Why Starting Out in a Coworking Space is Good for Your Startup

Since the inception of coworking spaces in 2005 at Spiral Muse by Brad Neuberg, the practice has spread to major countries in Asia and Europe.

So, What was so Great About Coworking?

The emergence of a 'Coworking space' provided a great networking platform that balanced independence of self-employment with involvement in a community of working with others. This appealed to entrepreneurs and freelancers, leading to a widespread adoption.

According to an infographic released by Officevibe, 70% of coworkers felt healthier than they did while working in a traditional office setting.

  Source:    officevibe.com

It also reported that 40% of workforce will be freelancers, temps, independent contractors, and solopreneurs by 2020. These findings signify the growth of a coworking culture in future.

Is Coworking a Great Idea for Startups?

Anthony Marinas, the sales and marketing manager at Grimes, puts it simply in 'The State of Coworking in 2015',  that people now want to be a part of a community and not a company.

Stressing on how coworking is a great option for most startups, Anthony further explains-

Instead of working with a team of 2-3 members, working in an environment surrounded by 100 people on a daily basis, gives you an opportunity to make a professional as well as personal connection.

This not only cuts down your office space budget but also opens up the possibility of bringing forth innovations with other like-minded people.

Coworking Space or Traditional Office Space: What is Right for You?

As Rebekah Kowalski, VP & Principal Consultant at Right Management shared her views in an interview for Centre for the Study of the Workplace. During the interview she said, to choose between a coworking space or a traditional office space, businesses need to evaluate their workforce and understand their employees’ needs.

To help you arrive at a decision, here are some questions that you should be asking yourself:

  1. What is your office culture and what do you want it to be?
  2. What is right for your workplace profile?
  3. What are you trying to achieve?
  4. Who are your talents and what are their needs?

However, if you prefer control over your work environment or crave for a personal space, a traditional office space is a better option for you.

When it comes to cash flow, coworking spaces become an attractive option as economy and resources are shared. Unlike traditional startup costs, like office furniture, Internet & telephone bills, utility & service charges, etc., in a coworking space, you are not required to spend a lot of cash upfront. It lets you focus on your growth.

In a story published at Nerd Wallet, Nick Clark, founder of The Common Desk, maintains that a business could save 75% in total costs in opting for a coworking space, making substantial savings over the years!

Various Benefits of Opting for a Coworking Space

1. Affordable Office Space in Prime Locations

For a small business, one of the biggest challenges is getting an office space in prime areas while they are still bootstrapping. Saving this trouble, coworking spaces provide affordable in-demand spaces, the types of offices and locations that you couldn’t otherwise afford to have.

Once you have chosen the place, you can get to the work right away as the amenities and utilities are already set up.

2. The Flexibility and Scalability for Startups

Another major benefit of opting for coworking is the flexibility of accommodating changes to the size of the team. Whether your business expands or contracts, you can easily upgrade or downgrade your space requirements anytime as needed without requiring a yearlong commitment from you.

In most coworking spaces, you can opt for a one-time pass, monthly, or yearly membership plan accordingly. You can also opt for a private office or an open coworking space.

It also gives you the flexibility to change your location as you please since your leasing terms are not binding.  

3. Collaboration: All in One Place

It gives you the opportunity to collaborate with a community of  talented people from different professions who you otherwise might have never necessarily interacted with. It provides an opportunity to trade skills to get a project done, or outsource projects to other teams when they are more specialized than you.

As Dodd Caldwell, founder of Loft Resumes and MoonClerk, explains in 'The Future of Coworking and Why it Will Give Your Business A Huge Edge,' sometimes it is as simple as tapping someone outside of your team on the shoulder and asking their opinion. Other times, it is catching a quick whiteboard sessions with other team(s).

Cutting to the chase, coworking gives you the opportunity to tackle and solve problems from a variety of angles.

How do You Know Which Coworking Space is Right for You?

With the boom in coworking spaces, you can choose one that focuses on a particular industry or varied ones. A focused space gives you the benefit of working with people who are thinking about the exact problem that you are thinking about and thus, leading to a greater productivity.

In a coworking space that is open to varied industries, you are surrounded by professionals coming from different backgrounds, where you get more ideas for running your business successfully. This diversity in turn promotes your creativity by giving you a perspective on things each time.

To find the right working space for you, here is a to-do list for you:

  • Make a list of things that you would like in your workplace and the things you would hate.
  • Visit the workspace and find out the things you like about it. Ask yourself if they will make you more productive.
  • Find out if their work culture fits yours. For example, if you are looking for a more focused space, then you should opt for one that has the flexibility of private work stations.
  • Find the coworking space that offers simple registration, billing and leasing terms. 

Most importantly, while you are short-listing coworking spaces to work in, remember to choose the one where members are complementary to each other and not competitive.

According to Deskmag’s annual Global Coworking Survey, 71% of professionals reported a boost in creativity since joining a coworking space, 62% in an improved work quality.

Therefore, if you are an entrepreneur with a small team seeking to lease a private office, you should consider leasing a coworking space before you sign the final contract.