Pros & Cons of Coworking vs. a Traditional Office Space

According to the Global Coworking Survey, 1.2 million people will have worked in a coworking office space by the end of 2017. The number of overall coworking members is on the rise, partially because larger spaces are becoming more common. The portion of coworking facilities with at least 150 members increased from 13% to nearly 20% between 2015 and 2016.

These spaces are becoming more popular. However, they do have potential weaknesses. Let’s look at pros and cons of coworking.

Coworking office space pros

Here are three benefits related to a coworking environment:

1. Creativity – It can often take entrepreneurs a significant amount of time to problem-solve. Being in the presence of others who have been exposed to different resources and experiences can help you approach problems more creatively.

2. A step up from home – Coworking can allow freelancers to be more productive and to create better distinction between their work and personal life. It does, however, give people opportunities to socialize. Exposure to other people getting things done can be motivating too.

3. Budget – For startups, coworking is not nearly as much of a financial strain as a traditional private office. Plus, marketing is less necessary. Manan Vohra, who uses coworking for his consultancy Hadean Labs, notes that shared space has meant the company has not incurred marketing costs. "All our business has come via word-of-mouth,” he says.

Coworking office space cons

What is potentially problematic about these types of spaces?

1. Ambiguity Sarah Schupp of UniversityParent has noted that it is difficult to maintain your own culture. Her team felt uncomfortable getting excited about any victories or playing games specific to their company.

2. Focus – It can be difficult to concentrate in a coworking space. As indicated in the pro above that coworking can be preferable to home, you can create better delineation between personal and professional tasks through coworking; however, that line can also become more blurred. It is only a work environment if you treat it as one and don’t get too easily sidetracked.

3. Control – When you have a private rather than coworking office space, you have full control to be able to change it to meet your needs. You can adapt the storage space, structure, and signage so that appearance and functionality are in tune with your business.

Are you considering options for your office?

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