You leapt into remote entrepreneurship so you could own more of your choices. The perks of owning a remote business include the freedom to work from anywhere. Maybe you’ve considered a few options when it comes to the location of your regular workplace.
While the most obvious choice for many remote entrepreneurs may be working from home, that’s not always a great option for others. Perhaps you find yourself in this camp if you have small children running around while you try to focus or make calls. If your living space just can’t double-task as a workspace, or if it isn’t a great option every day, you might consider a shared workspace.
The concept of shared workspaces has become popular in the last decade. They range in size and capacity, but they host a variety of startups and small businesses who pay membership fees to rent desks, offices, and tables. This means multiple companies work side-by-side under the same roof—sometimes just across the room. I know of some local spaces that function as both a coffee shop and a space of desks, storage, and conference tables.
If this sounds appealing, you’ll want to consider the decision from several angles. Check out these pros and cons:
4 Advantages to Renting a Shared Workspace
Remote workers love these perks of using shared office spaces:
Remote workers love the flexibility that comes with using a shared workspace. The rent costs much less than a traditional office rental or purchasing a building outright. Most don’t require a lease commitment. Some shared workspaces have options for daily or hourly rentals. With any of these, businesses don’t have to handle typical ownership responsibilities, like maintenance, repairs, or custodial costs. They can also expand or downsize space at will, without the risk of too little or too much space.
Entrepreneurs also love the idea of working in urban areas with close access to restaurants, entertainment, and other businesses. They find they can take advantage of the various opportunities for networking and events in these settings.
2. Dedicated Workspace
Remote workers often feel like they’re stuck in “work mode” when they work at home. When you don’t have firm boundaries surrounding your home workspaces and hours, sometimes it feels like you work on call. Having dedicated workspaces and set hours helps you maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Some entrepreneurs find that getting out of their homes and going to a place where they can work for a set amount of time helps them to focus. With a shared workspace, you don’t have to feel guilty about taking up tables at a café for several hours. Instead, you have a clean, professional environment where you can focus on your tasks—and then leave the work there when it’s time to go home and relax.
3. Get Away from Distractions
In a shared workspace surrounded by other professionals, you won’t have the distractions of your home to pull you away every few minutes. Say goodbye to those nagging chores that try to draw you away from your work. Well-meaning family members or roommates can’t accidentally barge into the middle of a Zoom meeting.
Workspaces away from home also provide benefits to your mental health: research indicates that switching your location can lead to greater happiness at work. Everyone needs a change of scenery after the lockdowns of the last two years. Instead of feeling cooped up in your own home, you can get out for a few hours and keep your home a place of enjoyment and relaxation. Plus, most of these shared workspaces usually have wide-open windows, which gives great natural light and boosts mood.
4. Networking Opportunities
In a shared workspace, entrepreneurs get the chance to interact with other small businesses on a daily basis. With the possibilities of renter turnover in these shared spaces, they have endless opportunities to meet up-and-coming influencers and business owners. They find opportunities to collaborate or outsource with many of these nearby startups and companies, and they also get to know the potential competition.
In addition to these benefits, they love the ability to easily meet clients or contractors at nearby restaurants or coffee shops, or with teams in a rented conference space. With so many adaptable options at their fingertips, entrepreneurs find a variety of ways the shared spaces meet the needs of their businesses.
3 Disadvantages to Renting Shared Workspaces
Beware of the downsides of running your business from a shared workspace.
Don’t be taken by surprise about the cost of rented workspaces—look into them before you commit to the idea of running your business from one. Membership fees may or may not fit into your budget. Keep in mind that they ask premium prices to use meeting rooms and equipment you don’t own—those aren’t included in the basic rental costs.
You’ll also need to consider the gas expenses you’ll have as you travel to and from the workspace. If you want to have space in your budget for restaurant lunches and buying coffee drinks instead of filling your mug at home, you’ll have to create an expense line.
If you do rent a space, especially as your business expands, you should regularly evaluate whether a shared workspace remains the most cost-efficient option for your business.
Do you get distracted when other people work or have meetings around you? Will it trouble you that others talk within hearing proximity or stop by your space to chat? A workspace with many renters could get crowded during primary work hours.
Additionally, there could be a lack of privacy with other renters hearing your phone calls and sharing potential unsecured networks.
3. Lack of Customization
Coworking spaces often have regular business hours, so if you’re used to planning your startup during the evening and night hours, you’ll have to adjust to being a daytime worker. Your business hours must conform to the limits of the workspaces.
You’ll also lack the ability to customize your workspace beyond a few desk decorations if you’re comfortable leaving those where others might have access to them. Whatever you have in mind needs to fit the regulations of the workspace company.
Whatever your plans for your business’s working location, we’ve got more tips and tricks for making the best decisions for your new company. If you want to learn more about how to build a recession-proof, automated business, check out our FREE, 15-minute training and start generating at least $8K per month in weeks.