You run a forward-thinking organization, and now that it’s established, you’ve been reassessing your current physical workspace. Business is good so you’ve been hiring more employees. But because of that, you’ve outgrown your current office. Plus, your lease will soon be up.
Before signing a new lease for a bigger, more expensive building, consider whether or not the benefits of a coworking space could work for your establishment. Here are four questions to consider before making the decision to go all-in on coworking.
1. How Much Will It Cost?
There are many costs that come into play when you lease an office space. The first (and obvious one) is rent. And many business spaces often require multi-year leases, which means you’re stuck in one spot—unless you’re willing to break the lease. Don’t forget about all the additional costs, either, such as utilities, cleaning, maintenance and furnishings. When everything gets added up, cost can be a major factor driving a company to consider its options.
Instead of paying for everything listed above, with a coworking space, you’ll just need to consider membership fees. Each coworking space has different membership tiers and levels of access, so know your needs to determine the cost difference.
2. Will a Shared Workspace Get in the Way of Actual Work?
Another factor that can make or break the decision to use a coworking space is how private you want your workspace to be. In your own office, you can freely talk about business matters without the worry of sharing confidential client information. Having your own office also allows you the flexibility to gather the entire team, whether it’s around a whiteboard or for an impromptu game of table tennis.
You may not have that level of flexibility when you’re sharing the environment with other people and organizations. However, there are many benefits of a coworking space. For instance, being around a diverse group of people with different personal and professional backgrounds can be inspiring for your team. You may also find yourself partnering with other companies who use the coworking space.
3. Will It Meet Your Scheduling Needs?
Both leased office spaces and coworking communities may have restrictions on the hours in which the space is available. Is it important that your employees work during a set string of hours? If so, check out any of the coworking spaces you’re considering to see what the “traffic” is like during your normal working hours. Is it busy? If so, consider how hard it will be to access conference rooms or quiet spaces if you need to work as a team or meet with clients.
Similarly, how will your space be staffed depending on the situation? Will you have access to a maintenance person in case the toilet leaks, or someone from admin or IT if the Wi-Fi goes down? Is there a door person, and will your guests be able to enter the space when you’re working? These are all important questions to ask when choosing between the two types of workspaces.
4. Will You Be Able to Manage Your Team Effectively?
If you choose to downsize from a leased space to a coworking community, you may decide to allow your staff to work from whatever coworking space they please—instead of everyone having report to the same location, during the same time. How will you handle employee management when you’re not seeing your staff on a daily basis? You may need to invest in tools, such as video conferencing or instant messaging software.
If you want your employees to work in the same coworking community, search for one where you can rent workstations in close proximity, with easy access to conference rooms. This type of environment will be similar to what you’re used to, allowing employees to continue doing what they do, with minimal disruption.
There are many benefits of a coworking space. If you can find the perfect one for your company, it may save you some money as you embark on your business’s next chapter.
Searching for more tools and resources to help improve your workplace? Check out the Employer Toolkit.