So you’re looking to rent a small office for your business because you’re moving to the next level. Maybe you’ve also been hearing about coworking spaces lately but the concept is unclear to you. Thankfully, coworking is a lot easier than it seems. Coworking is based off of the idea that people like to save money and they like to be around each other and work in an environment that is fun, friendly, and collaborative.
A coworking space is a shared office space where people from various backgrounds and companies come together to work. Coworking is a relatively new concept that is gaining traction all around the world. Let’s look a little deeper into differences between working in a coworking space and working in a private office.
1. In a coworking space, you don’t have to be alone; in a private office, you are alone. Many coworking spaces offer more secluded areas so that you can work by yourself if you want to, but you don’t have to be alone as you would be in a private office. Humans are social and just being around other people increases quality of life(1). Additionally, most coworking spaces host events, workshops, and gatherings for their members!
2. In a coworking space, there are opportunities for spontaneous collaboration; in a private office, collaboration comes only from planned encounters. The beauty of working around others is that there are fantastic opportunities to work together. Knowledge, experience, and connections can be shared simply through the day-to-day interactions of those around you. When working from a small office, you have to find opportunities to network that sometimes have an extra price tag.
3. In a coworking space, resources are shared; even in a private office, you must personally invest in all the resources you need. In a small office, you get to pick your own style, select your office furniture, and buy all the cool office gadgets. Coworking spaces are already equipped with all the furniture, office supplies, utilities, internet, and even coffee that you need. Because the big ticket items are shared and included in your monthly membership, you can save money and plan on a consistent rate.
4. In a coworking space, the membership dues are geared toward affordability; in a private office, the lease agreements are geared toward property owner profit. Coworking memberships are on average, around 40% of the cost of leasing an office(2). Plus coworking spaces don’t require 1-3 year lease agreements like many private office spaces do, which means there is far less risk and capital required to move into a coworking space than into a private office.
5. In a coworking space, productivity comes naturally; in a private office, productivity is forced. “There’s this interesting phenomenon coworking seems to have discovered: social pressure. There’s something to be said for being surrounded by others who are working hard, staying focused, and making big things happen”(3). It can be hard to stay self-motivated when no one is there to snap you out of spacing out or browsing facebook.
While there are many more differences between coworking spaces and private offices, these are the five major differences. If you are curious about coworking, we encourage you to try one out for a day to see how you like it. See our membership page for more information.
1. Europa.com. 2013. Quality of Life indicators – Leisue and Social Interactions. http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Quality_of_life_indicators_-_leisure_and_social_interactions
2. Colliers International. 2014. How Coworking can Improve Flexibility, Reduce Costs and increase employee engagement. http://www.colliers.com/-/media/Files/Marketing%20Reports/Colliers_Coworking_office_solutions_Small_Office_Final_v2
3. Walker, David. 2010. 14 Reasons why Joining a Coworking Space Beats Renting your own Private Office Space. http://conjunctured.com/blog/14-reasons-why-joining-a-coworking-space-beats-renting-your-own-private-office-space/