Office spaces have evolved tremendously over the years. One of the most popular office set-ups – cubicles – are becoming a thing of the past. More businesses have transitioned to office suites with individual offices or lots of open space. And, now businesses have the option of working out of a shared office space. This leaves small business owners with one heavy question: Conventional vs. shared office space – which is right for me?Although coworking spaces are convenient and now more popular than ever, they aren’t for every business. We’ll take a look at the benefits of coworking vs. traditional office spaces. But, let’s first discuss the type of business coworking works for.
What type of business uses a coworking space?
A coworking space allows you to work in a comfortable, professional environment among other professionals. Because there are many people working in one location, the monthly membership is an affordable fee. And, most coworking spaces offer options at various price-points, like shared desks, individual desks and private offices.
Coworking spaces are great for freelancers, solo-ran businesses (e.g. solo practicing attorney) or young startups. Many freelancers or one-person small businesses may conduct business out of the home, which can start to feel isolated. A shared office space gives small businesses an opportunity to connect with others and feel like they are part of a community. Startups – especially those with little capital – look to coworking spaces as a low-cost office space for a small team. It provides a place for everyone to come and work together, while also providing flexibility for a business in its early stages.
These businesses also benefit greatly from shared office space perks, like conference rooms and provided office furniture and devices. A small business or startup that may have had to host a meeting at a coffee shop can now book a conference room to host its meeting.
Coworking spaces allow a business to conduct business in a professional environment while keeping overhead costs to a minimum As a business grows, it may outgrow its coworking space and require its own private office.
Benefits of a coworking space
You’ll probably find complimentary coffee in a coworking space. However, these spaces offer quite a few other benefits that you can’t get from a conventional office space. Some of the key benefits of coworking include:
- Networking – Because you’re working around so many other people, networking becomes second nature. You could meet new faces every day whom could be potential clients or referrals. Shared office spaces also host networking events for their members. So, if you’re keeping you head down to work during the day, there are still plenty of opportunities to network with your fellow members “after-hours.”
- Low cost – A coworking space grants you access to events, a workstation, printing devices, conference rooms, etc. And, with pricing options ranging anywhere from $50 to $300 a month, there’s an option for nearly every business’s budget.
- Sense of community – When you’re working out of your home or solely by yourself, things can get lonely. Coworking provides a sense of community and belonging. You see familiar faces, meet new ones and feel like you and your business are a part of something bigger.
- Flexibility – Your coworking membership is renewed monthly. There’s no long-term contract, so you have the flexibility to opt out of your agreement when the time is right for you.
Benefits of conventional office space
Coworking may offer perks that a conventional space can’t, but that goes both ways. Here are some of the key benefits of a conventional office space:
- Control over environment – A conventional, private office space gives you more control over your office environment. From office branding and design, to office location, you get to customize the space for your business.
- More space and privacy – It may go without saying that a conventional space can provide you with more square footage. Instead of only having a desk to call your own, you can have a conference room, break room and storage room, in addition to the actual offices. However, one of the biggest perks of having the bigger space is that you have your privacy. A conventional office space lets you escape from the often noisy and distracting coworking setting.
- Opportunity to wow visitors – A private office space allows you to invite guests into your own office, instead of ushering visitors past other coworkers to a rented conference room. Having an office space to call your own is impressive. And, when you brand your space to reflect your company’s culture and ideals, the space has an even greater wow factor.
There is no right or wrong answer when deciding if coworking vs. traditional office space is right for you. But, you do need to make a smart decision. Consider your short- and long-term growth, your budget and number of team members to make the smartest office space decision for your business.