Whether you’re a startup founder, small business owner, or freelancing professional, you’ve likely thought about joining a coworking hub at one point or another. Maybe this option is still on the table, you’re just doing your research on the shared office space that will be in line with your professional aspirations as well as your personal needs.
We highly encourage doing a thorough examination of the available supply in your city, but before you sign up for a coworking office, you might want to discover the advantages and disadvantages such a work space can offer. To help simplify your task, we’ve done the legwork for you and gathered the pros and cons of working from a coworking office.
Contrary to leases of traditional offices, coworking hubs are membership-based and offer flexible options for anyone who’s not yet ready to commit long-term to a space. The month-to-month basis membership plans, the flexible cost options, and the ease of moving from one membership option to a different one are all fantastic advantages.
Another advantage to shared office spaces are the on-site amenities. You’ll not only receive a desk space or an office that is already furnished, you can also use printers, conference rooms, break rooms, kitchen utilities, scanners, and other equipment at leisure.
Since most coworking hubs attract like-minded individuals, you probably won’t have a hard time finding a few budding entrepreneurs that are in the same boat as you. You can exchange ideas about how you handle various challenges as a freelancer, get inspired by those who are one step ahead of you, and maybe even form professional collaborations along the way.
A great perk of being a member of a shared office space is the fact that you don’t have to worry about maintenance. Cleaning and tidying up, fixing broken lights, and non-functioning WiFi connections are not on you. Since the coworking hub deals with all these issues, you’ll have less things to worry about allowing you to focus on your work instead.
Most coworking hubs give various educational opportunities to their members. They generally organize insightful events on a regular basis that are aimed at helping entrepreneurs better tackle their daily tasks. Besides general tips about finances, management, and marketing everyone can learn from, thematic events are often held, aimed at freelancers from a specific industry.
Despite the relatively low cost of coworking memberships some hubs offer, working from such a space still costs money. Depending on how much you’re willing to spend, you can choose between shared office spaces or private offices, but which might not offer all the amenities you might need. It’s important to balance your professional needs, your budget, and your personal aspirations in a way that neither suffers negatively.
Commute and lost time
Another undeniable downside of coworking is the fact that you likely need to commute in order to get there, if you’re not living right next door to a shared office space. Depending on how far it is located from your home, this lost time can be frustrating and can take away time from your work and life.
Although the main goal of everyone attending a coworking office is to get work done, the space is still open and shared with many people, so distractions can be abundant. If you’re someone who’s prone to distractions, you might want to think about leasing a private office instead of a hot desk, or you might think about buying a few additional accessories (headset or earplugs) to help you concentrate.
While having a lot of like-minded people under the same roof is generally a great thing, you’re still likely to encounter your greatest competitors at the very same coworking hub you attend daily. You’ll need to ensure that your connection is secure and your meetings with clients are held in a private space, so your ideas are not overheard or (worst case scenario) stolen.
Coworking hubs are known for their flexible hours, membership fees, and other features, however most of them still abide by the general working hours of a traditional office space. Naturally, there are a couple of exceptions to this rule, but most shared offices still have their doors open between 9 AM and 5 PM. If you’re someone who’s at peak performance outside this interval, you might want to your research and find a shared office space that features round-the-clock access.