Coworking spaces are an alternative to traditional offices that have been growing in popularity over the past few years. The people who use them range from freelancers to startups to remote workers.
There are also lots of different kinds of coworking spaces—from neighborhood cafes with free Wi-Fi to full-featured office buildings where members get all the amenities they need.
But is coworking right for you? We’ll look at the pros and cons of coworking spaces so that you can decide if they’re right for your business needs
Pros of Coworking Spaces
With the functionality and environment that coworking spaces provide, there are reasons why you should choose to work in one. Here are some of them.
1. You build a community
A great thing about coworking spaces is that they can help you develop your skillset.
Coworking gives you the opportunity to connect with people who have complementary skills, and many of them will be more than happy to share their knowledge and experience with a fellow coworker.
The community aspect of coworking is one of its biggest draws, especially for freelancers or small business owners working from home on their own.
While the pluses of living alone are certainly real—for example, being able to work at any hour without disturbing anyone else—it’s also common for solo workers to feel isolated and lonely throughout their day-to-day tasks.
A coworking space can help alleviate these feelings by immersing workers in a sociable environment so that they can enjoy the best of both worlds: autonomy and togetherness!
2. You have more structure
For some, working from their homes or apartments means watching Netflix when it’s time to work and then pulling an all-nighter the night before a deadline. Coworking spaces provide a structured environment that helps you focus on your work.
In addition to unstructured office hours, coworking spaces often offer events like coffee breaks and happy hours that help you make friends and feel part of a community.
3. There are many amenities and perks
As a freelancer, you will not have access to all of the amenities that you would enjoy in a traditional office setting.
This is especially true if you are working from home, as it’s unlikely that your living space will have some of the essentials necessary to get work done.
For instance, say you woke up one morning and realized that your printer was running out of ink. If this is the case at home, you may run into delays with your work.
Printing using a coworking space’s equipment may be an option for getting around this issue quickly and easily.
That’s just one example. A coworking space could also provide access to other equipment like scanners for document-related projects or even an espresso machine for when caffeine is a necessity.
4. You have better inspiration and creativity
As you work in a coworking space, you will be surrounded by people who are actively working on their projects. This can help fuel your motivation to stay productive when you feel demotivated or exhausted.
You will also be able to exchange ideas with people who have used different methods to solve the same problems. With such access, it’s possible for you to learn new ways of thinking about your projects and find more effective ways to approach common issues.
Furthermore, you will be able to learn new skills and techniques.
You may have previously thought that a certain skill was not relevant or important, but by interacting with other coworkers and listening in on their conversations, it’s possible for you to become curious about these skills and want to learn more about them for yourself.
Cons of Coworking Spaces
Despite all the beneficial aspects mentioned above, there are downsides to coworking spaces too. Here are some aspects you might find unfavorable in coworking spaces.
1. There’s a lack of privacy
It’s no secret that coworking spaces are a great place to meet new people. Coworking spaces are often very open, and people tend to be more collaborative than in a traditional office setting.
In fact, there can be so much conversation around you that it feels like you don’t even need to look up from your computer. However, if you’re looking for privacy, coworking spaces might not be the best choice.
While some coworking spaces offer private phone booths or small meeting rooms, they can be tough to come by during busy hours of the day.
2. There can be personality conflicts
If you’ve ever shared office space with someone, you know that not everyone works well in the same environment.
From different work styles to perspectives on life and everything between, you might not always be working in lockstep with your coworker.
One of the biggest differences between a coworking space and a traditional office is that in a coworking space, you have no control over who is working near you.
Sure, there are some things you can do to make sure your coworkers aren’t too loud or distracting (like choosing a private room), but that’s about it.
While this may be fine in most cases, if one of your coworkers is particularly problematic or distracting, there’s nothing you can do about it.
3. The work hours aren’t that flexible
Coworking spaces can be great, but they are not the ideal environment for someone who doesn’t adhere to an ordinary work schedule.
Most coworking spaces have regular hours, during which you can come in and work.
If your natural schedule is that of a night owl or early bird, working in a coworking space will likely be inconvenient for you.
Similarly, if you are a morning person and want to get into the office early to complete your tasks before anyone else arrives, it will be difficult for you to do so if the office opens at 10:00 AM.
The morning atmosphere inside these shared offices is conducive for some people and detrimental for others. (f it does not fit with your own rhythms or tendencies, consider other arrangements instead.
4. Renting one is expensive
Coworking spaces are expensive. Unfortunately, if you’re starting out, this is a luxury that you can’t afford.
You have to pay for the convenience of a coworking space, and its price may vary depending on your needs.
The coworking space cost can affect how much money you have to invest in your business and whether or not you need more funding.
If you’re budget-conscious, it’s important to consider the price of renting a coworking space before making any concrete decisions about where your startup is going to operate.
The decision whether a coworking space is right for you or not all comes down to personal preference. They can be expensive and may not be suitable for your working needs.
On the other hand, if you need a company-like culture to work in as a freelancer or business owner to feel inspired, it’s a great investment to make.