you have the opportunity to network with others. Many coworking space providers also include amenities that you can’t find in a home office, including access to professional networking and office equipment as well as stocked break areas.
Why do people love coworking
People love coworking because coworking spaces offer opportunities to meet and work with other local professionals. Coworking also establishes a professional presence for solo entrepreneurs and small businesses that may not have the capital to lease a traditional office.
How do coworking spaces handle security and data protection?
Coworking spaces handle security and data protection similarly to traditional offices. Most coworking spaces have some form of check-in system that only allows verified renters into workspace areas. Additionally, coworking service providers often use network security hardware and software to protect data sent to and from devices connected to a coworking space’s Wi-Fi or LAN network.