The pros and cons of shared office space

The pros and cons of shared office space

Whether you’re a freelancer, remote worker or small business, shared office space provides many of the benefits of a fully-equipped office without a restrictive full lease.

You can rent space by the hour, by the day or even by the number of desks you require giving you an affordable way to get out of your house, garage or the coffee shop you’ve been working from without committing to your own private space.

But before you decide if shared office space is the right choice for you it’s always wise to consider the advantages and disadvantages.

So, here we consider the pros and cons of using shared office space.

The pros

Community

Shared office spaces attract a variety of talented individuals from solo entrepreneurs to those working in larger corporates. This provides opportunities to learn and share ideas in a professional and vibrant space. This community could help you further your company goals or even build your client list.

Support

The collaborative environment of a shared office space provides an opportunity to share skills and ideas. This can be invaluable whether you’re a brand new start-up or an established business looking for a fresh perspective. Some companies even offer access to additional support from selected partners as part of their package.

Flexibility

Whether you’re looking for dedicated desk space for everyday use or somewhere to set up camp for just a few days a month, shared office spaces usually offer the flexibility to pick a membership option that suits your needs. This is a perfect setup for start-ups, small businesses or freelancers who may not have the resources to commit to a restrictive full lease.

Structure

Whilst working from home can be great in many ways, one of the biggest disadvantages is the lack of structure. If you don’t have the necessary discipline, it’s all too easy to get distracted by your household chores or even something good on the TV. Utilising shared office space encourages you to work more productively by putting you in the right mindset to get to work and do it well.

Additional perks

When you use shared office space you’re getting much more than a place to work. Additional perks can include high-speed wi-fi, printing, franking and photocopying services, meeting rooms and break rooms where you can access complimentary refreshments.

Productivity

One of the most common reasons people choose to use shared office space is that it is known to boost productivity and creativity. Working collaboratively and in inspiring surrounds allows you to draw inspiration from others, which can improve motivation and provide a source of inspiration. The key to being the most productive is to find the shared office space which suits your working style.

Affordability

Using shared office space gives you the benefits of a fully-equipped office without the expense of a commercial lease. Whilst a commercial lease would require you to furnish and equip the space yourself, shared office space provides access to many of the amenities you’ll need at a fraction of the cost. Plus, with flexible options available you can scale your use up or down to suit your needs.

The cons

Distractions

Many of the things that make shared office space great, like being a part of a community and embracing networking opportunities, can be distracting. Communal areas can get noisy and steer your attention away from your work. But a little discipline and the use of acoustic furniture and sound barriers can limit the distraction, so look for these when deciding which shared office space to use.

Cost

Whilst affordable packages are available, working from home is likely to be cheaper than hiring office space. But it’s always worth weighing up the cost vs the benefits. If you’re going to be more productive and open to more opportunities through networking you could find that you make the money back quickly. Plus, many shared offices come with extra perks like complimentary breakfast and refreshments which you won’t get at home or in your local coffee shop.

Lack of privacy

With an open layout and communal style arrangements, lack of privacy can be an issue for some when looking for shared office space. But if you require an element of privacy simply look for a destination which offers private phone booths or quiet nooks for making those private conversations.

If you’re looking for shared office space in Southampton, come and visit our coworking community to discover even more of the perks. Book a tour today.

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