As an entrepreneur, co-working offices can be a good compromise between working from home and renting your own office space. However, like everything in life, co-working spaces come with advantages and disadvantages. Here are the pros and cons you should be aware of before booking your spot.
1. Opportunities to network
Sharing a co-working space is a great way to meet other like-minded business owners. Not only can you discuss ideas and strategies for growing your business with people who are in the know, but it’s a great way to collaborate and expand your network to include potential clients, partners, and mentors.
2. Affordability and equipment
Renting your own office space can be very expensive, whereas co-working offices offer a range of affordable options. They usually also include reception, Wi-Fi, furniture, and other equipment. These would result in additional costs if you were to set up your own office space.
3. Flexible terms
Signing a long-term office lease as a new business owner when you don’t know how much growth you will experience over that period can be risky. Co-working offices, on the other hand, offer membership rates that are often far more flexible. You can usually rent a spot month-to-month, week-to-week, or even ‘pay-as-you-go’, depending on your situation and needs.
1. Privacy, noise, and security
When sharing a co-working space, you might not have the same level of personal space and security as in your own office space. Although most co-working offices offer separate meeting rooms, there’s always a chance conversations with your colleagues and clients may be overheard. Also, people who are easily distracted might find it difficult to focus. Any equipment you leave behind can be accessed by others, which is something to be mindful of when you pack up for the day.
2. Sharing wi-fi
Most co-working offices provide shared Wi-Fi to all occupants. While this sounds like a perk, it can also make you more vulnerable to cyber threats. One way to minimise the risk is to ensure your co-working space has multiple secured (not public) Wi-Fi networks for different rooms and to turn off cloud file sharing whenever you don’t need it.
3. Making it your official business address
Under some circumstances, you might be able to make your co-working space your official business address and even add it on Google My Business. However, this can come down to details of your membership agreement and whether or not your co-working space owns the building. Sharing a receptionist and business phone number with other co-workers can potentially be confusing for clients trying to contact you.