Is a Coworking Office Space Right For Your Small Business?

Is a Coworking Office Space Right For Your Small Business?

In a post-COVID world, coworking office spaces are one of the most popular and efficient ways for workers to be productive. While the offices are not the same as shared offices, they have a lot of similarities in terms of facilities and work environments. If you are considering investing in a coworking space, you've come to the right place!

A coworking office space is an entry-level community service space that many businesses use for freelancers, generally. You can find office facilities such as tools and technological needs in this space. The most significant advantage of these spaces is your freedom to work as you please while keeping yourself accountable.

There is much more to coworking office spaces. Some may even confuse the idea with shared offices, which are much more common to the general public. So, let’s get into the ins and outs of a coworking office—and you can decide whether it's the right choice for you.

What Are Coworking Office Spaces?

Coworking office spaces Coworking office spaces are generally shared spaces not owned by a specific business but used only for working or office work. These spaces provide freelancers and remote workers a space to simulate an office work environment to help with productivity and accountability.

Unlike shared offices, there are no leases you need to sign to use the coworking office space. You can avail of the same benefits as a traditional office, depending on how equipped your coworking office space is. An entry-level coworking space contains printers, fax machines, a break room with refreshments, and Wi-Fi. You may even be able to find conference rooms.

You can work flexibly in a coworking office space since you have to pay according to the time you will be using it. Live in a larger city or commercial area? You may even be able to find spaces catering to a specific industry. Therefore, those spaces will offer you the necessary facilities to work in that industry.

Coworking office spaces run on the membership costs they get from their users. A company may make it available for the remote workers in the area. Besides being an individual office worker, you can also temporarily use a coworking office space for a group of employees.

How Did Coworking Office Spaces Start?
In the 1990s, European hacker spaces were some of the first known people to utilize coworking office spaces for their state. The coworking environment between people of the same background allowed them to exchange resources and skills despite working independently. The first coworking space was called C-Base, with 17 engineers working in the space.
The Term, Coworking
The word ‘coworking’ was first used in the year 1999. While Bernard DeKoven used the word for the first time as a way of working instead of its current use, his idea is still integrated into the concept today.

DeKoven called the way of working ‘coworking’ because of how it lets people exchange skills and ideas and collaborate. In the current coworking spaces, these benefits of coworking are readily available. The first modern coworking space was made three years after coining the word.
The Modern Coworking Space
In 2002, the Austrian Schraubenfabrik let professionals across a spectrum of fields work in the coworking office in Vienna. Following the work of the Austrian pioneers, the USA caught up quickly. In 2005, the San Francisco Coworking Space started its venture.

Although it saw no visitors for a month, the developer Ray Baxter eventually drew in. He then became the first coworker in the US. After San Francisco, Chris Messina developed an online resource for remote workers. Messina created The Coworking Wiki, which people could use to locate spaces for coworking. Their resources helped coworking spaces get the word out too.

After the online resource bloomed, there was now a thread for coworkers to be able to find each other and, ultimately, working spaces. Larger companies took notice, and eventually, the number of coworking spaces started to grow. Currently, there are projections that there may be around 42000 coworking spaces worldwide.

What Is The Difference Between A Coworking Office Space And A Shared Office?

A coworking office space and a shared office have many similarities in terms of functionality. While the critical difference is flexibility and ownership, some bits and pieces differ in both spaces. Let’s get into the differences between the two kinds of workspace.
Coworking Office Space
A coworking office space can vary according to the location, but it usually offers entry-level facilities for all workers. Here are some of the critical features of a coworking office space.

● Coworking office space can be in any location; you can find them in both commercial and general locations.
● The facilities in a coworking space can be anything from entry-level to advanced, depending on the space. Basic facilities like WiFi connectivity, tech needs, and extra rooms for meetings or breaks are common.
● Coworking spaces can house varying numbers of people, each with potentially different jobs or professions. The range of backgrounds allows coworking office spaces to hold networking events that will let you reach people beyond your field of work.
● The pricing in coworking spaces is much more flexible. The rental duration can go from daily to monthly or even semi-annually. Rates tend to be lower for longer durations of renting.
● Since coworking spaces function more independently than traditional offices, the layout of the space can feature private booths or even several conference rooms for collaboration.
● Coworking spaces are best for those who like to work more independently and need more opportunities to network and make connections.
Shared Office
● Shared office spaces tend to be in more populated places. Hence, you can find them in more commercial areas.
● Traditional office supplies, rooms, and amenities are available in shared office spaces. You can get more extensive office equipment that explicitly fits the employers' needs in these spaces.
● The shared office space usually features people from similar working backgrounds. Hence, you can collaborate easily - but will get lesser chances to meet people beyond your professional range.
● Shared offices usually feature a layout that is specific to their needs only. So, you can find conference rooms, private booths for individual employees, and lesser rooms for any customization.
● The renting prices and duration for shared offices are similar to commercial leases. Companies tend to lease spaces for a year in general.
● Shared offices are best for those who need private areas to work and focus more on a specific field of work than broadening their connections or range.

The Pros And Cons Of Having A Coworking Office Space
Like any collaborative environment, a coworking office space has its own benefits and letdowns. While these are only informative, you may consider each pro and con closely if you are looking into investing in a coworking office space.
The Pros
● Coworkers in a coworking office tend to focus more on their tasks than mingling around the office. Therefore, the energy of productivity in the air can also motivate you to work on your projects.
● Support and lending skills are unsaid rules among the workers within coworking spaces. You can get a chance to build community by helping out with any skill you have or receiving the same from another worker in your coworking office.
● The critical difference is how flexible your hours are. In the coworking space, clocking in and out does not have to be an extra burden while you work - you choose your own time.
● Remote working is much more efficient and time-saving since coworking spaces give you the motivation and amenities you need to finish work quickly and satisfactorily.
The Cons
● Coworking office spaces rarely give workers any privacy in terms of rooms. So, you may be unable to customize or use your area as comfortably as a personal office.
● Since coworking spaces try to cater to all kinds of workers, you may find some facilities amiss in the area that is specific to your work.
● Coworking spaces give you a lesser chance to be able to address your workspace. Hence, you can not use that as your work address - and may have to resort to a personal one.

Tips On Choosing A Coworking Office Space
It will take so much research, along with trial and error, to choose a coworking office space. Whether you plan to invest in it as an individual employee or as a business owner, you must consider some factors before making a decision.
● The location of the coworking space should be at a convenient distance without putting a hole in your pocket. Commercial areas are best for these spaces.
● Make a budget and negotiate the rental prices within it. Consider the rental period as well—if you are unsure, you can rent for a day and check out the amenities.
● Always check how safe and secure the coworking space is—in both physical safety and financial security.
● Examine the potential coworking office spaces and if they meet your or your company's requirements for working hours, workspace, and extra amenities.

Coworking office spaces are all the rage among remote workers and freelancers. Compared to shared offices, coworking spaces can offer more benefits than risks. But before you invest in a coworking office, make sure to be thorough in your research-and check it out for yourself.