The Pros and Cons of Coworking Spaces
Coworking is becoming more and more popular as prices of independent office spaces are soaring. WeWork is a very popular coworking space and has offices located all across the globe. They have a tiered membership structure that starts with a basic membership pass. As the tiers move up you get access to private desks, private meeting rooms, and much more. Nearly every coworking space includes common amenities like a kitchen, office supplies, whiteboards, etc. I can see this trend continuing to grow in popularity, but before you buy your membership take these pros and cons into account:
- Support System: Starting a business is no easy task. While you’re typically not alone in this endeavor, rarely do you have others with the same objectives as you working in the same office. Coworking spaces are great for bouncing ideas off others, seeking advice, or simply seeking kind words of encouragement from like-minded individuals.
- Networking: No matter how big the office is, there will always be a networking opportunity. Before work, during lunch, and after work use your free time to meet new people around the office. You never know how far a connection can take you.
- Learning Opportunity: Always look to surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. This way, you can constantly learn and improve your skill set. These office spaces can be a great place to find someone to learn from.
- Job Opportunities: These coworking spaces aren’t always occupied by already formed companies. A lot of individuals use these spaces to do their everyday work. If you are one of these people, and are also looking for jobs, these spaces can be a great place to find early-stage companies who are looking to expand their team.
- Distractions: While these spaces do offer private work-rooms, typically you will be working in a shared work space. The private-rooms are often occupied or are much more expensive than the standard package. Often times, it can be hard to focus with so much going on around you. These distractions may hurt your productivity.
- Work Hours: Typically these co-working space are open for normal work hours (9:00am-5:00pm). While this doesn’t seem like a problem to most people, any start-up founder knows that they’re always on the clock. These work hours are often inconvenient for entrepreneurs.
- Cost: At face-value these offices seem to be quite cheap. However, once you start moving up the pricing tiers you may end up paying just as much if not more for all the extra “features”. Especially for multi-employee startups, you may be better off finding your own private work-space as oppose to a coworking space.
Buying office space, especially in Silicon Valley, is getting quite expensive these days. When exploring options for yourself or your company you are surely going to come across a few coworking spaces. When considered one of these spaces, make sure to take note of these advantages and disadvantages first!