In the previous couple of years, there’s been an explosion within the variety of coworking areas worldwide. With an increase within the variety of individuals now working remotely, many at the moment are in a position to ditch “conventional” workplace workplaces and make the most of the quite a few advantages of coworking areas.
Whereas there’s little doubt that the liberty that comes with this sort of way of life is a complete game-changer, one of many fundamental challenges confronted by digital nomads is discovering a spot that’s appropriate for getting work accomplished whereas touring.
For many individuals, coworking areas provide the answer. I’ve been benefiting from the digital nomad way of life for the final 2 years now and have labored in varied coworking areas world wide.
So, on this submit, I’ll be discussing the principle advantages of coworking, in addition to a couple of coworking disadvantages.
15 Professionals and Cons of Coworking Areas
To compile this record of coworking areas’ advantages and drawbacks, I’ve mixed my very own private experiences of coworking with these of different individuals I do know.
Not all of those execs and cons of coworking areas will apply to everybody. Finally, everybody’s totally different, and each distant employee could have their very own distinctive set of necessities and preferences.
That stated, I’ve made this record as broadly relevant as doable to be able to assist as lots of you contemplating the coworking hype for your self.
Coworking primarily means sharing an office-like house with individuals that you just don’t work with. It’s a comparatively new fashion of labor and is very common amongst freelancers, entrepreneurs, and digital nomads.
Whereas nearly all of coworking customers are likely to work for themselves, a rising variety of firms are permitting their workers to work remotely, at the least a part of the time. Many of those individuals select to work in coworking areas, moderately than at house.
Coworking areas present office-style facilities (quick web, assembly rooms, printers, kitchen amenities, and many others.) to individuals who in any other case won’t have entry to them. Many areas additionally placed on social occasions and different actions to assist foster a way of neighborhood amongst their members.
See additionally: 15 Greatest Coworking Areas within the World
Professionals of Coworking Areas
Each coworking house is totally different, and a few have their very own distinctive benefits. Nonetheless, these are the principle execs of coworking areas normally:
1. Alternatives for Networking (One of many Largest Advantages of Coworking Areas)
For me, essentially the most important benefit of coworking areas is that they are often nice locations to community with different individuals. I don’t wish to work from coworking areas all the time, however each time I do, I at all times attempt to make the most of the alternatives to community as a lot as doable. You by no means know who you might be busying away beside!
In contrast to in a standard workplace, the place you’re normally surrounded by your colleagues solely, in a coworking house, you get to mingle with individuals who work in a variety of varied fields. This offers wonderful alternatives for networking and cross-pollination of concepts.
For instance, in case you’re a blogger, you might simply meet the right internet designer sitting at an reverse desk. In case you’re a writer, you may meet your subsequent celebrity author over by the espresso machine. Or in case you’re a photographer, maybe you’ll meet somebody to collaborate with in your subsequent mission.
It’s much more social than working from house all the time. I’ve made a number of pals with individuals I’ve met in coworking areas and I’m nonetheless in contact with them at the moment. I in all probability wouldn’t have ever met these individuals if it hadn’t been for us each selecting the identical coworking house.
2. Entry to Workplace Provides and Services
Coworking areas provide a spread of workplace provides and amenities that you could be not have at house (or wherever you’re staying on the time), together with high-tech printers, scanners, whiteboards, and conferencing amenities.
Getting access to workplace provides and amenities is a big benefit for digital nomads. It may be particularly helpful in case you journey round rather a lot. I imply, who needs to hold round an enormous printer with them?
Good coworking locations additionally are likely to have a spread of comfy workspaces, and lots of even have ergonomic workplace chairs for his or her customers. This makes them rather more comfy for placing in a protracted day’s work than on the kitchen desk of your Airbnb or lodge room.
Plus, having a quick and dependable web connection is important for almost all of distant employees. Talking from private expertise, coworking areas are likely to have a few of the quickest speeds on the town, particularly in creating nations the place your house’s WiFi won’t be the strongest, to say the least.
Many individuals are drawn to coworking areas due to their flexibility. In contrast to a standard workplace, you typically don’t must decide to long-term leases, and most coworking areas stress that flexibility is a key function and good thing about their memberships.
Most coworking areas can help you hire a desk (or a small workplace house) for as little or so long as you want it. Many locations provide day passes, in addition to a spread of different part-term membership choices, so yow will discover a package deal that fits you completely.
For instance, in addition to common day passes and month-to-month memberships, plenty of coworking areas can help you purchase “packages” or “bundles” of hours. These can help you entry the house a sure variety of hours monthly, while not having to commit upfront to specific occasions and dates that you just’ll be there.
That is significantly helpful for small companies and start-up entrepreneurs, permitting them to scale up or down their workplace house as and when they should. It’s additionally nice for individuals who (like me) benefit from the freedom of working for themself and don’t need to be tied to any long-term office commitments.
4. Inspiring Environment
In my private expertise, I’ve discovered that being surrounded by different motivated people can encourage and push you to excel in your individual work. Coworking areas are typically full of people that work for themselves and are due to this fact extremely motivated.
In case you spend an excessive amount of time working from house, it may be simple to procrastinate, or to really feel your motivation ranges drop, given the dearth of knowledgeable “work” setting.
Coworking areas are all about offering this setting, in addition to the amenities you may want, to assist hold you feeling impressed and motivated to work onerous on no matter it’s that you just do.
This naturally helps create a constructive suggestions loop. The extra impressed individuals you see round you, the extra possible you’re to be impressed – which then continues with the impact of your inspiration on different individuals. It’s a win-win.
5. Cheaper Than Renting a Conventional Workplace
This one’s pretty easy – and overlaps with the part on flexibility (above). Conventional workplace areas are typically pretty costly and likewise normally require you to decide to a comparatively long-term lease.
By comparability, coworking areas are rather more reasonably priced normally.
The precise costs range relying on the place on this planet you’re. However no matter your location, it’s virtually at all times going to be cheaper to make use of a coworking house than renting a standard workplace.
6. Separation of Working and Dwelling Areas
As many individuals discovered through the COVID-19 pandemic, residing and dealing in the identical house 24/7 could make you go a little bit loopy. In my previous job, “working from house” simply meant “residing at work”. And that sucks.
Having a office that’s bodily separate from the place the place you reside, loosen up, and sleep can assist present a level of needed separation between work and non-work time. It helps you turn off on the finish of the day by bodily leaving your work outdoors of your residing house.
For many individuals, this could have considerably constructive impacts on psychological well being and well-being. It actually does for me.
7. Occasions and Workshops
Working for your self, by your self, may be fairly lonely at occasions. Many coworking areas placed on social occasions, like reside music, pizza and film nights, pub crawls, cooking lessons, and extra.
Some even placed on instructional occasions, displays, seminars, and workshops on a spread of various matters, from entrepreneurship to mountain climbing, and search engine marketing to natural farming.
For instance, once I was working at Outpost Weligama in Sri Lanka, an area group referred to as Sea Sisters held a workshop on the superb (and essential) work they do to assist educate Sri Lankan girls and women to swim (and surf). Additionally they taught us a couple of useful Sinhala phrases and phrases.
8. Location and Accessibility
Coworking areas are typically positioned within the hearts of cities, near all the motion. Chances are high, there’ll be a spread of nice consuming, ingesting, purchasing, and different leisure choices proper on the doorstep.
That is additionally an enormous plus in case you want someplace to satisfy purchasers, as coworking spots are normally comparatively simple to get to.
Many coworking areas are additionally a part of international networks (reminiscent of WeWork) which permit their members to entry varied places world wide. That is preferrred in case you’re searching for a long-term coworking resolution, however intend to maneuver round all year long.
9. Useful resource Sharing
Utilizing a coworking house permits you to make the most of economies of scale. Most offer you entry to top-spec amenities and assets that you just won’t in any other case have the ability (or keen) to pay for your self.
For instance, you might not want entry to costly conferencing amenities every day. Nonetheless, sharing these amenities with others could make it rather more sensible and reasonably priced so that you can use these conveniences on an occasional foundation.
There’s additionally a wealth of collective information to be shared, particularly in case you make the most of the alternatives for networking which might be at all times swimming round these collaborative locations.
10. Further Advantages and Facilities
Lastly, coworking areas aren’t solely about working. Most coworking memberships embody entry to varied extra advantages and amenities. These additional advantages can assist present an general higher working expertise, and also can typically assist you to justify the price of the membership.
Many coworking areas provide free tea, espresso, smooth drinks, and snacks. Most have some form of hangout/chill house with couches, TVs, and different facilities, and a few even have swimming swimming pools, gyms, libraries, and yoga studios on website.
Some coworking memberships additionally embody different advantages, reminiscent of particular offers at sure native companies, discounted gymnasium memberships, and extra.
Cons of Coworking Areas
As with most issues, regardless of the quite a few advantages, there are additionally a couple of downsides to coworking areas. A few of these might be roughly of an issue to totally different individuals in flip.
Remember the fact that some points are more likely to be particular to particular person locations too; some coworking areas are merely simply higher than others. Listed below are some common cons of coworking areas:
Memberships may be costly in some locations (particularly in North America and Europe). Coworking areas in Asia and Latin America are typically extra reasonably priced. Nonetheless, you’ll nonetheless must issue the added expense into your general price range.
You might nicely determine that the added price is value it. However it’s nonetheless an added price, typically a big one, and that does put many individuals off utilizing them rather a lot (myself included).
A method round this difficulty is to make the most of versatile membership/entry choices, reminiscent of day passes. Numerous coworking areas additionally can help you buy “packages” of hours (e.g. 25 or 50 hours monthly). These can usually prevent cash, particularly in case you’re unlikely to require entry on daily basis.
I’m not a tax professional (and that is not tax recommendation), however in lots of nations, it’s doable for freelancers and enterprise homeowners to write down off the prices of coworking areas towards their tax invoice. Relying in your particular person tax circumstances, this can assist make these prices simpler to swallow.
Busy open-plan workspaces may be distracting. Some individuals thrive in bustling environments, however for others, it may well intrude with focus and focus.
Personally, I like there to be silence once I’m working. I discover it very tough to do any form of inventive work, writing, or considering once I can hear different individuals speaking within the background. For instance, I can’t work in cafes, as a lot as I’d like to have the ability to. They’re a no-go for me.
Nonetheless, some persons are the other. I do know a number of individuals who hate silent environments and do their greatest work in locations which might be buzzing and noisy. They discover the exercise of the place energizing, moderately than distracting.
Finally, it is dependent upon you and your preferences – there’s no “proper” reply to this one. You simply want to determine what works greatest for you, (which is without doubt one of the issues I really like most about working for myself – you are able to do issues nevertheless you want!).
3. Lack of Privateness
The shortage of privateness in coworking areas may be a difficulty for some individuals. For instance, in case your work is confidential or in any other case extremely delicate, coworking areas won’t be appropriate environments so that you can work in.
I was a lawyer in a former life. It simply wouldn’t have been acceptable for me to present delicate, confidential authorized recommendation to my purchasers whereas sitting in an open-plan coworking house. In fact, this isn’t going to be a difficulty for everyone, however it’s one thing to remember.
It’s usually doable to hire personal rooms or name cubicles, though this usually prices extra – typically much more (once more, it is dependent upon the place in query).
Ask your self: “Wouldn’t it matter if another person learn what was on my display, or overheard what was being stated on a name?”. If the reply is “Sure”, I’d advocate considering twice earlier than doing that form of work from a coworking house.
4. Competitors for Sources
In common coworking areas, you possibly can typically end up competing with others for assets reminiscent of assembly rooms, printers, and different shared gear, which can be in excessive demand.
A standard criticism that I’ve heard in varied coworking areas is that there aren’t sufficient name cubicles for everybody to make use of when they should. Or that someone is at all times hogging the assembly room (a frustratingly good recipe for battle).
Generally the printer runs out of ink (or breaks) as a result of too many individuals are attempting to make use of it. Generally the web slows down as a result of too many individuals are attempting to have HD video calls or obtain massive recordsdata. And typically there simply aren’t sufficient energy retailers.
In fact, these can all be issues in “common” workplace workplaces too. However they’re all possibilites to remember, particularly in case you have issues (like confidential calls or conferences) that require you to have the ability to use the decision cubicles or assembly rooms at particular occasions. You may’t at all times depend on having the ability to use them.
5. Lack of Customization
Lastly, due to the character of coworking locations as shared areas, you will have restricted management over issues just like the temperature, lighting, and seating preparations.
This may be uncomfortable and distracting if the setting isn’t appropriate in your wants. Nonetheless, this may additionally be extra of an issue for some individuals than others. All people has their very own preferences and necessities.
In a “conventional” workplace, it’s usually doable to customise your desk with photographs and different gadgets. You are likely to have your individual chair which you’ll be able to set to make it as comfy as doable for you. And also you may have the ability to transfer issues round to make your workspace as environment friendly and arranged as you possibly can.
Nonetheless, in coworking areas, that’s usually not the case. You don’t sometimes have the luxurious of getting your individual desk or chair, and even the power to maneuver issues round if wanted. In locations with hotdesking, you primarily haven’t any selection however to take no matter house/setup is obtainable to you on the day, and settle for it.
In case you rent your individual personal workplace inside a coworking house, you possibly can usually customise this a good quantity, however these places of work normally price significantly greater than the traditional open-plan coworking entry and could also be out of price range of many individuals.
FAQ’s Concerning the Professionals and Cons of Coworking Areas
Listed below are some solutions to ceaselessly requested questions concerning the execs and cons of coworking areas:
Coworking areas provide startups an effective way to save cash, achieve entry to vital networks and assets, and promote collaboration between crew members. Coworking areas additionally present personal areas for conferences, giving startups the chance to have knowledgeable backdrop with out the overheads of renting a standard workplace house.
Each coworking house is totally different. However in my expertise, most coworking areas share the core values of networking, collaboration, creativity, innovation, productiveness, skilled and private improvement, and adaptability.
Many additionally prioritize informality, enjoyable, aesthetics, and well-being. The necessity for good high quality espresso tends to function pretty extremely too.
Coworking areas are typically designed to offer a snug, productive, and collaborative setting for distant employees, freelancers, and entrepreneurs.
Coworking areas can present an vital place for distant employees to community, collaborate, and entry assets and amenities that wouldn’t in any other case be accessible to them.
They may also be nice locations for socializing with different like-minded individuals and assist stop emotions of loneliness and isolation that may be widespread amongst distant employees and solopreneurs.
There are various advantages of understanding of a coworking house. For me, a few of the most vital advantages are the alternatives for networking, the office-style amenities and facilities, and the separation of labor and residing areas.
Coworking places of work have turn out to be more and more common in recent times. My prediction is that, as an increasing number of persons are in a position to work remotely, coworking areas will proceed to develop in recognition. Increasingly more will open, and I believe they’ll provide an rising vary of facilities and advantages as a method of competing for enterprise.
Is Coworking Value It?
I hope that this text on the benefits and drawbacks of coworking areas has been useful and informative.
Are coworking areas value it? The reply to that query relies upon largely in your most popular working fashion, the form of work that you just do, and (to an extent) the place on this planet you’re.
For many individuals, the reply is: sure, coworking areas are positively value it. As you’ve seen from this submit, there are lots of advantages of shared workplace areas. Nonetheless, my recommendation can be to easily check out a couple of totally different coworking areas out for your self to see whether or not or not they’re for you.