FlexibleHub

Are coworking spaces worth it?

7 April 2021

So you’re unsure if you need a co-working space?

Many people have, in the last year, been forced to think about how they work. With people being forced to work from home in environments that aren’t suitable for work, co-working is something people been forced to think about. It’s also an area that is filled with myths and misunderstandings. This article aims to answer as many questions as you have about co-working.

 

Additionally, we also outline some of the pro’s and con’s of co-working. This should mean that, once you’ve read this article, you’ll have a clear understanding of what co-working is, what options you have and whether or not it’s worth it to you.

The types of co-working spaces

Many people are under the impression that co-working locations are practically all the same; a loud shared space with bad chairs and a bunch of neon-signs on the walls – a glorified café. This couldn’t be further from the truth. As a result of the rapid growth in demand for co-working, providers are building locations for different requirements: the individual who just needs a quick drop-in space a few days a month, the person who needs access to multiple buildings.


Equally, the design and offers are very different. You can, with an incredibly low barrier of entry, still get access to both private suites if you require privacy. Even if you require a space to call your own without the budget of a private office, options like fixed desks are available options.


This ultimately means that co-working is now so diverse that there really is an option to every requirement. Below, we’ve listed information of the three most popular services you can expect in a co-working / flexible office space location:

Hot Desking

This membership is the most cost-friendly. You don't have your own desk, but you can come and go as you want and use the common areas. You also benefit from the tea / coffee, meeting rooms etc.

Ideal for: People who don't need a space every day, but want a space they can jump into when they need to get away from home.

Fixed Desks

You can also get a fixed desk / dedicated desk in a co-working space. This is incredibly powerful if you need a permanent base but don't want to spend money on a full-on private office. You typically have access to a locked drawer, locker etc. and additionally get the same benefits of hot desk memberships. Many providers also provide free meeting rooms to fixed desk clients.

Ideal for: People wanting a more permanent base but still want flexibility and a cost-friendly solution.

Private Offices

Many people think it's impossible to get a private office unless you're a big team. That's not true. You can get 1-person offices in most business centres. Here, you get your own room with a locked door - rich on privacy, you also benefit from the co-working space's communal areas and community. Though private, you can still benefit from the incredible low barrier of entry and no commitment contracts.

Ideal for: People who need privacy and prefer having their own space, but still want to be part of a community and enjoy the simplicity of a co-working space.

Do you really need a co-working space?

A question that’s often asked is whether you really need a co-working space. The answer is very dependant and varies from person to person. A lot of people are more than capable and happy to work from home. Working from home can give some people a boost in productivity while others fall behind and become unproductive as a result of working out of their kitchen table.

Therefore, you need to think: Working from somewhere else (but not from the regular office), would that improve my day? Some people aren’t happy working from home on a general basis – they simply don’t feel productive or happy working from their bedroom, but there could also be other factors that means you’re unable to working from home. This could be a slow internet-speed, kids running around the house, construction noise outside etc. People in this position can benefit greatly from co-working spaces as they offer very flexible contracts and therefore make it an ideal choice, even on a temporary basis.


Many employers like Google, Shopify, Dropbox etc. has said that they will now allow employees to work remotely on a more permanent basis. This means that people can, instead of traveling into the HQ every day, choose to work from a co-working space closer to home which gives you a much shorter commuting time, thus ultimately giving you more free hours in a day.

Pros of co-working spaces

Networking Opportunities

Working from home means limited networking. That small chit-chat over the coffee machine is powerful, even if you don’t work for the same company. Co-working spaces are typically incredibly focused on networking and hosts various events which you can attend.

A Structured Day

Many people need structure in their life – work/life balance. “Leave work at the office” has been a saying for years, but it’s now even more important. A lot of people need a more structured daily routine – splitting up where you work and where you live can be incredibly important.

Flexibility & Convenience 

When people think of co-working, they typically think of flexibility. Rightly so. Co-working spaces gives you incredible flexibility to work close to where you live, but additionally, many gives you access to buildings across the country. This can prove key if you have a few hours of down-time after a meeting across town.

Full Of Amenities

Co-working spaces are packed with amenities and facilities. While they all typically offer printers, faxes, a managed reception to make your work-life easier, many also comes with on-site gyms, showers, yoga rooms etc. which can be a great boost of productivity across the board.

Cons of co-working spaces

Lack Of Privacy

This is half-true. You can certainly still get co-working solutions which offer privacy (dedicated desks and especially private offices). Working on communal areas of co-working spaces obviously means that you are sharing the space and working with others. 

Security

Security can be a concern, both IT security and general security. Most providers offer a very secure WiFi connection, but there is still concern to be had. We always recommend using a VPN-service to keep your things even more security. For the more hands-on security, most providers actually provide lockers that you can rent on a very cheap basis to combat this problem.

Distraction

Distraction and events can, while we also listed it as a pro, be a con. This is normally combatted with providers offering small phone-booths you can sit in and work as the communal areas are also used for events and commotions outside normal business hours. If this is too much, it might be better going with a dedicated desk or a private office.

Lack Of Branding / Customisation

If you use co-working spaces, in many cases, you must be okay with the space being branded with the provider’s name. When you open the door, it’ll typically say “WeWork”, “SPACES” or whatever provider runs the co-working space.

Debunking co-working myths

Co-working has it’s myths and it’s presumptions. Many of them are completely innacurate, so below, we’ve debunked some of the myths surrounding co-working and flexible workspace in general:

“Is it all open-space and provides no privacy?”
No

Co-working spaces doesn’t have to be all open-space. Almost all locations has private offices you can rent. Even as a hot-desk member, often, you have access to small pods, booths etc.

“Coworking is only for freelancers and small businesses”
False

Couldn’t be further from the truth! Many corporate clients use coworking for remote employees, giving employees flexibility. Many are even building HQ’s in coworking spaces.

“Is coworking only for tech entrepreneurs?”
False


Certainly not. If you walk into a shared office space, you’ll find anything from lawyers to designers, writers, tech people, finance people etc. There’s an incredibly diverse amount of industries using coworking.

“Is co-working only in big cities?”
No, absolutely not

Historically true, but not anymore. Over the recent years, providers are opening more and more coworking spaces in suburban areas. Try and search on FlexibleHub. You’ll find plenty!

“Are coworking spaces noisy?”
False

 

Granted, some can be. However, there seems to be a mutual understanding between all members that this is, in fact, a place of work.

Buildings might have areas which are more focused for networking and socialising and places with desks for working.

“Is co-working expensive?”
False

Certainly not. In the U.S, you can typically find good co-working memberships with large providers from under $100 / month. In Europe, similarly, you can find something around £ / € 100 / month upwards depending on location and layout of buildings.

Conclusion: Most can benefit greatly, some don’t need it

The conclusion of everything is that a lot of people can benefit greatly from a co-working space. Whether it’s a few days per month or on a full-time basis; whether it’s for two weeks or two years. There is plenty of reasons why working from home isn’t ideal – equally, even if you typically work from a central location, you can also benefit by saving time on commuting. 

 

With that being said, some people don’t need it. They are happy to work from home and have the suitable environment to do it. Everyone is different, so it’s really up to you to think whether it’s useful for you or not. With that being said, seeing as the low barrier of entry, it might be worth a shot to try out. There are plenty of benefits you won’t notice until you realise it – benefits which, because everyone is different, would be impossible to cover in an article.

How do I find the right co-working space?

There are endless ways that you can find a co-working space. The best option is to use a website like ours – www.flexible-hub.com, where you can instantly search for locations near you and get a simplified view of all your options. Flexible workspace brokers like us (and others, of course) are capable of understanding your requirements and guiding you through the process to find a suitable space. Thankfully, flexible workspace brokers are (and should be) completely free of charge to you as they receive a referral fee from whatever location you sign up to.

 

Over the last years, and with similar predictions for the future, new flexible workspaces are opening up all the time. Therefore, it can be a difficult task to Google different providers, reach out for quotes and get information from all of them individually. To search for a co-working space near you, click “Search now” below to start or visit our site on www.flexible-hub.com. We are always happy to help – even if you’re still unsure whether you need a space or not.

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Fill in your requirements and details and a member of the FlexibleHub client advisory will send across a bespoke quote.

 

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Fill in your requirements and details and a member of the FlexibleHub client advisory will send across a bespoke quote.

 

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