Coworking: What Is It Really Like?
Coworking spaces can be plenty beneficial to a business owner. For example, they tend to cost less than traditional office rentals or purchases.
But what about the workers themselves? What is coworking really like for them? Below, we’ll explore the pros and cons of setting up in a coworking space:
The Benefits of Coworking
Coworking spaces are ideal for sole traders, startups, and individuals who thrive on collaboration. These spaces provide banks of desks to suit a range of needs. Furthermore, securing a desk is easy and totally flexible. No long leases required here — all you have to do is rock up with your laptop!
2. Meeting New People
As adults, many of us don’t have many chances to meet new people and make new friends. Sure, we have acquaintances — other parents dropping their kids off at school, the neighbors we wave to when we both happen to leave the house at the same time, the takeout delivery guy — but friends? They’re a different matter — and that’s not to mention friends with whom you could network.
When the opportunity to make a new friend or two presents itself, it’s important to grab it. Coworking spaces offer that opportunity. Plus, the people you meet in coworking spaces won’t all work for the same company you do. That means you can get to know new people beyond the office.
3. You’ll Feel Professional
Coworking is like going to an office every day, only it’s a lot more flexible. You’ll have to get up, get dressed, and leave the house — but for many people, these simple acts can be highly conducive to productivity. Simply commuting from one place to another in order to do work can be enough to get you into a professional frame of mind.
Some people don’t like working from home; it just doesn’t feel like work to them. For these people, coworking spaces can be the perfect solution.
4. Work/Life Balance
Unlike working from home, a coworking space allows workers to leave their jobs outside the house. A remote worker can easily fall into the trap of popping into their study to tap out just one more email, type up just one more spreadsheet, make just one more phone call — and that’s not a good thing. Once the working day is done, it should be done. If you go to a coworking space to do your job, it’s far easier to disconnect from work at the end of the day.
The Drawbacks of Coworking
1. Noise and Distraction
It can get pretty noisy in a shared office, and you won’t necessarily be able to shut yourself away in a quiet space. Such an environment won’t bother everyone, but it can be a productivity-killer for some.
One solution might be to hire a conference room when the noise gets to be too much. Many coworking spaces offer such rooms for relatively small fees.
2. You’re Never Alone
The joy of being around other people can wear thin if you really need to concentrate. On days like these, working from home might seem preferable.
That said, social situations are proven to be good for your health. This is why a coworking space can be useful: You can choose to work from the space or not depending on how much you need company — or solitude — on a given day.
3. Less Control
If you enjoy having control over your workspace, then a coworking office might not be your cup of tea. You may not be able to sit at the same desk every day, for example.
But variety, as they say, is the spice of life. For some people, this kind of ever-changing environment can be invigorating.
There are some drawbacks to coworking, but many of them can be surmounted. Furthermore, the pros outweigh the cons for many people. A coworking space offers a flexible, cost-effective alternative to a traditional office space. It may be just what you need to keep staff happy — and happy employees are much more productive.
Becky Evans is an aspiring full-time writer who specializes in subjects related to startups, small businesses, and finance.