As workplace arrangements continue to evolve, coworking has become a popular option for many workers. But what is coworking, and what are the benefits and costs regarding coworking vs renting office space? In short, coworking is a communal workspace that unconnected professionals share while working, while office space is a dedicated place for the workers of a single business. We’re breaking down the pros and cons of each arrangement so that you can make an informed decision about what’s right for your business.
What is Coworking?
Unlike an office space, which belongs to just one company, a coworking space is a shared workspace where unconnected workers work in a communal space. In other words, they share the space and its facilities, but don’t work together directly. A coworking space can take many forms, from a giant common room to smaller, interconnected office spaces.
Coworking spaces are often useful for freelancers, non-profits and charities, entrepreneurs, creatives such as artists or writers, and sometimes small businesses, particularly those that usually work from home. Typical amenities include Wi-Fi access, kitchen areas, conference rooms, and standard office furniture like desks, tables, sofas, etc.
The Pros of Coworking
Coworking is Great for Independent Workers
Coworking can be a great way for people working independently to get access to the benefits of an office space without having to rent an entire office space just for themselves. If you are a sole proprietor of your own business, a freelancer, or generally work alone without much collaborative input, coworking spaces offer flexibility in the form of daily, weekly, or monthly leasing, as well as various types of workspaces to suit your evolving needs.
Coworking Spaces are Affordable
You don’t have to worry about the costs and logistics of renting an entire space and furnishing it, and there’s no commitment; you don’t have to sign a lease that may last several years when you’re not sure if you need it, or if your company’s needs are rapidly changing. Plus, coworking allows you to afford amenities that you may not otherwise have access to, like security, meeting spaces, IT and more!
The Cons of Coworking
Lack of Privacy
While you may get the opportunity to network with other people in the coworking office, the open-concept space often comes with a lack of privacy, making it hard to communicate with your team or have confidential discussions, unless you pre-book a meeting room. Additionally, in a shared coworking space, storing private and confidential information, like files or other documents is not possible.
In a shared working space, you won’t have the opportunity to personalize your space as if you could a traditional office. This means your space will not have your branding and may not accurately show your company culture during client meetings.
During peak hours, coworking spaces can sometimes be noisy or have distractions, negatively impacting concentration and productivity.
The Advantages of Leasing an Office Space
Your Space is Your Own
Renting a private office space allows you to tailor your space to the needs of your business, no matter how specialized. You can rearrange furniture and redecorate, create or consolidate rooms, and change every aspect of the space as the needs of your business evolve over time. You can also ensure that your office reflects your brand and corporate culture, which is particularly important if you’ll be hosting client meetings onsite.
Leasing an Office Offers More Privacy
Private office space also offers privacy that coworking spaces simply can’t. You’ll be able to keep private company data, intellectual property, or proprietary technology secure and confidential.
Leasing an Office Allows Room for Growth
Coworking spaces also aren’t appropriate for accommodating larger companies, as they’re primarily geared towards individuals or small groups. If your company is growing rapidly, or if you plan to expand in the future, renting an office space ensures that you’ll have the space you need for new employees, new equipment, and for collaborative work between coordinating teams.
The Drawbacks of Leasing an Office Space
The upfront cost of renting an office space is usually greater than renting a coworking space. However, investing in an office and making it your own is also investing in the future of your business, especially as you grow and your needs change.
Leasing an office space often involves a longer-term commitment, which can be less flexible than the month-to-month options provided by many coworking spaces. This said, for large or growing companies, the stability of having a fixed location is often preferred.
Co-Leasing: Get the Best of Worlds
When you know your company has grown out of co-working but may not be ready for an entire dedicated office, you can consider co-leasing! Co-leasing is an option often exercised by similar organizations and works by two (or more) companies leasing a space. This option gives you the best of both worlds, allowing you to customize your space, access more amenities, and have the luxury of privacy, all with a reduced financial burden.
Find and Create Your Perfect Office Space with Summit Properties
We’ve been London’s trusted property management company for decades and finding an office space to fit your needs is our specialty! Our in-house team of designers will collaborate with you to design a space that reflects your brand and meets your needs. Our in-house contractor will then transform your space according to your unique vision! Contact us today for more information on how we can tailor a perfect office space for your business.