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Shared Coworking or traditional office? The pros and cons

Coworking spaces are a viable option for a remote workforce that wants flexibility, a bit of social buzz with like-minded people, but what about the cons like client perception and control? We look at the pros and cons of coworking in a shared space.

Judging by activity at The Crate Flexible Space in Constellation Drive on Auckland’s North Shore, the popularity of coworking spaces has been on the rise for some time. Covid-19 lockdowns only accelerated the trend. But, as things begin to open up again, it may be time to consider the pros and cons of working in a shared space.

Coworking Pros

1. Cheaper Overheads

Making use of coworking spaces significantly reduces overheads. For example, amenities – The Crate takes care of Internet, furniture, cleaning, power etc. — are already provided for your workers, which means you can focus on running the team, not the office.

On top of that, all the maintenance of your new space is done for you. You don’t have to shell out for repairs and the equipment needed to do them.

You’re saving time, money, and effort, boosting your ROI and getting a healthy dose of peace of mind.

2. Networking

Coworking spaces can bring together people from multiple different businesses — it’s perfect for networking on the fly during business hours because you can exchange goods and services with other companies in the space. 

Coworking spaces are ripe for referrals and collaboration because they cut out time and distance — it’s a form of optimisation that creates more opportunities to make deals at a fraction of the cost.

3. Flexibility

With coworking spaces, there’s no fixed lease. You pay for the area your team needs when it needs it. This affords two benefits. 

First off, reduced costs. Not only are you paying less overall, but that money is also spent smartly.

Secondly, there’s the potential to upsize or downsize as need be. With a traditional office, upsizing or downsizing can be a pain. You have to search for new premises, all while paying for a space that no longer meets your needs.

Scaling, up or down, is easy and cheap.

4. Productivity 

It’s no secret that employees prefer flexibility too. Just look at Amazon; it tried to force workers back into traditional offices before worker outcry caused it to capitulate and allow workers to choose for themselves.

With a coworking space or multiple coworking spaces (remember, you’re only paying for what you use so you can locate employees across the city), employees can potentially have shorter commutes or even work remotely when the need arises. 

Better quality of life means fresh employees, and fresh employees make better workers. It also spreads risk in the event of outbreaks, which everyone should be aware of by now. If a worker needs to be away from the office, it doesn’t mean they no longer have to miss work. With traditional offices, you’d be fielding an empty desk; with coworking, you won’t be.

Coworking Cons

1. Less control of your space

Naturally, there’s a trade-off. 

By using a coworking space, you have less control of your environment. However, this is balanced by the time and money you’ll be saving, as discussed above.

Your employees will have less control of their space too, but you have to think modular. In a traditional office, workers must be conscious of each other anyway. Being aware of workers from other firms is no different. 

2. Client perception

Some clients may be hesitant when they see your firm doesn’t have its “own” space, but really, this is just a lag in perception. 

Coworking is on the rise, and innovation is something to be embraced. New things are often misunderstood, but by embracing coworking, not only are you afforded all the benefits mentioned above, but you’re also ahead of the curve too.

There you have a few benefits of coworking vs traditional office space and just a few cons that, in retrospect, are just growing pains of innovation. 

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