The Cost of Coworking: Worth It?

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If you’re in the market for a place to work and you’ve looked into flexible coworking spaces, you might have realised they aren’t dirt cheap. A great place to start is asking yourself what you want for your money.

 “What are you paying for?”

Answer: “a place to work.”

Unfortunately, that answer is too easy. If you’re really just looking for a place to work, your bedroom or your kitchen counter should be just fine. So, why head out of your home?

Chances are, it’s because you feel unproductive at home, there are too many distractions at home (partner, kids, pets, television, fridge, etc.), your business has outgrown your home, it isn’t a professional presentation to clients, or a mixture of some or all the above.

“What are you getting in a commercial office?”

Answer: “an office.”

A nice, clean, empty, completely bare office. You have:

  • no phone line
  • no internet
  • no printer
  • no reception
  • no kitchen
  • no clients
  • you must hire a cleaner to keep your space tidy.

You’re restricted, essentially. You might be paying $700 a month, but the things you need that aren’t included will pile up. For further information about commercial office spaces check out the following Commercial News articles by Emma Gilmour here and the other by Leon Gettler here.

“How does a flexible coworking space differ?”

Answer: “in almost every way.”

You have many inclusions. High speed internet and a phone line usually come standard with an office in a flexible coworking space. Plus, it’s fully serviced from a staffed reception to greet your clients to cleaners keeping things spotless. Internet playing up? YOU won’t need to spend hours on the phone fixing the issue, because the dedicated IT team will take care of it for you. These are just the basics.

In addition, you’ll also be able to utilise the meeting rooms that the flexible workspace has to offer if you feel like your office doesn’t suffice. This is great for meetings with high profile clients or potential employees interviewing for a job.

The list of benefits can go on but there’s really one pro that trumps traditional office spaces every time: community. You’re in a building full of other business owners with diverse backgrounds, skill sets, likes and dislikes with fresh perspectives.

In a coworking space, your clients and your allies are one in the same, all within a few meters of you in a flexible coworking space. You need their services and they need yours. These interactions create the best proponents for your business and you become a true believer in the brands of others too.

In this way, everyone succeeds, and it isn’t unheard of for many small businesses to get their start, existing almost entirely and sufficiently on the business they get from the flexible workspace they’re in.

So, break that down for a moment, they could have opted for a traditional office space, but after saving on services and amenities through going with a flexible coworking space, they also monopolised on the reach afforded to them by other tenants which, in the long run, made them more money than the alternative, traditional route!

So, next time you’re looking for a flexible workplace to call your own, reconsider flexible workspaces. Make sure you ask the right questions, like “what other small businesses operate here?”, “is there a community manager ready to make introductions?” and “what’s included in my membership?” to name a few examples. These are more pertinent questions than “how much will this cost?” because the chances are when you put the value of a flexible coworking space up against a traditional space…there will be no competition.

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