A coworking space provides a space for freelancers, startups, and small businesses to work, network, and involve themselves in their local business community. The goal of coworking isn’t just to share infrastructure and costs among members but to become part of a community, be accessible, and be sustainable. These workplaces are focused on fostering a collaborative and productive work environment for their people.
If you consider getting a membership in a coworking space, consider the following pros and cons before making an informed decision.
Pros of Coworking Spaces
Networking and Collaboration
The greatest single benefit of coworking spaces is networking. You can link, socialize, learn from, and interact with other businesses in a shared office.
Coworking spaces also host networking events to connect corporations with partners or clients, brainstorming sessions with other like-minded businesses, and educational workshops. You can also enjoy fun activities such as luncheon events and workout classes, enhancing collaborations and turning them into profitable personal relationships.
Coworking spaces give you flexibility, whether working hours, payment terms, or making your team. If you are a freelancer looking to work per your schedule, you can find a nearby shared space that operates 24 hours. Similarly, small businesses or agencies can save money by renting spaces every month.
For example, Coworking Space Singapore is well known for flexible outlets and payment plans to serve the needs of different clients. A standard coworking space comes with a seating arrangement for 1 to 20 people, along with a conference room. On the other hand, an office suite is ideal for 100 to 200 people, featuring private amenities. Overall, a shared space gives you great flexibility compared to traditional workplaces.
A coworking space is aimed to maximize productivity. It is are designed to fit different work styles, offering diverse settings and a variety of desks and meeting rooms to suit different clients. It also prevents distractions caused at home by switching on the work mode. There are no constant interruptions like crying babies, cleaning the house, or completing chores. Thus, a coworking space allows you to maximize your creativity and delivery on time by minimizing interference.
A shared space can also be a creative outlet by exposing you to new perspectives and enabling you to work with other people. Moving to a new office can help you refresh your mind and find alternative solutions to business problems.
Maintaining a work-life balance is crucial to mental health; there should be a separation between your home and work workspace. Your personal and professional responsibilities become vague in this absence since there is no structure. Coworking spaces offer work-life balance as they create a distinction between your work environment and home environment: there is a place to work and a place to rest.
Coworking spaces often feature interior stairways and spacious indoor lounges to encourage movement during the workday. Many locations are built into larger complexes that have gyms and exercise studios. Some also feature meditation rooms, regular yoga sessions, and onsite showers, which are convenient after a workout.
Tech Support And Facilities
One of the major reasons people join shared spaces is the good tech support and amenities. Most of the serviced offices feature staff to help you with the internet; IT support, maintenance and reception. Also, the meeting rooms, secretarial services, and cleaning are all included in one rental fee.
These offices also have a ready-to-go infrastructure with utilities such as electricity and water supply. This type of infrastructure is particularly helpful for small agencies or startups looking forward to initiating their businesses immediately.
Cons of Coworking Spaces
Noises and Distractions
Noises and distractions are one of the major disadvantages of coworking spaces. Many of these offices are located in popular areas of the city. These can become very crowded, making focus difficult. People make calls, talk to each other, and move around, affecting concentration.
Also, the coworking environment tends to be more social than traditional office spaces, which are less structured. Consequently, if the shared space does not align with your team’s work styles and personalities, it can result in less focus and more distractions.
Lack of Privacy
While shared spaces offer great networking, they lack privacy. You might be sitting with your competitor stealing your ideas and strategies. Similarly, you may experience difficulty maintaining privacy and confidentiality on telephone calls with sensitive clients or keeping private information confidential in public places. As a result, you may be subjected to claims, lawsuits, and costly processes that you did not anticipate.
Data breaches, hacking, and malware attack are major security threats for entrepreneurs working in shared spaces. Since everyone shares the same Wi-Fi, hackers can easily get your private information from public connections.
Often, Coworking spaces are expensive and less rewarding. Since most freelancers do not have a regular job, paying a hefty price for a shared desk can be difficult. Also, many coworking spaces charge an additional fee for amenities such as coffee, lockers, printing, or meeting rooms. Hence, if you are not spending your time smartly and earning well, coworking spaces can come with a high cost and less return.
Since coworking spaces are designed to be easily accessible to everyone, they are only mostly in the commercial areas of the city. Hence, commuting can be quite overwhelming if you are not located centrally. As you will spend time and money traveling to and from the coworking location, this represents an additional expense. Also, if you are not using public transport, you may have to pay extra for parking.
Coworking spaces exhibit a volatile environment. You will see new faces every day, sit on a different desk, and may even see new walls every time. Though it may be fun and rewarding for some, people who like a steady work culture may find it challenging.
Typically, you cannot customize your workspace like in traditional office spaces. That’s because you are not assigned a desk of your own where you can keep your essentials or add personal touches like cards or memos. Also, coworking spaces have a high staff turnover rate and even close or move locations due to generally low-profit margins. So you may even have to change your locations frequently.
Just like traditional offices, coworking spaces have their pros and cons. By evaluating your personality, work style, and routine, you can decide whether a shared space is right for you or not. Nevertheless, a coworking space has many advantages and conveniences that a traditional office does not have.