WeWork may be facing a difficult future but the coworking space industry is booming right now. Should you make the move there? Here’s what you need to know…
Among the various innovations that have sprung up over the last decade or so, one of the most prominent surely has been coworking.
As the name suggests, coworking means a work space that various entrepreneurs and companies share among themselves.
As a business owner and/or an entrepreneur, is that something you should consider?
Should you consider shifting to a coworking space?
Honestly speaking, that depends on you; and on your particular business and situation.
However, there are some factors that you definitely need to consider when deciding.
And that’s what we will see here.
A coworking space should help you reduce operational costs
Logically, you understand, if you don’t have to rent an entire building, or even an entire floor, your spend on rent comes down.
Secondly, some coworking spaces come partially or fully furnished, and with common infrastructure like internet connections.
This reduces your spend on those heads (even if furnishing and infrastructure are embedded within your rent, you’re sharing the cost with other businesses).
Also, you can avoid some of the running around for those (like chasing the telecom company till your internet is up and running) which helps you focus on your core business.
That’s all cool; what about the actual rent?
That will vary from market to market; however, globally, coworking desk price has fallen in 2019.
The fall in rent is due to competition and continued penetration of coworking spaces into tier two and tier three cities.
So, the trend appears to be sustainable since there is no reason why either competition should decrease or coworking spaces should stop expanding.
To sum up, shifting to a coworking space can
- Reduce your rent,
- Reduce some other operational costs,
- And help you bypass some of the effort you would have to make to get office infrastructure in place, helping you concentrate on your core business.
This is related with the previous point.
In a coworking space, companies can share access to facilities like
- Conference rooms
allowing each individual company to cut down on expenditure on all these heads.
A coworking space fosters a sense of community
A lot of the people in a coworking space are entrepreneurs or freelancers. That means a lot of professional and creative energies in one work space.
That creates a community that you would not find at your typical work space.
Don’t the workers in a single-company office have a community of their own?
Sure they do.
But they’re all working for the same company.
In a coworking space, it’s a much more diverse and cosmopolitan atmosphere, if you know what I mean.
This also gives freelancers more extensive networking opportunities. Take this interior design firm in Bangladesh. It could gain massively from the networking opportunities a coworking space can throw up.
The first coworking spaces in a city or town would almost inevitably be located in the commercial areas to take advantage of the visibility this would give the brand.
However, as coworking spreads, spaces would open up in other neighbourhoods and at other places which may be convenient for various kinds of businesses.
Some may be close to places where most of the employees; some may be in neighbourhoods housing a lot of the customer base of a particular company.
Whatever it be, the spread of the coworking phenomenon means coworking spaces will continue to spread, which means you have a large menu of locations to choose from.
A lot of coworking space companies invest heavily in making their spaces ergonomic with the latest tech innovations.
That was (and remains, I believe) one of WeWork’s biggest selling points. WeWork is one of the most prominent coworking space companies in the world.
So, should you shift to a coworking space?
If your business can benefit from
- Reduced operational costs
- Shared facilities
- A sense of community
- A sensible location
- A tech-based ergonomic workspace
And, your work will not be hampered from having to share a desk or a conference room with other businesses, then, yes, you should move!