Coworking spaces have been developing rapidly over the past 10 years, as their popularity rises amongst the ever-changing workforce. Although the pandemic certainly took a toll on development, coworking spaces have continued to bounce back. Currently, there are nearly 19,000 coworking spaces around the globe, with Statista reporting the number is expected to exceed 26,000 by 2025.
Coworking spaces offer building space consisting of open-concept layouts, where independent contract workers, small businesses, or anyone interested in joining the community can come together to work and socialize, utilizing the amenities provided by the space.
Coworking spaces are driven by freelancers, accounting for 41% of workers who utilize coworking space; which makes sense, when thinking about the needs of a freelancer, or anyone working from home. They can utilize a coworking space to provide the social aspect freelancers are typically missing while working from home.
According to the Collection 527, a coworking space that offers shared and furnished office space in Los Angeles, there are numerous pros to choosing a coworking space, from providing a space to meet and gather with a community of workers, to offering perks such as lunch buffets or private gyms. But it's important to be aware of the cons, such as high membership fees or an unfriendly coworking environment.
To make a more informed decision, here are a few pros and cons of coworking spaces:
Pro: Amenities Are Provided
One of the highlights of coworking spaces is the types of amenities provided. Similar to larger office complexes, co-working spaces typically offer amenities for the workers to enjoy. Some examples of amenities provided by coworking spaces across the United States are; gyms with showers, spas, lockers, and massage rooms, game rooms, catered lunches, outdoor seating, rooftop access, and standing desk space. Amenities vary depending on coworking space, so be sure to get a rundown of the amenities before purchasing a membership.
Con: Can Be Costly
Coworking spaces do come at a cost, and that cost varies depending on where you are in the United States. The average price for a coworking space membership for one month in the US is $195 but in the country's bigger cities and towns that price increases pretty drastically depending on what you're looking for in your coworking space.
For example in Los Angeles in 2022, the average price for a desk at a coworking space for one month is $352. However, depending on your salary, this may be a worthwhile cost, particularly if you factor in the benefits and amenities.
Pro: Networking Opportunities
Coworking spaces are a natural networking hotspot. Everyone is there to work, and a huge part of your coworking experience is to get to know the people around you, providing a perfect environment for networking to take place. Be sure to have business cards for any interested parties, and have your elevator pitch nailed because you never know when an investor could be hanging in your coworking space with open ears.
Con: The Space Can Get Loud
Unlike your home office, it's hard to control the volume at a coworking space. Even with sound rules, or rooms that are dedicated to "silent work" there can be distractions that come up. Phones go off, people can disrespect rules, and things can get loud.
Think about asking the coworking space you're interested in joining if you can spend a day or two there, checking things out. It will give you insight into the level of activity at the coworking location and you can see if the space fits your needs.
Pro: Develop A Coworking Community
While working from home has its benefits, creating a community can be difficult. Of course, you have your coworkers or if you're a freelancer your business partners and contractors, but those business-oriented relationships are hard to develop via email, phone, and zoom communication. Seeing people in person, consistently, is statistically proven to help provide a deeper feeling of connection and knowingness of the other.
By joining a coworking community, you can develop relationships with your coworkers that will be beneficial to your work. You'll have people you can bounce ideas off of, vent to, question, and raise concerns with. Even if you aren't working on the same projects, it's nice to know there's someone around to listen and care.