Pros and Cons of a Coworking Space
Coworking spaces are becoming increasingly popular— the offer a structured workplace environment for freelancing workers, entrepreneurs, and people starting up their own businesses. This trend is noted for it’s unique community aspect, where people from a diverse variety of businesses and work can bounce ideas off one another. Although it appears to be a innovative and affordable way to work, it may not be perfect for all businesses. Here’s a few pros and cons:
1.Affordability. Compared to renting out a private workspace, a coworking community can be much more affordable. Often times these work spaces have amenities like wifi, printing, faxing, phones, etc. which is much more convenient than purchasing and setting up these systems in a personal space. For small or startup businesses, a coworking space can be a very good economically minded choice.
2.Creative Community. Having a plethora of other businesses and people working in close proximity to one another is a great opportunity for networking, partnerships, and effective utilization of other people’s skills. If a person working next to you has a great website and your’s is on the lacking side, working in a coworking environment gives you the ability to pick their brain, exchange ideas, and have impartial feedback. In a traditional company workplace, feedback from coworkers can be biased— coming from an outsider, feedback can be more honest and worthwhile.
3.Flexibility. Coworking spaces usually are a great option for start up businesses because they have flexibility in catering to growth. Adjusting plans for an expanding company should be easier in a coworking space compared to a private office space. Additionally, the fee you pay for the coworking pace can be compared to a gym membership— they have all the amenities and equipment for you to build your company, so you get what effort you put in. If you want to take a day off and work from home, you won’t be penalized or obligated by a boss to come in that day.
4.Structure. For those who working from home is not a good fit, the structure of an office space in a coworking environment may be just what you need. Giving in to the distractions at home of naps in bed, watching TV, doing house chores or being sidetracked with kids can be too easy. A coworking space with normal office hours can give structure and schedule for your work life, and you can always adjust and alter your own work hours based on what makes sense for you.
1.Competition. Because certain types of businesses are best suited for a coworking environment, there is a chance that you may be seated next to one of your competitors. Although this can be seen as a con, if competition motivates you, this may be a positive. You never know, maybe your competition will turn into your partner after a few weeks of working side by side!
2.Hours. Unlike a traditional office space or private office space, coworking environments are subject to the hours that the space establishes. This may not cater to overtime hours or early-birds who are most productive during the crack of dawn. If you are on a creative and productive roll, but 5pm comes around and the office closes, you might not be able to stay longer.
3.Distractions. Just like a home offers its own set of distractions, a coworker space is a different can of worms. With people from different businesses and companies coexisting in a single space, talking is inevitable. Privacy in your work is not guaranteed and with a flexibility in joining or leaving the space, new faces, voices, and opinions are sure to be around. If you are a social butterfly, a coworking space may be overwhelming and keep you from being productive.
4.Culture. In a company office space, the boss and united employees set a relatively consistent culture. In a coworking environment where one person is an entrepreneur working on their unique jewelry business and the person next to them has a private financial business, cultures may vary. If you do not vibe with the cultures of the people you are working around, it can be discouraging to come to work.
The biggest thing to remember when utilizing a coworking environment is to have focus, have an agenda, and have goals. Use the space’s advantages to the best of your ability, but also come into work ready to be productive and accomplish as much as you can to the best that you can.