The Reasons For and Against Joining Co-Working Space

The Reasons For and Against Joining Co-Working Space
Co-working offices are popping up across the globe, and they seem to have a high appeal in the eyes of modern businessmen. But are collaborative environment really all gains and no glitches? Despite the steady growth in popularity, collaborative environments do have a few hitches – but whether or not the perks of co-working shared outweigh its downsides of is solely up to you to decide. Here are some major advantages and shortcomings of collaborative workspaces to help you choose whether or not you’re going to jump on the co-working bandwagon.
Co-working perks
1. Cost-efficiency
Co-working membership fees are substantially lower than the costs of long-term private office lease and equipment procurement combined. Also, though most collaborative workplaces ask for monthly fees, some also offer the option for members to make day-to-day bookings in case they don’t want to use the space on a full-time basis.
2. Networking

Collaborative offices are an excellent place for entrepreneurs and freelancers to expand their professional contact list and find new clients. According to a 2015 survey conducted among collaborative office members, as many as 82% interviewees reported that co-working helped them grow their professional network, and 64% of the respondents said that network expansion through co-working turned into a very important (26%) or an important (38%) source of work.

3. Community spirit

The sense of community membership is a huge advantage of collaborative spaces over home offices. Being cooped up alone amidst silent walls during work hours can be pretty depressing, and it’s not conducive to long-term work enthusiasm, productivity, and creative flow.
4. Professional growth
More and more co-working offices are expanding their service offer to workshops and similar educational programs focusing on professional growth. This is extremely beneficial for young professionals: business sharks who want to bring peak profits home need to keep upgrading their skill set, and gatherings focusing on profitable business assets and market trends are an invaluable source of precious insights and community-based learning.
5. Business-grade equipment
For the cost of a monthly, weekly, or daily membership fee, co-working users get access to a professional-looking office with business-grade Wi-Fi, copiers, printers, kitchenettes, coffee makers, bike parks, vending machines, and ergonomic workstations. According to office furniture experts, comfort has become a crucial factor in purchase considerations among young professionals who often put in overtime hours. On top of that, many collaborative offices also let members book boardrooms and private suites for important meetings with clients and associates.
Cons of collaborative offices
1. Distractions
Although collaborative spaces are designed for work purposes, not all members use them accordingly. Audio distractions in the form of pumping bass in your neighbor’s headphones, subdued conversations, or a tad too loud hallway phone convos are a force to be reckoned with, especially if you aren’t hard of hearing.
2. Competition
Today’s business world is as competitive as it gets, and if you don’t actually relish the thought of sharing an office with a business rival, co-working may not exactly turn out to be your all-time favorite. Still, if you’re deft enough, you can turn this negative into a positive and ‘steal’ tricks from your competitors while keeping your own business cards to your chest.
3. Inter-personal problems
When sharing a workplace with other professionals, conflicts can arise now and again, either through misunderstanding, personal animosities, or lack of respect for privacy of other users during work hours. In case disputes occur, try to smooth them over in an honest exchange after hours – but if problems keep popping up, you may want to consider migrating to a home office or library.
4. Cost
Though less expensive than standard office lease, co-working membership fees can turn out to be a pretty steep price to pay for entrepreneurs with a less than stellar bottom line. Hopefully, the seat in a shared workplace will bring you new clients – but if you realize at some point that the investment has a lower return than you originally bargained for, it may be a financially wiser idea to move your line of business back to your home office.
Co-working is a perfect springboard for new business birds looking to climb up the trade ladder fast, pick up new skills, and expand their professional network – but if you’re not a huge fan of the negatives that go hand in hand with working among people, review your options twice before you take the collaborative leap. Good luck!