When it comes to finding somewhere to work, your business has a lot of choices. What you choose will depend on what your business does, but if you’re in a major city and your business is primarily office-based, you have two major choices: renting a fully serviced office or coworking space. Read on for a comparison of the benefits and drawbacks of both.
Flexible coworking space
Many offices in major cities now have coworking spaces. These are essentially large, often open-office areas that you can rent by the seat or table. The main advantage of renting coworking space is its flexibility – from how much space you need to how long you need it for.
You can ‘hot desk’ – rent an individual desk, bring your own equipment, connect to the office wifi and get going. These are extremely cheap, but you won’t have much control over your work environment and your desk will likely change from day to day.
Those who want more space can either rent a fixed table or a private office. These are more expensive, you but are guaranteed a particular space to work for as long as you need.
Renting a serviced office is another option. Serviced offices generally come with contracts that lock you in for a period of time, but over the long run, they are cheaper than renting a coworking space. Depending on the contract, you may or may not be responsible for hiring a cleaning firm to keep your office clean.
Serviced offices provide stability – they are a fixed location for your business and you have more control over the premises. It’s much easier and more prestigious to host clients in your own office than to meet them in a co-working space.
Meeting your business needs
Which one works best for your business will depend on the specific circumstances of the business. There are certain industries that flexible coworking space works well – technology, in particular, can make good use of coworking space. They are a way to work by yourself or with a small crew for as long as each project requires.
Having other people around you can be a benefit or a drawback, depending on the circumstances. If people are open, coworking spaces are a great place to network and find others in similar industries. On the other hand, if you prefer to work somewhere quiet, they might result in getting less work done.
When your business grows
Coworking space can be surprisingly flexible, and you’ll find places where you can rent entire private offices for a few thousand per month. However, if your business has more staff than can fit in a single office, you’re likely better off with a serviced office.
Coworking spaces are not well-suited for larger firms or businesses in certain industries. You have little to no control over what you can do inside a coworking space, so if your business has needs beyond desk work, you likely won’t be able to run your business in a coworking space.
Deciding for your business
If you’re looking for new office space for your business, but the choice is not immediately obvious, try renting some coworking space. Because it’s so flexible, you can trial it for a week and see how you feel. Don’t forget that there are many different companies and locations offering coworking space, so shop around and try several.
You might find one you like for your business and you’ll learn whether renting coworking space or a serviced office suits you best.