Coworking has been growing extremely quickly over the past few years. While the coronavirus has dented its acceleration, many believe it will bounce back even stronger once the pandemic is over. That being the case, you’ll need to learn what all the jargon around coworking means.
Especially if you’re looking to move into a coworking space then you’ll have to understand what it is, what types of coworking space are available, the pros and cons of coworking space, and the differences between a coworking space and traditional office space.
With that in mind, let’s get into it.
What is a coworking space?
So what is a coworking space? A coworking space is a kind of office space where like-minded professionals can work alongside each other under the same roof.
Based in flexible office space, coworking spaces provide a great location for all kinds of people to work. In a coworking space, you will find entrepreneurs, freelancers, individuals or teams from large companies, startups, medium-sized companies, and many more.
In other words, coworking space is for everyone, it is not exclusive to individual workers and it is most definitely not just for entrepreneurs and freelancers.
One of the greatest things about coworking space is the community. There will be a diverse range of individuals that work in any number of different sectors and industries.
Coworking spaces offer far more than just a desk for you to work out. Within coworking spaces there are often many extra amenities provided. Meeting rooms, phone booths, toilets, kitchens and other essentials are all provided to ensure you have the best working environment possible.
Three main types of coworking space
Within a coworking space, there are three main different types of office space available.
These are hot desks, dedicated desks and private offices. Each offers a different environment ranging from open plan spaces focused on collaboration to private offices where you can get some peace and quiet.
Hot desks or hot desking works similar to desk space in a library. There are a predetermined number of desks available within the location that individuals will take on a first-come-first-served basis.
A hot desk environment is the most flexible type of coworking space available. You can hire desks here on a daily or even hourly basis. So if you need a desk for an afternoon or just for a couple of days, you can do that with hot desking.
The environment is designed and built from the ground up with the community feel and collaboration in mind. Hot desking spaces are great for networking and communication, they incorporate a modern, open-plan design so no one is excluded from the community.
Many people say that the community is the most important part of a hot desking environment, with the space being built around the people. If you’re looking to join a wonderfully diverse community of professionals then hot desking is perfect for you.
Dedicated desks offer a slightly more formal environment than hot desks. It is more traditional in the sense that you have a desk that is dedicated to you. No one else can use it while you are renting it.
The environment, in general, is similar to a traditional office environment. Everyone is sat in the same place every day so each person can leave their setups out on their desk overnight. This has some benefits because with a hot desking space, bringing all your things to work and taking them home again can be annoying.
It provides a quieter atmosphere, and while they are often designed as an open-plan space, it is generally more closed off and compartmented than a hot desk environment. This reduces the amount of communication going on between individuals, shifting the focus from collaboration towards concentrating on your own work.
The leases are slightly less flexible here than at hot desking environments, you won’t be able to rent on an hourly basis. More likely you will have to rent on either a daily or weekly basis.
A private office is what it says on the tin. It is an office for you or your team that is private. It doesn’t get much simpler than that.
By private, we mean that there will be a wall between you and the next worker, or if you’re a team it will be between your team and other individuals in the workspace . You won’t have any distractions from outsiders so there’ll be plenty of peace and quiet to help you get on with your work without anyone interrupting you.
Private offices are mostly used by small teams of employees who work together. You can get private offices for individuals too, but the majority of private offices are used by teams.
This makes a lot of sense since if you have a team it can be difficult to get desks together in a dedicated desk environment, and near impossible in a hot desking one. Not only that but if you’re working together and having confidential conversations and chats then you’ll need somewhere private, hence a private office is a great idea.
Private offices offer even less in terms of flexibility, you will rarely be able to hire them for a day. Oftentimes the minimum is a week, and you’ll pay monthly if you are staying long term.
One great thing about private offices is that they are often serviced offices, everything is looked after for you, cleaning, utilities, cleaning, amenities, furniture, it’s all sorted, you can just turn up and get down to business.
Some private offices are also shared offices, this means that you’ll share the private space with one or two other individuals or companies.
Pros and cons of coworking space
As with anything, there are some benefits and some drawbacks with coworking spaces.
Simple and flexible terms
Coworking spaces, as with all of the types of flexible office space, come with simple and flexible terms.
This means that you will pay a simple monthly fee. The monthly fee will include everything that you need, it covers the space, electricity, heating, wifi, cleaning, furniture, access to meeting rooms, toilets, kitchen, phone booths, and so much more.
Traditionally a lot of these costs would have been separate contracts, making everything more difficult to keep on top of. Coworking spaces simplify it and put everything under one cost so you don’t have to worry.
Coworking spaces offer great value for money. The wonderful benefits they provide in terms of your productivity and the flexibility greatly outweigh the cost of coworking.
Not only is it great value for money, but it’s also a bargain when compared with traditional office space. Since the space is shared, the cost is also shared, bringing the price down for you while still providing you with a wonderful place where you can be extremely productive.
Hot desks are the cheapest kind of coworking, you only get access to a space with desks on a first-come-first-served basis, so this makes sense. Dedicated desks cost a little bit more, with access to a desk that’s just for you, you can see why. Private offices are of course the most expensive, but still far cheaper than traditional office space.
Great for productivity
Coworking spaces can work wonders for your productivity. There is a type of coworking space for all kinds of individuals. If you work well with peace and quiet, you can rent a private office. If a social environment is more your thing, with lots going on then hot desking will work for you. If you like a bit of both and something in the middle then dedicated desks provide that.
Not only are there offerings specific to all kinds of people. Additionally, coworking, in general, can have an incredible impact on your productivity, whether it’s because you feel a sense of belonging to the community, or the inspiration you draw from your colleagues or the greater flexibility and work-life balance offered by coworking.
Seriously, if you remember anything from this article, remember this. Coworking spaces and coworking bring out the best in people, the greatest productivity and creativity and it can improve your job satisfaction incredibly.
In terms of drawbacks, there are a couple of cons to each of the types of coworking spaces.
Hot desking environments can have a problem with noise and distractions, as well as privacy. The collaborative environment means that it can be difficult to get on with work. Similarly, you don’t have much privacy, so if you have a lot of confidential conversations then hot desking might not be for you.
Dedicated desk environments can have similar problems with privacy and noise. However, if you don’t work well in a noisy and social work environment then you can always choose a private office instead.
One other drawback with coworking spaces in general is that you will still have to commute to them. If you hate commuting to work then coworking spaces do not fix this problem.
However, with coworking, you get to choose exactly which location you work at, so it’s mostly up to you how long your commute is and while you will still have to commute, coworking spaces are most likely closer to your home than your current offices. So in fact coworking could make your commute more bearable.
Coworking spaces are a kind of shared office space that offers a location for individuals to work alongside like-minded professionals, under the same roof.
There are three main types; hot desks, dedicated desks and private offices. Each of these offers a different kind of environment, so no matter what you prefer there’ll be an option for you where you can work productively.
Coworking spaces have many great benefits, the main of which is that it can seriously increase your job satisfaction, and when you love your job, your productivity increases too.
If you haven’t tried coworking before, then now might be the time. We think you’ll love it and never go back.
Thanks for reading.