The rise of coworking means that small companies, entrepreneurs and freelancers have more office options than ever to choose from—but also a big decision to make for which they may not know as much as they should. To help determine which approach is a better fit for your firm’s needs, we’ve detailed what to expect from each.
5 Reasons Coworking Became a Thing
Coworking space is basically any physical domain where unconnected individuals or groups of individuals work in communal proximity, sharing common spaces and services but very little more. Today, coworking spaces come in all shapes and sizes, making them a particularly attractive deal for companies seeking flexibility.
1. Turnkey operations: They usually include an office starter pack of sorts—desks, tables, couches, printers, kitchen spaces, and WiFi. Many also come with shared office management and reception teams to help coordinate maintenance, cleaning, deliveries and visitors.
2. Networking: Whether you’re working in a small team or as a solo freelancer, coworking provides an opportunity to interact with people outside your company. More importantly, a growing number of shared-space operators are helping small businesses overcome start-up challenges together by, for example, facilitating the exchange of services, client, and even investor contacts.
3. Lower overhead: Coworking tenants don’t have to worry about renovations, decorations, janitorial services or utility bills.
4. Higher flexibility: Most coworking spaces offer daily, weekly, or monthly leasing (and payment) options and costs tailored to the length of contract and type of space. Real estate is risk most startups don’t want to have to worry about.
5. Built-in fun: To spark creativity and foster community, some spaces allow dogs, provide snacks, feature colorful furniture, and have gyms and game tables available for use. As New Worker Mag writer Diana McLaren said, “I work from a place that has Friday drinks and a nap-time space. How’s that cubicle looking?”
4 Reasons “Traditional” Office Space is Still a Thing
Leasing private office space means that tenants get to choose and rearrange the furniture, employees don’t have to share printers or refrigerator shelves with strangers, and conference rooms are less likely to be taken when you have an important client meeting.
1. Privacy: Privacy in all forms—physical, informational, sound—is becoming a growing concern for many businesses. Tenants in traditional offices worry a lot less than those in coworking spaces about nosy neighbors, noisy neighbors or nosy, noisy neighbors. Moreover, if a company deals with sensitive information of any kind, a private office allows for all sorts of privacy enhancements not available in a shared work environment, including extra-secure WiFi networks.
2. Lower costs: If you have more than six employees, it may very well be cheaper to rent office space. Why? Because many coworking spaces charge per desk. If you need, say, 15 desks and want a private office within a New York coworking space, you might very well be charged $12,000 per month—and for that amount, you might as well rent a 2,000+ square foot office, which will leave you room to grow.
3. Branding: You can put your company logo on the door, the window, and potentially the street. Plus, visitors know they’re entering a space that reflects your company’s values and culture. And not for nothing, a private office puts your business on Google maps.
4. Control: You set the rules, atmosphere and yes, snacks. So as long as it’s okay with the building, you can make it dog-friendly or not, host costume parties and have kombucha—or pilsner—on tap.
One reason to talk to a professional broker.
If all of the above suggests that the decision to enter (or exit) the coworking ecosystem is not obvious, you’re not alone. That’s why it is worth your time to speak with a professional broker who can help assess your situation, identify and tour various options, and find a space that’s right for your business.
Get some clarity on your office space search and talk to a SquareFoot broker today.