Coworking spaces are becoming the go-to office for more and more people. Whether you’re a freelancer, remote employee, startup or ASX listed company looking for a satellite office, coworking spaces may be the solution you didn’t know you needed. However, as with any major shift in business culture, there are plenty of myths surrounding this growing industry. Let’s break down the top 5 myths about coworking in this article…
1. Coworking is just for startups
Coworking spaces aren’t just for startups. They can be used by businesses at any stage of growth, from small to large, in B2B or B2C. Coworking is also perfect for freelancers who want to find like-minded people as well as work in a professional environment. And remote workers can use coworking spaces for meetings or even temporarily set up their offices there (more on that below).
In short: anyone who wants to grow their business, be productive and socialise with other professionals should look into coworking or flexible office space as their first option.
2. You Can’t Work in a Coworking Space
You can work from a coworking space. You need to be flexible and willing to adapt to something other than your own completely private office. This brings with it an additional benefit of being around other businesses, networking within your space and even finding services that your business requires right from your own ‘office’. Coworking spaces are no longer the domain of freelancers, they are professional spaces adept at managing different needs and a diverse range of businesses.
Coworking spaces provide all sorts of different areas to work in. Whether you like some low level noise, completely private silence or some general chatter and action during the day, there is a space for you! It really all comes down to your definition of what is distracting and what is not in a working environment. Some studies have shown that working in a buzzy, coworking community can actually help boost productivity and promote good business practices. The reasons quoted are that coworkers have a large business and social network that allows for more creative discussions and collaborative work.
But there’s always a quiet desk, corner or private phone booth available when you just need to be on your own!
3. It’s Not Really Cheaper
One of the main benefits that businesses can expect from using a coworking space is lower capex. Your capital expenditure and outlay is massively diminished when you choose to use a coworking or flexible office. Utilities such as gas, electricity, internet and cleaning is included. Most coworking spaces have printers available for use as well as kitchens, refreshments incl. tea and coffee, meeting rooms, AV equipment and reception staff. Your mail is handled for you and you have a business address to use. Most importantly you can walk in, sit down and start working!
Different membership levels in coworking spaces are designed to suit different businesses. For example, if you work from home and need a space to meet clients or co-workers in person on occasion (like a lawyer would), there are casual options to suit you. If you are a large company and need professional space for a team to access 24/7, there’s a place for you too. It all depends on what kind of work environment suits YOU best.
4. It’s Just People Using Laptops
Coworking spaces are not just for laptops. It’s true that many people do use them as mobile offices, but that’s only one of the many types of people who use coworking spaces. Coworkers range from freelancers to small startups and even larger companies with satellite offices in other cities or countries. Coworking spaces are also used for networking events, meetups, workshops, educational classes and more! Many coworking space users will have permanent spaces where they set up their desks with their computers plus monitors, stand up desks, personal effects and more.
5. Coworking spaces are all the same.
You might also think that all coworking spaces are the same. And you’d be wrong! Coworking spaces are used by businesses of all sizes, from large corporations to small businesses and startups. Additionally, coworking is not just for freelancers or people who work from home. In fact, many people who join a coworking space are those who have full-time employment elsewhere but want to escape the 9–5 mentality and work somewhere more inspiring or productive than their office cubicle. It’s also important to note that coworking isn’t just for those who like coffee shops—coworkers have access to shared resources such as printers and high-speed internet in addition to espresso machines and kitchen facilities. Coworking spaces vary widely from place to place. So, if you find that one isn’t to your taste, just try another! Explore the different levels of social interaction, privacy, community and so on. They can vary quite a bit in different spaces.
It’s always important to research before you make a commitment and if possible have a trial day. Space, flexibility, room to grow, environmentally conscious, innovation hubs – there’s something out there for everyone!
While coworking isn’t for everyone, there are a lot of misconceptions about it. It’s not just for startups and freelancers, it can be cheaper than renting an office, and there’s a lot to do besides staring at your laptop all day. If you’re looking to get out of the house or use a meeting room, or find a place for your team to work flexibly, look into a coworking space near you!