Pros and Cons of Coworking Spaces
Back in 2015 when fewer than 8,000 coworking spaces existed worldwide, remote workers had few choices beyond their home office, the public library, or a coffee shop. Fast-forward to today, and quite a different scenario emerges.
According to the Global Coworking Growth Study 2019, the global number of coworking spaces will soon cross the 20,000 mark. This figure is expected to increase to nearly 26,000 by 2022. In 2018 alone, an estimated 2,188 new spaces opened worldwide. Almost 1,000 of these were in the United States.
While not every person’s cup of tea, places where individuals work independently in shared office space provide telecommuters with additional options. Their popularity supports the overall idea that work can be performed successfully in a variety of environments, not just a traditional 9-to-5 office.
Interested in learning more about coworking spaces? Here’s a look at the pros and cons of coworking spaces, and what to consider before joining.
Pros of Coworking Spaces
They provide a professional environment.
Getting work done sometimes proves difficult when the kids play video games in the next room, the laundry pile calls your name, or the TV tempts you to stray off task. Coworking spaces remove these distractions. Additionally, motivation often increases when seeing everybody around you busy doing work.
They offer space.
Need to meet with a client or hold a group discussion? Signing up for a room within a coworking space provides an easier, safer alternative than bringing a stranger into your home or trying to squeeze people around your dining room table.
They also can make life easier when you’re in a new area. For digital nomads and others working in an unfamiliar city or country, coworking spaces can prove much easier than trying to set up shop on one’s own.
They’re great places to meet people.
Tired of eating lunch alone? Whether interested in networking or just socializing, coworking spaces allow you to meet other professionals. Many places host events, and staff at some establishments even try to introduce individuals to fellow members of the same industry.
They make you feel like part of a community.
Each coworking space tends to have its own “vibe.” Finding one that’s right for you can boost morale and create a sense of belonging. Also, many users take pride in being part of a new way of working that supports the expansion of flexibility and balance.
They offer new scenery.
For days when you’re bouncing off the walls of a home office, coworking spaces provide a place to go for a change of pace while remaining productive.
Cons of Coworking Spaces
They require travel.
The time and effort spent transporting yourself to and from a coworking space may leave you asking, “Didn’t I go remote to get away from commuting?”
They cost money.
While some people find coworking spaces worth the price, others view them as wasteful when they already have a functional home office.
They put you in contact with other people.
Those uncomfortable around strangers or who prefer to work totally alone may dislike the setting. Personal belongings need watching, and germs spread in coworking spaces just like in a regular office.
They have distractions.
People may congregate and talk louder than you’d like; someone mistakenly interprets your lack of earphones as a sign you’re open to conversation; your desk neighbor’s project looks more interesting than your own. Just as a home office has things that sway your attention, so do coworking environments.
They may not live up to expectations.
A site that seemed ideal during a tour can end up unfulfilling over the long-term, as places sometimes over promise and under deliver. Factors such as overcrowding, lack of maintenance, poor customer support, inadequate tech, and sporadic community events lead to frustration.
A word to the wise: coworking spaces differ significantly. Take advantage of free trials or short-term contracts before signing on for a significant amount of time. The best coworking space is one that meets your needs and makes you feel comfortable.
And if you choose not to use a coworking space, that’s OK, too! Flex work is all about finding what arrangements bring you the greatest satisfaction.
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By Garrett Bonistalli | Categories: Work Remotely