Does a Coworking Space Make Sense for Your Business?
By Andrew Patricio
June 03, 2019
Small Business & Entrepreneurship
Major shifts in technology and workforce expectations over the last ten years have made way for innovation. Remote work is the new normal, “gig economy” has transformed into more than just a buzz phrase, and millennials continue to reshape what’s important to a company’s corporate culture.
To meet the needs of these changes, the coworking space has taken off with no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Statistics show that the number of coworking spaces is forecasted to double by 2022 — increasing from 26,000 to 49,500 globally.
From larger names like WeWork to one-offs like The Aviary in Vancouver, there’s a space on the market equipped for just about any business’ short and long-term needs. The question is: does a coworking space make sense for your business?
Weigh the Costs
Naturally, the cost is a major factor in whether or not to operate your business from a coworking space. Research spaces in your area to see where they fall on rent — then compare that to what you’re paying now when renting from a private office space.
If your team is mostly remote, working from home and local coffee shops, the upfront savings may not be immediately apparent. Keep in mind, however, what’s also included in your coworking space package. Amenities aside, rent typically includes furniture, utilities, office equipment, coffee, and snacks.
Additionally, with their on-staff office personnel, you don’t have to worry about hiring a dedicated office manager. This eliminates costs in salary, health insurance, retirement plans, etc.
Analyze Company Growth Goals
The size of your company today is temporary. To maintain the growth goals of your small business, you’re inevitably going to hire, hire, and hire some more.
When weighing whether to opt for a private office or coworking space, take a long hard look at the numbers. Depending on the terms of the contract, you may find yourself on track to outgrow a private office long before its lease is up.
Coworking spaces can provide a nice middle ground for small businesses on the verge of expansion. Depending on the flexibility of their terms, they may even be able to accommodate your team more readily as it grows rather than forcing you to move elsewhere.
Consider Client Convenience
As a small business owner, you are likely booking your fair share of meetings throughout the week. From potential investors to service partners, you’re leading the charge in establishing the relationships that will take operations to the next level.
One of the benefits in setting up shop in a coworking space is that you provide a centralized meeting space for developing those outside partnerships. It adds both a degree of convenience and professionalism to the equation — things that working remotely from a coffee shop can’t always provide.
Evaluate the Amenities
Yes, beer kegs in the kitchen can boost team morale after an especially stressful day but there are other coworking space amenities to champion. Above all else, the collaboration these spaces foster only feeds the potential for company growth.
Organized weekly events, workshops, and communal work areas bring people together — giving you and your team the ability to network more regularly. The community aspect helps small businesses thrive with an environment prime for both extreme focus and ongoing conversations alike.