The Advantages & Disadvantages of Coworking Spaces
In the late 90s, if you were a student or small business owner and you had work to complete, then you may have grabbed all of your things, bags, laptop, books, notebooks, and external hard drives and trudged down to your local Starbucks or coffee shop with wifi to get your work done. So many innovations have come into play that thankfully these sacred memories are a thing of the past. One of the biggest innovations is the option of coworking.
What is coworking?
According to Google, coworking is “the use of an office or other working environment by people who are self-employed or working for different employers, typically so as to share equipment, ideas, and knowledge”.
What is a coworking space?
In our current day and age, many have figured out how to work for themselves using the internet and social media as their own personal marketing tool. Coworking spaces have become a global phenomenon. Over a decade ago, there were only about 14 coworking spaces worldwide. Today, the number of coworking spaces has reached well over 14,000. Coworking is an appealing option for freelancers, small business owners, and writers of the gig economy culture. The member-only spaces are usually trendy and modern state-of-the-art facilities that provide use of office supplies, wifi, a never-ending pot of coffee, and snacks.
One model is a large venue housing everyone from freelancers only needing a desk station to small startup teams that need a regular office along with a conference room to a whole-floor for corporate residency.
SBI Detroit is a neighborhood-based co-working space created to scale and grow businesses. We not only allow the rental space for your business, but we also provide you with access to a team of industry experts in business development, project management, real estate, construction, and contracting for over 20 years. Our goal is to deliver small businesses precisely the support they need to realize their fullest potential. We also offer services like a virtual address, business phone number, and answering service. At SBI Detroit, we allow businesses to do what they do best while we handle the rest.
The Advantages of Coworking
One of the biggest advantages of a coworking space is the opportunity to connect with other individuals. When you work from a home office or independent office, you could be missing the opportunity to make important connections. Coworking allows you to be surrounded by a variety of people with varying skill sets. People you may not have gotten the opportunity to work with in a traditional business environment or just working from home. It is also beneficial because you are in a mixed-working environment that offers you many opportunities to explain what you do and get positive feedback. You get to get your business pitch down and see what is effective in communicating about your business.
Many coworkers have also found gainful employment opportunities while coworking. They may find out about jobs or independent contracts from the other small or start-up businesses using the same coworking space.
Many small business owners, freelancers, and writers can feel that their work is not respected because people may not see you going into a traditional 9-to-5 job. However, coworking spaces can provide you with the legitimacy of going to work. It can allow you to take the action of leaving home and having a routine of going out to handle business.
In taking action, you may also have increased productivity. Being in the coworking space, you have the opportunity to focus on your specific tasks that may be disrupted at home or if you had to stop to go and print at another location. It also provides you with a space to have face-to-face meetings.
As a business owner, it can be daunting to think about finding a commercial business store front to open and get all the office equipment to operate. A coworking space membership would allow you access to office supplies and workspace without having to maintain all the monthly bills that accompany a traditional office space.
The Disadvantages of Coworking
Everyone in a coworking space is not looking to socialize or to be a sounding board for others. They want to come in and put their heads down and get to work. A coworking space may not be the best place, if this is what you are interested in. Most coworking spaces thrive off of open areas and collaborative spaces. They may offer a room for isolation, but these can be hard to grab.
The same beautiful synergy that was being created and used in the collaborative space can be the same space that is full of distraction. It can be from the noise created by other coworkers. Too much of a good vibe could reduce your productivity. You will need to remember why you are there and focus on your tasks.
Another distraction can be the normal personality conflict. You could share a coworking space with someone that you would rather not. They could be the person that is the source of noise distractions or just not a pleasant person. Personality conflicts could become an issue if you and a competitor are using the same coworking space.
You can save money by eliminating full-time monthly office costs, but you may also lose money with a coworking space, if you can’t afford to pay the coworking space membership. If your business is not making enough money to sustain itself and you still have to cover costs out-of-pocket, then you may want to continue to use coffee shops or local libraries to get your work done.
Still Interested in Coworking Spaces?
One of the greatest takeaways with coworking spaces is that it can provide you with a feeling that your work is more meaningful. The environment promotes your social mission of creating community and collaboration. If you are interested in a coworking space in the metro-Detroit area, then contact us at SBI Detroit to see what packages we can offer you and your business.
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