Coworking spaces are a popular choice for remote workers, self-employed people and small business owners looking for an affordable and flexible workspace. Unlike traditional offices, people working in coworking offices don’t all work for the same employer. With locations in cities nationwide, you likely have a coworking space near you. Not every small business will be best served by a coworking space, so before you make the choice, read up on the pros and cons.
Coworking office pros
Renting a coworking space can be a cost-effective alternative to leasing office space. Coworking offices vary in price depending on your location and space needs but cost less than traditional office space. Not only will a traditional office cost more to lease, but associated expenses like utilities, furniture and supplies quickly add up. Comparatively, you’ll know your upfront costs as soon as you join a coworking space. It can also be a more flexible option for new businesses, as most spaces offer month-to-month pricing.
Small businesses don’t need to miss out on office perks. Many coworking spaces offer amenities that can benefit you and your employees. Office furniture like desks, furnished meeting areas and lounge spaces can make running your business easier. Need to refuel in between meetings? Choose a coworking space that offers snacks, coffee and other beverages. Some coworking spaces even offer event space that can be used for larger meetings or holiday gatherings. Not all coworking spaces offer the same amenities, so check before signing up if amenities are a priority.
Sense of community
Working from home as a part of the digital workforce can provide flexibility and convenience, but you may be missing out on the social benefits of working in an office. Luckily, coworking spaces offer an alternative to a home office. Coworking offices can introduce you to other professionals and fellow entrepreneurs. Some spaces even offer networking events for members. The sense of community and social interaction that comes from a coworking space can be especially appealing for solo entrepreneurs or small business owners with only one or two employees.
Coworking office cons
Out of budget
Although coworking spaces are a less expensive option than leasing an office, it’s still an expense that may not be in your current budget. If you’ve just started your small business and can work from home or a local coffee shop, you may want to avoid the monthly cost of a coworking office.
Too many distractions
The social aspects of coworking spaces may be a positive for some, but they can also be a distraction. You may not be able to avoid noise from meetings and phone calls near you. Depending on the coworking space you choose, you may also have to sit at a different desk each day which could disrupt your routine.
Lack of privacy
The proximity to other people and businesses can be more than a distraction — it can also affect your privacy. Some coworking spaces offer meeting rooms or private offices to rent, but otherwise, you’ll likely end up working in a communal space where privacy can’t be guaranteed. If your small business deals with confidential information and requires regular voice or video calls, coworking spaces may not be the right choice.
The coworking space you join may have limitations on what space you can use. Some offices offer options like a dedicated desk or private office in addition to the option of choosing a new desk to work at each day. For some small businesses, the limited space won’t be a problem. If your small business offers digital marketing services or legal services, you may not need as much physical space. However, space constraints limit what kinds of small businesses can use these spaces. If your small business physically sells products or services, a coworking space likely won’t work for you.
Coworking offices’ limited space may work for you in the short term, but not the long term. As you scale your small business and hire more employees, you may need a larger and more private space to collaborate.
Making the choice
If you’re tired of working from home, need space to meet with employees or clients and don’t want to long-term lease office space, coworking may be the right choice for you. Coworking spaces aren’t the right fit for all businesses, but they can be an affordable workspace option for small businesses with only a few employees. Explore more articles from CenturyLink to find tips and advice for your small business.