If you’re a new startup, the question of an office space may be causing you some stress. This is completely normal. After all, renting a space can be incredibly expensive. Not exactly a cost-effective way to go about growing your fledgling company. However, working from a desk at home while you’re still a one-man or one-woman show can be very lonely. This complicated transition to starting your business is fraught with big decisions. That’s why shared work spaces, built by companies like WeWork, have been founded and are looking to offer you solutions.
WeWork is a company that builds beautiful office spaces. These spaces are shared by a number of people – many of them working as solopreneurs or small groups starting a new organization. The spaces encourage a sense of community where entrepreneurs generally experience isolation. By having “coworkers” in this unique coworking space (even if they’re not necessarily working with you) you effectively have the sense of belonging and of dedication to accomplish wonderful things within your designated work space. WeWork, in particular, focuses on creating a sense of cohesive togetherness. They target tenacious, like-minded entrepreneurs and small business owners who need a space to escape, accomplish, and grow.
Obviously, the question you may be asking yourself is, “If I can’t afford an entire office space, why would I be able to afford a coworking space?” That’s because coworking spaces are much less expensive than traditional commercial real estate. WeWork, for example, offers four different plans. On-demand is $45/month and guarantees you 1 day/month to work in their shared space. This is perfect for freelancers who need to spend 1 day/month taking phone calls, or a remote worker who needs to get out of the house periodically to work on a big project or collaborate with clients. Their most expensive option, the Private Office, is $400/month and offers a customizable, lockable office space for you and your team (of any size) with 24/7 access. In what other office space could you rent a lockable room for $400/month? It’s a fairly rare find.
Coworking space has many different locations, from most major cities in the United States to other offices in Germany, Argentina, Brazil, China, France, Israel, Hong Kong, Columbia, Canada, Australia, India, the Netherlands, Mexico, South Korea, and the United Kingdom. Additionally, they encourage their community members to change offices if they want, or they help to organize a move if you’re looking to be in a different area. Some offices even allow dogs (this depends on the community manager’s rules).
Although coworking with a space may sound like a dream, it does have its drawbacks. Many entrepreneurs don’t end up using the space and therefore waste their funds. Others underestimate the noise level within the coworking space and find themselves distracted or unable to accomplish as much as they’d like to there. And those are just some of the problems that entrepreneurs and small business startups have run into in the past! See below for an accurate comparison of the pros and cons of coworking.
The Pros and Cons of Coworking Spaces
|-Shared space means experiencing that “community” feeling many entrepreneurs are missing.
||-Many entrepreneurs find they’re less productive when surrounded by others who aren’t on their “team.”
|-Low monthly costs for an office.
||-Although the cost is low, it’s still a monthly expenditure.
|-Many find they’re more productive away from their home office.
||-Not all coworking spaces will have the right noise levels or accommodations for your unique needs.
|-Socialization can help you bounce ideas from others, network, make business connections, and more.
||-Too much socialization may lengthen your workday.
|-Most coworking spaces offer many amenities, like a kitchen, high-speed internet, and 24/7 access.
||-You may not end up using the coworking space, which means you’re wasting money.
|-Most coworking spaces can accommodate individuals or teams.
If you’ve decided that a coworking space is for you, it’s suggested that you take advantage of a free trial period, or request one if it’s not clearly available. And if WeWork isn’t in your area, there are several other companies that host coworking spaces such as Impact Hub, The Surf Office, or Workplace One.
Coworking spaces come with a wide range of benefits for their members, and you’ll most likely have many different options to choose from. No matter where you choose to invest in a coworking space, make sure you do the research and find the right unconventional office for your unique work needs. Don’t be afraid to get specific! If you want to bike to your coworking space, ask about bike parking or whether showers are available. If you want to have 24/7 access and key cards for every member of your team, ensure that that’s a possibility. If you’re paying for a space, it should live up to your expectations.