Pros and cons of a coworking space

If you ever walk into a coworking space, you’ll notice right away that it feels different from a regular, company office

It smells like freshly grounded coffee and it’s buzzing from all the energy and good vibes. Depending on what kind of coworking space you prefer, it can be colourful, fun, funky, or, on the contrary, serious and sober. 

People love coworking spaces. A recent report from Clutch tells us that 77% of employees are satisfied with their coworking space. 

But having people that love coworking spaces doesn’t mean that there are no challenges to be faced. If you are a business owner who needs to make a decision regarding office spaces, or a freelancer who no longer wants to work exclusively from home, there are some things you’ll need to consider. 

Pros of coworking spaces 

They have all the amenities you need

Everyone who works in an office needs access to coffee machines, a fridge, a nice place to eat, a cozy place for a lounge, a place for meetings, and good desks and chairs. 

The good thing about coworking spaces is that they have been designed to make people like working there. So from coffee to your fancy desk, they should have everything you need, including a good WiFi connection. Of course, you can and should look for more coworking spaces until you find the one, and make sure it checks all your boxes. 

Community and networking

Another great thing about coworking spaces is that they manage to bring people from different industries together, which is great for networking. 

A couple of months in a coworking space and you’ll know people from at least 5 more industries. On the other hand, there are multiple business owners and freelancers to share thoughts, and experiences with and who can recommend you for clients, if you are a freelancer yourself. 

Moreover, coworking spaces have a sense of community as they wish people to get along and work nicely in their space. This is why they will organize events and “team buildings” quite often. 

In-office perks

94% of coworking spaces include additional perks such as food, drinks, and social events. Why? Because we all want a cool place to work, not just the usual desk and chair in a white room. 

And also, because someone else takes care of that perks for you. Let’s say you are a small business owner and have 5 employees. You need a place to work so you start looking to rent some office space. But after you do that, you are left with a white room that you are supposed to have fun working in. No perks, no fun events, no free coffee. This is why coworking spaces may be a great choice: they take care of those things for you and they are good at making fun to come to work. 

Increased flexibility

If your company is growing in size, you might need to look at other office spaces to move in. However, if you use a coworking space, you just need to ask for more desks or to negotiate a bigger room. 

Most coworking spaces offer you the flexibility you need in terms of hours as well: as long as you can get yourself in the space and lock the door, most of them will be open for you 24h. So if you’re having trouble sleeping at night, you now have where to go, without waking anyone up. 

Cons of coworking spaces

Distractions and noise

We previously mentioned that in a coworking space there are a lot of people from different domains. And even if that is great for socializing and networking, it also leads to a lot of noise and distractions. 

58% of high-performance employees say they need a quiet environment in order to complete their tasks. And even though silence is encouraged when there are no events or socializing moments, coworking spaces can’t completely control that. Just when you’re having your focusing time, someone may decide to make a phone call or to laugh at a meme. 

Evidently, this can be solved if you get a private office in a coworking space or if you buy yourself some nice, noise-cancelling headphones. 

Limited space

Usually, when you work in an office, the most loved place is your own desk. It’s where you have the photo with your dog or your favourite coffee mug. However, due to space that needs to be shared (this is why it’s called co-working), it is very possible that the space you get will be pretty limited. 

This also depends on what type of office you choose. If you work at a hot desk, you won’t get that much space or privacy, but if you have your own dedicated desk, then things are different. However, all these preferences require changes in your budget. 

Lack of privacy 

Hand in hand with the previous con comes a lack of privacy. It’s hard enough to get privacy in a normal office, but imagine sharing that with people you’re meeting for the first time today and don’t even know if they’ll come back again tomorrow. 

Privacy is important because it allows you to think freely, be creative, make your weird routines or rituals, and encourage focus. If next to you is a person that is constantly trying to look at your computer screen (although it’s not nice and it’s not the space’s fault), you may get turned off from working. 

Even freelancers that work by themselves and don’t need a team to do their work can use privacy as it allows them to freely think outside the box. 

Insufficient Equipment 

Although we mentioned that coworking spaces provide the amenities you need, it might not be enough. 

Although free coffee is great, if you need a certain WiFi speed to do your work, multiple outlets, a chair suited for your back problems, or a sit-stand desk, the coworking space is not obligated to offer them to you. 

However, depending on what kind of office you have, they might be open to talking about other needs they may cover for you or collaborating in order to meet halfway. 

Nevertheless, coworking spaces can be great or not that great depending on your personal needs and preferences. It’s indicated to do your research and find what’s best for you.