The Pros And Cons Of Shared Office Spaces
Co-working spaces are springing up all over the country with offers of hot desking (where you have a desk to work from but not an office of your own) and communal work spaces.
While shared office spaces are a tempting alternative to working from home or setting up shop in the local coffee house, there are both pros and cons to running your business from a co-working space.
If you’re looking for a new place to call home for your firm, it’s important weigh up the advantages and disadvantages before you make a decision.
Pro 1: Money saving
Most shared office spaces will charge a fixed fee for your space.
This will include not only the rental fee but sundries such as electricity and internet.
For the start-up, this makes budgeting much easier and it’s also a much cheaper option than renting a dedicated office, paying all the bills and potentially having maintenance costs to juggle.
Pro 2: Flexibility
If you rent a dedicated office, you’ll have to sign a lease which means that you have little to no flexibility if your space isn’t working out.
You’ll usually be committed for at least 12 months.
Co-working spaces however are designed to be much more flexible which means you won’t be required to make a long-term commitment.
Pro 3: It’s a community
Running a start-up can be a lonely business and many an entrepreneur has lamented the hours they spend alone while trying to get their idea off the ground.
A co-working space is full of others in the same boat, which can help to build a real sense of community.
It also means you aren’t isolated even if you are the only employee of your business and you’ll often be surrounded by other creative, innovative minds to feed off.
Con 1: It’s easy to be unproductive
While co-working spaces are perfect for those who thrive on a buzz, with so many other people, ideas and businesses running at full steam in the same space, a shared office can be a distracting environment.
This can lead to you being unproductive which could ultimately cost you money.
Con 2: It’s hard to put your own stamp on the space
Because you’re sharing the office with other firms, it can be hard to stamp your own identity on your space.
That might mean you can’t decorate or move the furniture around or customise your part of the shared office to better reflect your business.
If you’re there with a team, shared spaces can mean it’s hard to define your own company culture and ethos, which can lead to problems internally.
Con 3: You might be restricted to certain hours
Some shared office spaces will only operate on a 9-5 schedule.
If you’re working much longer hours or need more flexibility, this lack of freedom might be a thorn in your side as you grow your business.