A shared office space or workspace—also sometimes called “coworking space” — is a physical location where individuals from numerous companies, including those who are self-employed, can gather to do their work whenever they want. According to an article on Forbes.com, those who utilize the building or office space will pay a monthly membership fee, similar to that of a gym. In return, they get regular access to the building and the equipment within it. Forbes estimates there will be 26,000 such spaces, hosting about 3.8 million people, by 2020. As with any concept, there are both pros and cons to shared workspaces that individuals should consider before deciding to partake.
The pros of shared workspaces
As indicated by their increasing existence, there are many advantages to sharing an office space. Here are a few:
- Less expensive. For smaller companies, start-up businesses and individuals who are seeking strategies for growth, paying part of the lease for a physical space is cheaper than leasing an entire office or building or buying one outright. Professionals also can share expensive equipment, such as copiers, scanners, and fax machines, and the cost for utilities. Additionally, responsibilities such as maintenance and cleaning will either be taken care of by the building’s owner or divided among the partners.
- Interesting and engaging. Because there are multiple individuals from various companies and even industries sharing the space, you get opportunities to meet new people from a variety of demographics. Not only does that help independent contractors and other self-employed people feel less isolated, but the proximity to other professionals can provide valuable networking opportunities.
- A boost in productivity. Sharing an office and having to often switch desks or individual workspaces helps sustain the flow of creative juices. The frequent movement mitigate boredom and stagnation, which helps many professionals stay more productive.
- Urban-centric locations. Shared workspaces are generally situated in urban centers or downtown office buildings, which fits well into world of entrepreneurs and freelancers. Being centrally located, professionals have easy access to the workspace as well as other resources, including restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores, and entertainment.
The cons of shared workspaces
Although shared workspaces have many positive aspects, there are a few downfalls, as well. That includes:
- Occasional distractions. While being around other people can help with productivity and building a social network, it can also cause distraction. You often don’t get to choose who else is using the space and it’s not a guarantee their work habits and professional behavior will mesh with your own.
- Parking issues. Parking can also be a problem presented by shared office spaces. With dozens—and sometimes hundreds—of individuals using the same space, there are likely going to be instances where you struggle to find a parking spot close by.
- Limited access. As with any shared or public space—including fitness centers, libraries and stores—there will be time periods that are busier than others. You may have to work around those peak hours where it’s difficult to snag a desk or work space at the shared office.
Finding the right space
For digital marketing companies, freelancers, and fledgling start-ups, shared office spaces tend to provide more advantages than disadvantages. However, it depends on your company’s particular culture and needs.
For more information about potential growth strategies, reach out to a trusted growth marketing and advertising agency in Miami to discuss your scale of business, organizational goals, and professional structure.