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Coworking Life

 

Coworking vs. Regular Office: What’s Right for Your Business?

Here’s a debate that has only recently risen to the top of a manager’s decision-making list when choosing a new office space: Coworking, or traditional office? The choice certainly isn’t easy. Choosing a space to base a team in is a decision that will fundamentally define how things get done in the business moving forward – it sets a precedent for everything from organizational culture, to a business’ approach to collaboration, openness to innovation, and more.

So what considerations should be taken into account when choosing between the two? And what questions should you be asking yourself when honing in on a final decision?

 

Community

Traditional offices tend to form communities around an existent organizational culture, or mold a new community naturally by having things fall into place in a new environment. In a traditional office – the community is built on inter-organizational values. Coworking spaces, on the other hand, build vibrant communities weaved together by the overlap of the countless organizational cultures that fill up its space. With corporate wings, startups, freelancers, and young entrepreneurs from a handful of industries all sitting under one roof – a diverse community that integrates countless perspectives and differing organizational values is formed.

 

Questions to ask:

(1) Are you looking to build your own community? Or find your place in an existent one?

(2) Are you interested in an insular community made up solely of members of your organization? Or are you open to being a part of something bigger that meshes together the values of countless organizations?

 

 

Time Commitment

Renting an office space often goes hand-in-hand with long-term commitment. He who chooses the traditional office is in it for the long-haul – there’s no backtracking out of the fine-print that has you committed to pay rent for months on end. Coworking spaces, though, are built with short-term commitment and optimal flexibility in mind. They give businesses the freedom to constantly choose where and how they want to work, and at what pace they want to grow.

 

Questions to ask:

(1) Are you looking for a long-term or short-term contract?

(2) At what pace is your company growing? How will you accommodate the expected growth in your office?

 

 

Operating Costs

Renting a traditional office space comes with a hefty price tag. Monthly rent is supplemented by countless operational costs – from utilities, to maintenance, supplies inventory, office equipment, and more. It adds up. Coworking spaces provide an all-inclusive alternative, where membership goes hand-in-hand with full coverage of operational costs and guaranteed high-speed Internet. It concentrates everything into one bill – lifting countless mundane concerns off of a business owner’s shoulders.

 

Questions to ask:

(1) How much are you looking to spend? What is your monthly budget?

(2) Do you really have the energy to deal with countless suppliers yourself? Or would you rather have everything taken care of by your chosen coworking space and its community managers?

 

 

Openness to Innovation

Coworking spaces open up the door for extra-organizational collaboration. By encouraging networking and constant interaction amongst its peers, it forces the traditional to think outside of the box and open up its mind to innovation. Additionally, being surrounded by the countless startups and entrepreneurs that set up shop in a coworking space naturally exposes any business to new forms of innovation. Such a phenomena is less common in the traditional office where the day-to-day is dictated by the perspective of a single organization – leaving little room for innovative outsider perspectives.

 

Questions to ask:

(1) How important is innovation to your business?

(2) Are you open to having outside perspectives influence your business?

 

 

Keeping these factors in mind will ease your decision-making process when debating between coworking and the traditional office space. While coworking certainly has its benefits, it’s not the perfect fit for anyone. Question is – what works better for you?