Is Coworking Right for My Startup?

Are you trying to work out if Coworking is a good option for your start-up  Why not ask yourself a few of the following questions to see if it’s really right for you?

Yes, if you want an easier life

Coworking allows you to enjoy a potentially productive office environment without having to lose any productivity sorting things such as building maintenance and utilities; things you would have to consider if you rented your own space from a landlord.

No, if you have specific requirements

Of course if you have any specific requirements, particularly regarding security matters, then coworking may not be your best option.

For example, will you be happy to send sensitive data through a shared network? Also do remember you may not get to lock the office (and all the valuables inside it) at night. So, if you are particularly security-conscious you may end up lumbering around with armfuls of tech.

Coworking space at Inspire 9

A Coworking space (via Inspire9 on Pinterest)

Yes if you want a flexible experience

With rolling month-to-month contracts and everything set up and ready for you to go, co-working offers a flexible alternative to traditional office space. If your company moves forward rapidly and you want a bigger space, then you can get out almost as quickly as you moved in.

If you are looking to expand, a further bonus is that you may be able to rent a few more desks in your current coworking space, so you don’t worry about having to source thousands of cardboard boxes to carry stuff to a new office (amongst other, more stressful problems you encounter when moving office).

No, if you want to shape your own permanent home

Of course, due to the flexible nature of coworking spaces there will be a certain amount of coming-and-going. A host of new faces can be a great way to keep things fresh, but if you want your own settled permanent home, this may not be ideal.

You also won’t get any real options to customize your space, so if you want an office to reside in long-term, that you can mold in your companies image, then co-working may not be for you. Of course this is always an option further down the line, but if you’re a start-up you often shouldn’t run before you can work.

Yes, if you want to work somewhere that’s a little unusual

Co-working spaces seem to bring out the creative best in office designers. They are rarely huge black, white and grey sprawling office blocs, and more often, small, independently run unique spaces.

You can find coworking spaces of all shapes and sizes clustered in creative hot spots across the world. You could end up working somewhere like the grand old Grain Exchange in Minneapolis. In London you can work in disused tube carriages that have been hoisted onto a rooftop or even on an old battleship on the Thames!

No, if you’re concerned with security

Again, with coworking spaces you will also have little control over the people you rent desks with. This means you could potentially be sharing a space with a competitor; it also may be a security concern for you. Although, thankfully such issues very rarely raise their heads. If this is a concern, then co-working may not be for you.

Yes, if you want a buzzing working environment

On the other hand, coworking spaces are some of the most dynamic, inspiring workplaces. They offer a whole host of potential contacts (and maybe even clients) amongst your coworkers and are generally filled with people in the same position as you. People who are usually more than willing to offer genuinely constructive feedback!

What’s Your Take on Coworking?

What do you think of coworking? Think it’s not the best solution for your start-up? Or is it the perfect match for your start-up? Maybe it depends on the coworking space and who manages it. Chip in with your opinion in the comments.

Peter Ames writes on behalf of www.officegenie.co.uk, a marketplace for shared desk space in the UK.

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4 thoughts on “Is Coworking Right for My Startup?

  1. I agree that co-working spaces are often the best way for a young startup team to work together. It gives you a place to sit and work together, without the need for high costs. Security and safety are often rarely important when your startup is young and new. Unless you can manage a garage, co-working spaces are the next best choice.

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