Where do you work? Do you set up your laptop on the kitchen table, have an Instagram-worthy home office, or head to the nearest coffee shop?
If you’re a military spouse business owner or remote worker, you might be struggling with space. As pandemic restrictions end and places open up, you might be itching to get out of the house. You can’t keep buying lattes all day to justify sitting around the adorable cafe downtown. Plus, if you have a call or a meeting, where can you go for some peace and quiet?
You might want to head down to your local co-working space and rent yourself some space!
Co-working spaces can offer you flexibility, some compartmentalization between home and work, and a suitable place for meetings and phone-calls. So let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of these offices intended specifically for start-ups, small organizations, remote workers, and entrepreneurs!
Shared office space rentals are flexible in a variety of ways. You can usually choose from a menu of plans, floor space options, and costs. For example, you might start off by “hot seating” or “hot desking,” where you simply drop into the co-working space when you need to and plop down wherever there’s an open desk or seat.
This can be ideal if you don’t need a full-time office or simply need a space for meetings or a place to get out of the house and focus.
Similarly, if your business starts growing, you can expand. Go from a space for just one or two people to several!
When you’re in a space with a bunch of other creators and entrepreneurs, there are tons of opportunities to network.
Frequently, shared office concepts will even host after-hours networking events.
These places can be great for startups, because they usually come with certain amenities included in your membership. Things like free coffee (say goodbye to buzzing at that coffee shop and shelling out for $4 drinks to justify sitting there all day!), printing and scanning, meeting rooms, and nooks for phone calls.
Renting or joining a co-working space can be more affordable for entrepreneurs and startups than leasing a traditional office.
Lack of Privacy
Despite the presence of meeting rooms and privacy nooks at most co-working spaces, they tend to be open concept, meaning you’re in there with a bunch of other folks on the daily.
Especially if you’re hot-desking, you can’t really control for noise level or distractions. For that reason, it can be difficult to book a meeting room or snag a privacy nook, because they’re such commodities.
A bit like belonging to an HOA, there might be some aesthetic rules associated with joining a co-working space. If you’re someone who likes to decorate your spaces, or if aesthetics are really important to your organization’s mission, the cookie cutter nature of co-working spaces might be an issue for you.
Still Kind of Expensive
While co-working can be cheaper than leasing a traditional office, it can still come with a hefty price tag. If your business is brand spanking new, you might want to stick for the coffee shop and the kitchen table–for now.
So, What’s Best For You?
Now that you have an idea of the benefits and disadvantages of joining a co-working space, you can make an informed decision. If you’ve done a cost analysis of ones near you and it’s still a little too expensive, you may still have other alternatives.
Near Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the Moore County Chamber of Commerce in Southern Pines opened a co-working space that could be booked for free during its pilot stage.
If you’re ready to get out there and network–or simply get out there after over a year of pandemic restrictions–co-working might be the option for you!