5 Reasons a Coworking Space Makes Sense for Your Startup

5 Reasons a Coworking Space Makes Sense for Your Startup

When I first set up as a freelance writer, my home office worked well. But as my business grew, I started to stagnate at home. It was too quiet. I missed human contact and needed a more professional space to meet clients.

Trouble was, I didn’t have the cash for a dedicated office space—and my local coffee shop was too noisy for calls and complicated work.

Then, I found a better way: coworking.

What is coworking?

A coworking space brings together remote workers, small business owners, staff, and freelancers in a shared work environment. Big names like Indiegogo, Instagram, Timehop, Uber, and Wanderfly have used them.

What are the benefits of coworking?

The key benefit is flexibility. Each coworking space has a different layout—open office with desks and breakout areas or enclosed setup (private offices and meeting rooms). You can choose to "hot desk" or pay more for your own desk. You can also reserve meeting rooms or use it as a virtual office. It’s important to find a coworking space that matches your startup in terms of requirements and ethos.

Coworking spaces offer flexible pricing on monthly, weekly, or daily basis.

You can find coworking communities that boost your chances of success. Some spaces are run alongside incubators, where you get resources and services for business development. Other spaces target specific industries. However, most coworking spaces accept everyone.

There are pros and cons for startups using coworking spaces. If you need privacy or want to design your own office layout, a traditional office space may be better. But if you don’t mind sharing office amenities, a coworking space could be a solid option.

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Here are five reasons to consider coworking:

1. Improved facilities compared to a coffee shop or home office

A coffee shop or home office presents challenges to professionalism—noise and interruptions.

Coworking spaces come with everything you need. Power sockets, functional furniture, desk space, and high-speed Wi-Fi come standard. Dossey Richards, CEO at dev-shop Lotus Technologies, runs his business from The Farm Coworking. "The decision to move from my local coffee shop and work inside a coworking space has dramatically changed my life," he said.

You have more control over your environment. You can work in a shared space or use a private office. Many facilities rent meeting rooms and have additional areas like nap pods or breakout areas. Plus, free tea, coffee, and snacks are often included.

2. Coworking gives you a flexible and cost-effective solution

Traditional office space requires a long-term financial commitment. Coworking frees your startup to be nimble as it grows and changes. You can use the space as needed on a day-to-day or month-to-month basis. Coworking is generally cheaper than an office rental.

3. You will network on a whole new level

Coworking spaces are used by a community of freelancers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses. Networking opportunities abound. Dossey said, "Access to all the experiences other companies are having is vital to our growth." Coworking spaces encourage inter-community relationships and often double as event venues.

4. There’s plenty of business-based advice available

A coworking space can provide advice. You have access to coworkers with varied experiences and enthusiastic managers who can point you in the right direction. Some spaces are accelerators or incubators, offering resources for business growth.

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5. A coworking space will grow as your business grows

With the flexibility of a coworking space, you can scale up as needed. Whether you need more facilities or staff, a coworking space is more nimble than a traditional office rental. Employees thrive in a coworking environment.

How can I find a coworking space?

Consider location, support level, space requirements, features and resources, and the overall vibe. Visit a few spaces before you make a decision. Check the events schedule for networking opportunities.

Keep an open mind and visit coworking spaces before you sign up. The true beauty of coworking for startups is the flexibility to pick and choose what you need. What have you got to lose?

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