Co-working Spaces: Is A Shared Office Space Right for You?

Working remotely can be a great thing.  You can wake up, roll out of bed, and sit in your office in your pajamas at home.  However, it can get monotonous to stay at your house all day every day.  This is where co-working spaces come in.  Co-working spaces are businesses that rent out office spaces that workers with different employers can rent out to share common office space, utilities, and other resources. 

They can be extremely attractive to remote workers.  Renting your own stand-alone office can be costly, and this is where co-working spaces come in.  These shared office spaces offer visitors a ready-made office away from the home that is fully equipped.   They also offer visitors a variety of amenities and a sense of community that may be hard to find at home.  

With all this being said, as a remote worker, you might ask yourself, “is a shared office space right for me?”

Who uses co-working spaces?

A variety of people use co-working spaces.  This group includes freelancers, companies and startups, remote workers or telecommuting employees, and entrepreneurs.  Basically, anyone who would need to rent an office outside of their house can take advantage of a co-working space. 

Reasons why these particular groups may look into a co-working space include:

    • For companies and start-ups, these co-working spaces can be extremely beneficial.  They reduce the need to rent out an office, and they can also provide employees of fully digital companies with a physical location to meet and interact with one another.  Some companies may also use a shared office space when they are between offices.  Additionally, if an employee needs to travel to another region, a co-working space may provide them with a location where they can go to do their work.
    • Freelancers also like co-working spaces.  As a freelancer, you often do not have your own office space outside of your own home.  A co-working space can be useful for freelancers to break out of the monotony of working from home and can also allow them to network with others to potentially find more work. 
    • Remote workers or telecommuting employees can also benefit from co-working spaces for much of the same reason as freelancers.  A fully remote employee may not have an office nearby that they can physically go to at all.  A co-working space allows them to enjoy an office-like atmosphere that they may be missing by working remotely.
    • Entrepreneurs can also greatly benefit from co-working spaces.  These spaces provide them with a useful place to network as well as allows them to meet and host potential clients or business partners in a place that is not their own home or a coffee shop. 

What makes a good co-working space?

A good co-working space offers those who visit a comfortable space where they can be their most productive.  Many will boast amenities such as wifi, kitchens, coffee, and even printers, allowing you to be comfortable as you are working.  Additionally, they also provide opportunities for social interactions that you may be missing out on in your home office.  

One reason why many choose to use co-working spaces is for the networking potential.  A good co-working space will foster this sense of community and allow you to meet other like-minded people.  As a visitor to a co-working space, you are likely to meet other people from a variety of industries that you may not have met otherwise.  If you are an entrepreneur or freelancer, this can be an invaluable source of connection to further your business. A good co-working space will organize events for members and visitors to increase networking opportunities.

An ideal co-working space also offers users some flexibility.  Some co-working spaces will offer drop-in passes while others will require a more standard monthly fee. Additionally, in an ideal situation, there will also be options to suit a variety of needs.  For example, if you are just a single person looking for a chair to work in many places will be able to accommodate you.  However, others will also allow you to make reservations for small groups to use conference rooms or meeting areas.  This can come in handy if you do need to meet with a group in person and do not want them in your private home. 

Other factors to consider when selecting a co-working space include location and if you need to sign a long-term contract or not.  

How much do co-working spaces cost?

The cost of a co-working space varies widely.  It can be highly dependent on factors such as location, the amenities offered, and the length of the contract.

With that being said, the website Upsuite quotes the average cost of a floating desk (where you can use any collaborative desk that you can find in the shared office space) as $50-$350 per month. The average cost of a private office is $350-$800 per month. 

This can look expensive on the surface.  However, when compared to renting a traditional office space where you may be paying for rent, your furnishings (which will be provided in a co-working space), as well as your own utilities the cost savings can add up.  This combined with the social benefits and networking opportunities that arise from being a member of a co-working space can be well worth it. 

The Bottom Line on Co-working Spaces

The bottom line is that co-working spaces and shared office spaces can be well worth it.  They can be beneficial for everyone from at-home workers looking to leave the house to students to entrepreneurs looking to network.  The cost can be highly variable; however, the savings can be substantial and can be cheaper than renting your own private office space.  

Is a co-working space the right fit for you?